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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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Traveling to usa in May and been told that I need to declare

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Traveling to usa in May and been told that I need to declare a cheque fraud conviction from about 25-30 years ago which I was fined for but no prison sentence and no other convictions.
I have no information as was so long ago can you tell me please what's best course of action?
Thank you
Pauline Stewart
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Were you arrested at the time?

Customer: Yes I was arrested
Customer: Hi
Customer: Did you get my reply ?
Ben Jones :

As you were arrested you are automatically ineligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Programme (i.e. visa-free) and would need to declare this incident, obtaining a US Visa in the process. However, that is the official position. In reality, the US authorities do not have direct access to the UK’s police computer, where this information would be stored, and as this won’t be a terrorism-related matter or anything else of significant importance so that the UK authorities would have shared it with their US colleagues, the chances of them finding out about it are negligent. A number of people do not declare such historic incidents because it is highly unlikely that the US authorities will find out about them. Of course I cannot advise you on whether to do that or not and that is a decision left entirely for you to make. The risks are that if they find this out they can prevent you from entering the country and it can jeopardise further travel you may wish to do to the US in the future. You may also be asked when travelling to other countries if you have ever been refused entry to a country, which can be embarrassing.

Customer: Would I be best filling in form for ESTA and see what comes back?
Ben Jones :

You are not eligible for ESTA because of the arrest

Ben Jones :

You will see the questions they ask you in advance would mean you cannot use ESTA to travel....unless you do not tell them that you were arrested as mentioned above

Customer: How do I find out information on my conviction to apply for visa?
Customer: I don't have any paperwork or even remember date
Ben Jones :

you can contact your local police force and make a subject access request asking them for details of this

Customer: Does process take a long time?
Customer: So my options are get visa or I would have to lie on ESTA form ?
Ben Jones :

it can take up to 40 days as that is how long they have to respond, usually it's sooner though

Ben Jones :

yes correct

Customer: Wish I had know this before booking lol.
Customer: Thank you for your help
Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

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