To think that the ESTA application programme to get into the US is a bit hair-raising?

(129 Posts)
pointythings Sat 03-Aug-13 18:35:36

Was doing applications for me and DDs to go to Disney in 2 weeks (and yes, I really should have done it earlier, I know!) and at the end I got.... Application Pending. shock! Have always, always been approved straight away, was having all kinds of visions of not being able to go.

When I checked half an hour later we were approved, but it really wasn't good for my blood pressure...

Groovee Sat 03-Aug-13 20:20:27

Anyone who has a conviction of any sort needs a visa and needs to apply to the embassy. Doesn't matter when the conviction was or what it was for. Someone told me to get a basic disclosure and if it's clear then get an ESTA.

If you are declined for ESTA then you have to apply for a visa.

LRDYaDumayuShtoTiKrasiviy Sat 03-Aug-13 20:20:34

Oh, no! shock

You big twit. That is exactly the sort of thing I would do. In fact I live in fear every time I fly that I've done something like that.

VivClicquot Sat 03-Aug-13 20:22:17

I'm normally so on the ball. I just never realised you needed one. blushgrin

Touch wood, fingers crossed, I've never had a problem so far.
Apart from them being a bit stern on occasion. And that is only the usa end.

NatashaBee Sat 03-Aug-13 20:28:23

You need to apply for a visa for any crime that the US considers a 'crime of moral turpitude', you can't use ESTA in those cases. I believe in most cases any assault falls into that category so you would need to go to the Embassy and apply for a visa, whether that gets approved or not depends on whether you reoffended, how long ago the crime was and any mitigating circumstances.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 03-Aug-13 20:29:05

I have an ulteria motive for asking, my ex has a trip to New York booked and I'm tempted to phone up who ever I need to as no way will he disclose the conviction.

pointythings Sat 03-Aug-13 20:36:56

MadCap but we pay those taxes too to fly from the UK to the US. I think airport tax is a red herring. It isn't the same as having to pay to apply to even be considered to be let in. Americans flying to the UK don't have to do this, all they have to do is fill out a landing card - no cost involved. It used to be like that going the other way too - you filled out a little green form on the plane and that was that.

Sockreturningpixie I'd be temped, but the repercussions might be bad.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 03-Aug-13 21:27:44

They won't be bad for me.

And for him...... Well if you can't take the consequences don't do the crime

I'm dual national so go through the returning residents and citizens line in US, I am very weirded out by the homeland security guys, they are very intimidating.
I'm much more comfortable going through the British passport control they don't feel as intimidating to me.
They also have no sense of humor that they are aware of. Don't even bother to smile they are not impressed with anything. It's their job to keep people out of the country, because god forbid apparently the whole world wants to move here and be "free"
Any small crime stops the ESTA going through and that can result in a very expensive trip to the embassy to interview for a visa, and pay through the nose for it. Is a trip to Disney World really that important? I'd go to Euro Disney instead of bothering with the visa.

Sock maybe you should call the embassy in London and have his name flagged so he get rejected on his ESTA if you think he shouldn't be applying.

BarbarianMum Sat 03-Aug-13 21:35:47

Did it earlier this year. I found it intrusive, and passing through immigration intimidating (although they did move us to the front of the queue as dcs were almost hysterical with exhaustion, so maybe hearts of gold hidden somewhere).

Am not convinced it achieves much, security-wise, but hey, it's not my country and they can do as they wish. Personally, it has put me off from visiting again though.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 03-Aug-13 23:30:13

Would that be the USA embassy?

Hulababy Sat 03-Aug-13 23:33:07

Have to say that normally going through US security at passport control they are really nice and friendly, far more chatty and personable than UK passport control.

Yes Sock the US embassy in London. They have a website if you want to look up what to do, or where to email or call.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 04-Aug-13 00:10:30

I've just had a look at there website and a few other info sections and it appears as if he would not be eligible to travel without a proper visa and due to it being a recent conviction (well 4 convictions in total and still on a suspended sentence) for an offence involving moral turpitude he won't get an actual visa.

I'm giving them a call on Monday.

Morloth Sun 04-Aug-13 00:37:41

Their country, their rules.

I have always felt very welcome and at home inbthe States. They get a lot of bad press.

But from Texas to NY people have been kind and helpful.

Love Americans.

Bogeyface Sun 04-Aug-13 00:53:46

Sock be careful love. I assume his convictions are for DV against you, and if he suspects that you are behind his inability to take his trip it could be very dangerous for you.

Please do be careful.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 04-Aug-13 01:19:11

I'm always careful, he can't get within 100 yards of me without getting arrested,im never alone and he will think its his sister whose done it its also entirely possible she may well also let them know.

mathanxiety Sun 04-Aug-13 01:29:56

Sock -- They will check his name against records whether he divulges his crime or not as he is in prime terrorist age range presumably, and also a male travelling alone.

He faces not even being able to get a visa if he lies and it is discovered, which is quite a risk to take. However, someone who does what he did probably does impulsive things and certainly must have a good deal of confidence in his chances of not getting caught or facing consequences.

I would be very tempted to tip them off, just in case ht slips through the cracks -- but someone with four convictions and still on a suspended sentence would probably be flagged by their own inquiries as long as he has spelled his name right and all name details match those of the courts. He probably would suspect it was you who did it but he would have to realise that they only ask for all the information on the form so that they can check, and he knows in the wake of the eavesdropping hoohah that they pry and check. Put your own safety first though.

If he assaulted you then nothing you do or don't do can ever guarantee he won't try it again. That's the sort of person he is.

mathanxiety Sun 04-Aug-13 01:37:51

To the OP -- hopefully your DH knows he must enter the US using his American passport and not his UK one.

I have a green card myself and have never had any trouble, but getting the green card back in 1988 was a really anxious experience and the suspicion, rudeness and brusqueness of the officials was breathtaking.

Their form letters to me were composed of boilerplate paragraphs with individual details inserted in gaps in the text sometimes out of sync with the lines, all printed in caps and double spaced, and spreading from edge to edge of the page. In sections where my name and various identification numbers were used, those details were printed as if part of a sentence and not listed in bullets. So my name was followed by my identification number and date of birth, with the id number starting on one line and resuming on the next.

DD1 got herself an Irish passport which she uses when outside the US. Makes her life much easier.

Travelledtheworld Sun 04-Aug-13 01:46:07

Pointy print off a copy of that ESTA approval and take it with you just in case.....

And expect a long wait at Immigration, Homeland Security are very twitchy right now due to the terrorism threat in the Middle East. They were being very pernickety at JFK last week.

You should be OK in Orlando though. have a good holiday !

Wibblypiglikesbananas Sun 04-Aug-13 01:56:23

I'm British but in the US temporarily through DH's work. It's an - erm - interesting place.

We have never had problems with security per se, but trips to the US embassy in London always make me feel somewhat indignant. I know it's technically 'American soil' but the guns, the attitude, the sheer arrogance and 'I'm better than you' mentality has to be seen to be believed. I hate the queues in the rain outside, being made to feel grateful for the opportunity to wait to enter that bloody building...

I can quite honestly say I've never lived in a more openly racist country (except perhaps China) and I've seem various examples of this at US immigration, sadly. The worst was probably a couple of years ago with a Pakistani colleague who got stopped every time we made a work trip over from London, detained and hassled for at least an hour. Except that the day we brought a huge legal team with us as part of the deal we were working on, he didn't get detained. Funny, that.

The ESTA system is a bit of a joke as most airlines still hand out the landing cards and so on to fill in - but if you're in the ESTA system already or have a valid visa, you don't need them anyway.

TraceyTrickster Sun 04-Aug-13 02:43:17

I have been through major US airports and found the TSA to be foul.
Once I did not catch what one woman said to me and said 'pardon- could you say that again?' (politely)...next thing she singled me out for an invasive search, merely for asking her to repeat her question.

However we have also been through the much quieter Tampa, and the staff there were delightful. Even let us keep our small daughter's water bottle...apparently they have a machine which checks the contents are safe. (I guess they drink some but hey!)

I loathe going to America, and glad i do not do it for work anymore.

Tee2072 Sun 04-Aug-13 07:48:23

Why does your DH pay megabucks to have to stay?

I have an ILR and don't pay anything at this point.

Trigglesx Sun 04-Aug-13 08:23:03

Tee I was wondering that myself. Once I got my ILR, that was it. Unless of course, I then get citizenship, which I plan on doing eventually.

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