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Do I need a VISA for boston U.S.A? Spent (minor) record

(23 Posts)
Kimi Tue 26-Aug-08 10:09:44

A very dear family member has ask me if I can go to Boston with them while they have an op, I would love to go to support them, however 7 years ago a woman (bit mad) hit my then 4 year old child in a supermarket as she deemed him to be in her way, she then ranted threats at him and so I hit her to get her away from him.

I was taken to court, she was black and said it was an unprovoked racist attack hmm
Anyway the court threw out any racist charge, I admitted hitting her got fined £225, for common assault

Never really gave it another thought, as been abroad with no problem, but I am not sure if I can go to the states or if I need a visa, I looked at the embassy web site and that was clear as mud.
Please help, need to know as soon as poss and don't know where to start.

Will check later out for the day now.

SqueakyPop Tue 26-Aug-08 10:12:37

It depends whether it is a crime of moral turpitude - I will have a look.

There is no concept of a spent crime.

The procedure is to apply for a visa and if they deny you, you can get a lawyer to do a waiver for you.

You should be able to go, but will have to jump through a few hoops first (and pay).

SqueakyPop Tue 26-Aug-08 10:15:10

Looking at

It seems that a minor assault is not a crime against moral turpitude. You would have to have intended serious harm.

Kimi Tue 26-Aug-08 17:38:14

Embassy web page is not very helpful.
Thanks for answering

SqueakyPop Tue 26-Aug-08 18:20:45

Hmm, the embassy page is very conservative in its advice. If you are in doubt, then give them a call.

The Wiki page on the Visa Waiver, linked to from the Moral Turpitude page, is very helpful.

Kimi Thu 28-Aug-08 09:22:38

Ok so now I have found out where to get the criminal record form I need, I then have to get a passport photo signed and some other stuff to prove I am me.
I take all this to the embassy [spoke to one of their staff who was polish?! and useless and said all she could say was there was a wait for appointments] fill out a visa application, I need to tell them why I am going, where I am going when I am going and how long I am staying, all well and good except I don't know the dates yet or if I will be there one or two weeks!! hmm

And even with all this they can still refuse to let me in, I have an Arab stamp in my passport they might not like!!!!

For the love of pete the USA must be the most stupid place in the bloody world, I can get on a plane to anywhere I want to go without all this fuss.
I hit one bloody woman to protect my child, the states bombed two fecking country's to protect their children, also bet I would not need all this shit if I was being paked off to Iraq to fight for there oil.
A friend pointed out that I had hit one black person, the U.S put chains on millions and sold them but hay ho on with the form filling.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 28-Aug-08 14:46:32


Unfortunately that's the way it is with the US; it has been thus for a long time now and these are their rules for entry. Basically if a person is arrested and charged a visa to visit the US is needed, they cannot travel under the Visa waiver scheme. Many countries as well (Australia being just one) state that visitors need visas prior to entry.

You may have to wait some while to get an interview with an embassy official.

The US can still refuse to let you in despite all this form filling you will need to do - and they do not have to tell you why.

Don't think the Arab stamp in your passport will be a problem with the Embassy staff but you may get some quizzical looks at Immigration (everyone over the age of 16 gets fingerprinted and photographed on arrival).

FluffyMummy123 Thu 28-Aug-08 14:49:39

Message withdrawn

FluffyMummy123 Thu 28-Aug-08 14:50:16

Message withdrawn

Lizzylou Thu 28-Aug-08 14:52:16

Hi Kimi
You will be quizzed as to nature of your visit to the Arab country. DH and I were quizzed as to why we'd visited Morocco and India in the previous 12 months. Both were holidays.

hannahsaunt Thu 28-Aug-08 15:10:34

It's all a long, drawn out pain in the proverbial but once you have the visa it's good for 10 years. Dh had to get one as he had a (spent) speeding conviction. Embassy staff were a bit hmm that he's had to travel 500 miles just for speeding but that's the way it is. Apparently you get kept in a small windowless room for a long time waiting your turn and they confiscate your mobile on entry to the embassy.

PS Friend found it quicker to go to Belfast to get his done (another speeder)

Kimi Thu 28-Aug-08 20:02:17

icod, I was not cautioned as the crazy bitch woman I hit wanted to press charges and it was classed as a "hate crime" good old race card.

When it went to court, magistrate not crown the charge of aggravated racial assault (that I pleaded not guilty to) was dropped and I pleaded guilty to common assault and was fined £225.

The crazy child hitting bitch woman was not charged with anything despite hitting a 4 year old child for no reason hmm.

This was 7 years ago.

FluffyMummy123 Thu 28-Aug-08 20:02:51

Message withdrawn

Kimi Thu 28-Aug-08 20:11:13

Well said grin

SqueakyPop Thu 28-Aug-08 20:37:40

Have you spoken to a lawyer? The visa waiver form just asks for crimes of moral turpitude, and your low level assault doesn't figure (nor does the speeding fine that someone else mentioned).

The last thing you want to do is tell the US they are stupid for not admitting certain people, or to try to justify your crime.

Kimi Thu 28-Aug-08 20:44:18

I don't feel I committed a crime, I protected my child, end of.
If the woman I had hit had been the same colour as me it would never have got to court, so said my lawyer at the time.

It is not a crime of moral turpitude, so says the web site I was pointed too.

It is the time frame that is the problem as I don't have the dates I would be going and coming back, and if it takes 8 weeks to get the visa that could be too long...
Sodding paperwork!

SqueakyPop Thu 28-Aug-08 20:51:35

It doesn't matter what you feel - the fact is you were convicted. You, and your lawyer, need to decide if this is a crime of moral turpitude, and if it means you are ineligible for a vwp.

jojosmaman Thu 28-Aug-08 20:51:39

My dp has his third visa application interview attempt at the end of October as he has been refused twice sad. His are for convictions ten years ago, possession of cannabis (would just get a caution for this now angry) and a public order offence (doing the v-sign at opposing fans at a football match, I think he caught a policeman on a bad day!). In his previous interviews, the interviewers have said that they are not bothered about the public order offence, its the drugs they come down hard on so you'll probably be fine.

If anything this has been lesson to him but its a shame as these were teenage convictions, he doesnt smoke cannabis anymore and has not done for many years but he is still paying for his silly teenage mistake.

We went to Marrakech in feb Lizzylou, I wonder if they will ask him about this?

jojosmaman Thu 28-Aug-08 20:53:50

Oh and ditto what squeakypop said, if you really want to go to the US, don't try and justify your crime, just keep your answers simple and concise and appear sorry for your actions (even if you are not).

Portofino Thu 28-Aug-08 21:05:33

Must admit my DH has an old conviction for cannabis possession - he tells me this is spent. He/we have been to the US on umpteen occasions and he has never declared this on the visa waiver form. No problems - not sure if that's just because they never checked....

Kimi Thu 28-Aug-08 21:24:51

God I am confused now

jojosmaman Fri 29-Aug-08 09:16:23

Portofino- unfortunately no crime is spent in the eyes of the US embassy, if you have any conviction you are not eligible for visa waiver. Having said that, lots of people don't worry about it and are happy to take the chance (a friend told us one of their work colleagues had a convcition and prison sentence for armed robbery but still travels to and from the US with no problem). My dp was too paranoid (years of smoking cannabis!!??) about getting turned away in the states if they do a random check as if you are deported from the US you are almost certainly banned forever. In hindsight though, maybe he should have taken the risk as they have refused him up to now anyway.

Kimi Fri 29-Aug-08 10:16:10

Right spoke to the embassy again (£1.20 per min shock and spoke to a really nice Irish chap who was much more help then the useless polish woman I spoke to last time (is anyone American there I ask myself?)

I will need a visa, and I can get an emergency appointment (costs double) and I need to fill in about 4 squillian forms,

I think I should have just snuck in grin

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