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Category: International Law
Satisfied Customers: 21
Experience:  Moderator
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Am looking for advice regarding application for short visit

Customer Question

Am looking for advice regarding application for short visit US/Aus visas for 2017/2018
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: International Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I can answer your US visa questions. I am afraid that an Australian law category expert would be needed to answer the Australian aspect of the matter. You can ask a question in the Australian law category specific to this.

Meanwhile, what can I answer for you re: the US visa matter?

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am male UK citizen, born in London, age 58.
In 1982 I was arrested at Turkish-Greek border trafficking 5kg hashish
I served 8 or so months in prison then returned to the UK where I became a computer programmer.
I was advised that as the event had taken place outside the UK I was not obliged to reveal my imprisonment.
In 1985 (6?) I was offered a new job that involved an initial period in Chicago to become familiar with s/w, which required a 3 month working visa.
On the application I did not declare the Greek adventure.
Lax on such details when I needed to stay longer than 3 months I also did not notice that my visa needed extending. I recall being told by the company and going to the "visa office" and had no issue then or when I did leave the US but can't be sure it was before the original visa expired. If not I would have over stayed my visa. Perhaps I did and this is still on record and would be regarded more seriously now.
Then 9/11 happened along with full computerisation and everything has got much tighter than the big book of names the immigration woman looked through when I flew to New York on the way to Chicago.My question is does my Greek foolishness disqualify me now from a US visa?
Does failure to reveal a criminal conviction in my later visa application disqualify me?
I did not declare it as it had not been in the UK and I wanted to believe it was sort of irrelevant and because I wanted the job that offered me a trip to Chicago that was technically interesting and career progressing. I did inform the company expecting them to advise me and they were content for me to go but basically to take my chances at entry to the US rather than advise me one way or the other.However I do recall that the question on the visa form referred to any country worldwide. I assumed that if I revealed it I would be refused the visa and I would then not be able to take the job I wanted.Is there a statute of limitations on such matters? I was a long time ago, now.I now have the opportunity to take part in a round the world trip next year that involves 2 short stays in the US - East coast then later West coast. I'd also like to be free to visit or even work in the US later if possible.
I only want to visit the US entirely legally and take no risks of conflict with the US legal system or risk my professional reputation.
Whether or not the conviction has legal relevance in the UK the UK Govt certainly knows about it and presumably is happy to share such info with US ( and Aus) Govts when they ask about UK visitors to the US.Is this sufficient detail?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply.

If you were arrested/convicted, the applicant must provide the court record from this. However, The United States does not have access to the Police National Computer, meaning they are unlikely to know about it (the information sharing with Greece/Turkey is even worse). The consulate can do an individual request to the PNC, but that rarely happens.

So let us one decides to disclose. You are ineligible to travel under the visa waiver permit if you have ever violated any law related to possessing, using or distributing illegal drugs. Meaning, you'd need to apply for a visa ahead of time with the US Consulate. You would also need to file an I-192 - a waiver requesting admissibility. If you are inadmissible due to having committed a crime involving moral turpitude (which a drug smuggling conviction is), you are eligible to apply for a waiver of waiver of ineligibility under Section 212(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act if you can establish that: (a) The activities for which you are excluded occurred more than 15 years before the date of your application for a visa; (b) Your admission to the US would not be contrary to the national welfare, safety, or security, and (c) You have been rehabilitated. Then, the consular agent basically makes a discretionary decision.

Let us say one decides not to disclose and the consular agent never finds out. Okay, then likely visa is granted assuming no other issues pop up.

Let us say that one decides not to disclose and the consular agent finds out by an inquest to the Police National Computer on a hunch, or by better communication with Greece/Turkey (specific communication structures are not public information so it is hard to say how exactly and to which extent the countries discuss visa applicants). If so, then you would be caught in a lie and the visa denied. Furthermore, you'd likely be facing a permanent ban from the US for the incident of non-disclosure.

I normally go off the rule that being honest is the best policy, but of course, this is your decision.

Please note: If I tell you simply what you wish to hear, this would be unfair to you. I need to be honest with you and sometimes this means providing information that is not optimal. Negative ratings are reserved for experts who are rude or for erroneous information. Please rate me on the quality of my information; do not punish me for my honesty.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry to ask but is this build from template answers?
I'm confused by your scenario of applying for a visa because of having a conviction but not disclosing the conviction to the consular agent.
I've made clear that I wish to be open about everything. I have no wish to be dishonest or create additional problems for the future.
You've made no comment about the implications of having failed to declare the conviction in a previous application. Might this be considered the more serious issue by a consular agent?
I'm concerned that you are concerned about getting a good rating by weighing the 'advice' you give towards what you may believe I want to hear. I need to know the reality otherwise this conversation is worse than worthless as it misleads me.When the consular agent makes a personal decision what factors weigh that decision?
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.


No, this is a not a template answer. However, you had stated "On the application I did not declare the Greek adventure," so I assumed you meant that you did not wish to disclose it now. Okay, if you do, then you are presumed disqualified due to the conviction. Someone in your situation also wants to file an I-192 waiver request to overcome this disqualification. The catch-22 is if you did not disclose it before back in 1985, and the US Consular agent catches that, then you may be denied for lying - even if the lie was back then and you are "coming clean" now.

There is no statute of limitations for being caught in a lie, I am afraid.

How long you can stay if the visa is approved depends on the visa. If it is a B2, then 6 months but you also have the option of filing for a 6 month extension.

Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You seem to have completely misunderstood my original question and given answers on assumptions you made without confirming. This is an important matter to me but I can not have confidence in you given your answers so far. Please redirect this enquiry to someone else
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
No problem. I will opt out. All the best.
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 1 year ago.
It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're OK with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I cancelled my account online. I have sent a detailed reply by reply stating my reasons to which you have not replied. I am replying to your email that indicates you expect to take another payment from my card. That I can even log on means your 'cancellation' process is a sham and has been ignored. You continue to send me marketing emails that I don't want - as indicated by cancelling my account. If I don't hear from you tomorrow Monday 31 Oct confirming refund of the sum you took from my credit card, that you acknowledge that I cancelled my account and the unwanted spam will end I shall contact my bank to withhold payment. As with my comment when I cancelled I shall also send this text by email, to***@******.***, as you do not allow option of automatically sending me a copy. To be clear I have no confidence in your service. By that I mean not specifically the dissatisfaction with the lawyer who attempted to answer my question but with the Just Answer service. You have behaved poorly and made no attempt to deal engage with my issue. And are taking money from my card on the expectation that I won't notice.