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american visa!!

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amye86 | 17:30 Sat 10th Sep 2011 | Travel
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i have just booked a holiday to florida, and have been told that i have to get a visa. i have been aressted twice in 2009 but never charge or convicted of anything. i never even got my finger prints taken. one of them was for the miss use of drugs act and only got a warning which doesnt show up on your record. i have had a CRB check for a job last year and there was nothing showing up on my record. will i be ok getting through immigration. thanks.

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> have been told that I have to get a visa.

By whom...?
Question Author
the travel agent told us, u have to compleat a form on line. and also u have to answer a questionair on the plane. if i havent had my finger prints taken is there any way of them finding out i have been arrested even tho i havent got a record. i know alot of people that have got a crinimal record and have just risked it and go through but it would just be my luck.
> the travel agent told us, u have to compleat a form on line. and also u have to answer a questionair on the plane

Presumably you mean that the travel agent told you you have to complete a form on line and also have to answer a questionnaire on the plane?

Once again, who told you that you need a visa?
You have to complete a ESTA online, cost $14 I think. I would have thought you would be fine but have a read of the ESTA conditions on the website https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
It's a landing card you have to complete, just asks name, passport number and where you're staying, how long you're staying for, business or pleasure, that kind of thing, nothing about criminal activity. All countries do it, if you fly into the UK from non European country with a non EU passport you would have to complete one
You have been correctly informed that a visa is required if you've ever been arrested (even if you were totally innocent):
http://london.usembassy.gov/add_req.html

However the US immigration authorities have no direct access to UK police records so, if you choose to 'forget' your arrests, (and travel with an ESTA under the Visa Waiver Program) the chances of you encountering any problems are virtually zero. The US authorities have to make a specific request in order to receive information about any particular individual. (Even so, you can't assume that the police have no record of your arrests. A standard CRB check wouldn't show them, and an enhanced check would only have shown them if they were deemed relevant to your employment application by a senior police officer).

If you're a British Asian the US authorities might well decide to check up on you, and seek information from the UK authorities. Otherwise (unless you have the misfortune to share the name of a known terrorist) it's probably unlikely that they'd do so.

If you decide to 'go by the book' and apply for a visa, follow the links from the left hand side of my link for the relevant information. You'll have to apply to your local police force for a copy of your 'police record' - even if it's totally clear - and pay the relevant fee. You'll also have to book an interview at the US Embassy in London. (The waiting list is currently 18 days). The processing time after that is around 5 days (unless you were, for example, arrested for possible links to terrorist organisations, or other serious crime - in which case the processing time could be over a year). You'll also have to pay for the visa application and for having your passport sent back to you.

If you decide to 'forget' your arrests, and apply for an ESTA, start here:
http://www.cbp.gov/xp.../travel/id_visa/esta/

Chris
amye ... I can't help you .. but I hope you find the answer you need from the positive feedback.
So every man, woman and child who is going to Disneyland Florida has to pay $14 dollars before they travel. I've never heard of that one before rocky.
ESTA, the online electronic travel authority which will eventually replace the Visa Waiver Program for eligible (non arrested/convicted) UK citizens, was initally free but now costs, so you better blimmin' believe it - chrissa1.
Well I'm not blimming well going to go there then LCD. Do the Travel Agents not do it for you?
No, you do for yourself using the link in Beunchico's post. The ESTA has been in force for a couple of years now, and charging since earlier this year. Eligible citizens travelling to the USA under the VWP have always had to fill in a form on the airplane, nowthey have to fill one in online PRIOR TO TRAVELLING, and pay, to get permission to travel to the USA.

If you are not eligible to travel under ESTA/VWP then you MUST get a full Visa from the US Embassy which as Beunchico said, takes time, is a total faff and is NOT guarenteed to be granted- depends on what you were convicted of.
Lots of countries ask for visas, and some are very expensive. I have just got back from China, and the visa and all the expenses associated with it cost around £120. In many cases you have to organise it yourself by going to the nearest Consulate of the country concerned, or by paying an agent to do it all for you.
Even the UK expects nationals of some countries to have a visa to enter the UK
They ask for a visa to enter the UK??
Miss Meg:
People from the following countries need a visa to enter the UK as a tourist:
Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Angola
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Bahrain
Bangladesh
Belarus
Benin
Bhutan
Bolivia
Bosnia Herzegovina
Burkina Faso
Burma
Burundi
Cambodia
Cameroon
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Chad
People's Republic of China (unless they hold a passport issued by Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or Macao Special Administrative Region)
Colombia
Comoros
Congo
Cuba
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Djibouti
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Fiji
Gabon
Gambia
Georgia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea Bissau
Guyana
Haiti
India
Indonesia
Iran
Iraq
Ivory Coast
Jamaica
Jordan
Kazakhstan
Kenya
Korea (North)
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia
Libya
Macedonia
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Moldova
Mongolia
Morocco
Mozambique
Nepal
Niger
Nigeria
Oman
Pakistan
Peru
Philippines
Qatar
Russia
Rwanda
Sao Tome e Principe
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Somalia
South Africa
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Surinam
Swaziland
Syria
Taiwan (unless they hold a Taiwan passport which includes the number of the identification card issued by the competent authority in Taiwan)
Tajikistan
Tanzania
Thailand
Togo
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
Uzbekistan
Venezuela (unless they hold a Venezuelan passport which contains biometric information held in an electronic chip)
Vietnam
Yemen
Zambia
Zimbabwe
The territories formerly comprising the socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

People from nearly all non-EU countries require a visa to enter the UK for most purposes other than tourism.
Thank you, comforting to know some countries have controlled entry.
as others have said - don't bother telling the Americans about your non-crimes, just complete a visa waiver application online - follow Buenchico's second link. It does cost money, though far less than you'd pay to go to many other countries. (Those who feel bad about it could go to Paris Disney instead.) They don't ask you to fill out another form on the plane any more.
Looking at Chris's list of countries I noticed no mention of the USA, interesting!!
well, the vast majority british people don't need a visa to enter the USA, so it's not much different
Yes bednobs but it seems you still have to pay for a Waiver. In the 90's we went to The Bahamas for a holiday and we didn't need a Visa. Mind you I can't imagine many people wanting to become an immigrant there. If you see what I mean.
yip - it's all a conspiracy.

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