Convicted For Gbh 18 Months Ago Can I Travel To America ?

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hendy1992 | 21:28 Thu 04th Jul 2013 | Travel
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I was convicted of GBH section 20 the less severe version of GBH 18 months ago, me and my friends are looking to travel next year to America. There was a lot of mitigating factors involved in the case and I was not sent to prison I received a 5 month prison scentence suspended for 15 months. I have not been in trouble since then. I had a caution about 28 months ago for handling stolen goods, I received the lowest form of caution available. I have since turned my life around helping at charity events etc ..... Will I be allowed to enter the U.S ?


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Most convictions for assault aren't classed as 'moral turpitude' but handling stolen goods is.

See here for a summary:
(If you need the actual wording, see Reference 9 at the foot of the page).

Anyone convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude (except for a single such offence when still a minor) is automatically barred for life from entering the USA (under the US Immigration & Nationality Act).

[For the purposes of the Immigration & Nationality Act, it doesn't matter that you weren't actually convicted of handling stolen goods. Evidence that you've committed an act of moral turpitude, such as accepting a caution for it, is sufficient to trigger the bar].

Therefore, in the first instance, the US Embassy in London MUST refuse to issue you with a visa. (They have no choice; it's the law). However you could then ask for your application to be referred to Washington as a request for a 'waiver of permanent ineligibility'. Such requests take many months to process, and often end in refusal. (I've seen a case quoted, on this site, where a guy had to wait 14 months for a response to his application. He was then turned down due to 2 offences of driving without insurance).

Remembering that there's no point in booking travel until you know whether you'd get a visa or not, it's already very late to apply for travel next year. Further, given that your 'act of moral turpitude' was relatively recent AND that you've been convicted of a serious assault since then, I strongly suspect that your chances of obtaining a visa are completely NIL.

I suggest seeking an alternative destination.
um Caairo ?

a man of your abilities may be welcomed with open arms.....
Question Author
Thanks for the answer buenchico ... The section 20 GBH means that there was no intent in the crime ... Also the handling stolen goods both fall under crimes not considered to be Moral turpitude ..... For the GBH it says an assault without evil intent but can include the use of a weapon is not moral turpitude .... Same for handling ... Will I still be barred from entering even though my conviction was for assault without intent ?
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>>>The section 20 GBH means that there was no intent in the crime

It means that there was no intent to commit serious harm; it doesn't mean that there was no intent to commit harm. However I agree that it's almost certainly NOT 'moral turpitude'

>>>Also the handling stolen goods both fall under crimes not considered to be Moral turpitude

It counts as "receiving stolen goods (with guilty knowledge)", which IS 'moral turpitude'.

Even if both offences didn't constitute 'moral turpitude', you'd still need to apply for a visa. (Simply being arrested, even if totally innocent, is enough to prevent someone from entering the USA under the 'Visa Waiver Program'). It's extremely unlikely that the US Embassy would grant a visa to someone given a prison sentence (even if that sentence was suspended) within the past 5 years.

Stop clutching at straws and seek an alternative destination!
America is unlikely to allow you to enter as they have enough criminals of their own at the moment....try again later.

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