Applyinf for a US Travel Visa with criminal convictions

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natlever | 15:56 Tue 20th Apr 2010 | Travel
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My partner and i are due to travel to las vegas to get married in 8 weeks, having applied for the visa waiver my partner has been declined and has to apply to the embassy for a travel visa as he has spent time in prison. He was in prison in 2001 and served 4 and a half months of a 9 month sentance for assault (GBH) and since then was arrested in 2007 for fighting, (he was later released with no charge) other thn this he has some other small things on his record from when he was a lot younger... Has anybody ever had an interview that has been in a similar situation and been refused or accepted?? Please help i am panicing like mad!!!!


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has he got an appointment at the embassy yet? Im sure someone said recently that they take months.
hi, i dont have any experience of this personally but i do know it can take a while, probabl;y longer than 2 months
(2-part post):

The first thing that the consular officer will have to establish is whether your partner has committed ANY offence of 'moral turpitude' after reaching the age of 18. If he has, he's automatically ineligible (in the first instance) for a US visa. The consular officer has absolutely no discretion in the matter. The US Immigration and Nationality Act applies and the US embassy MUST refuse to issue a visa. However the applicant can then apply for a 'waiver of ineligibility', but that application has to be considered in Washington. If a waiver is granted, the visa application can then be reconsidered (but there's still no guarantee that a visa will be granted).

Whether 'GBH' falls into the definition of 'moral turpitude' probably depends upon the circumstances. If it was "with intent to commit serious bodily harm" or "with a dangerous or deadly weapon" it definitely does. Otherwise it probably doesn't:

However the 'other small things' you mention might (if they were committed after the age of 18) be far more serious. All theft constitutes 'moral turpitude'. So, as far as the US authorities are concerned, nicking a Mars bar is worse than committing a serious assault. Fraud (e.g. using a child ticket for adult travel on the Underground) also counts as 'moral turpitude':
If the consular officer decides that your partner has NOT (after the age of 18) committed any offence involving moral turpitude, he MIGHT be granted a visa. (If so, the decision will probably only take a few days).

If the consular official decides that your partner HAS (after the age of 18) committed any offence involving moral turpitude, the application will be referred to Washington. The chances of receiving a visa within 8 weeks (if one is actually granted) are almost NIL. The embassy website won't even respond to enquiries before 90 days have passed:

The longest wait I've seen reported, here on AB, was from someone whose partner had been convicted of two offences of driving without insurance. He waited 15 months before his visa application was refused.

Question Author
Thankyou for this... I spoke with the embassy yesterday and we have applied for his police certificate in advance (which I am led to believe can speed ip the process) once I have sent this over (I should receive this by Monday) we can then book the interview, there is currently a 17 day wait for the interviews... I'm really looking for somebody who has been in a similar situation and actually been through the interview process....
What do you mean he was declined for the VWP? did he just tick yes in the crimes involving moral turpitude? I am going through something simlar after after having spoken to plebty of people with regards to this I may still yet be ok though nothing is certain thats for sure.
i know this must be very worrying but why did u not apply earlier ? I suggest you change your venue to a country where they are not so strict, you certainly wont get an answer within 8 weeks. Why not try one of these agencies that do it all for you ? they may have some tips on how to speed things up but ts going to cost plenty, but its worth a try.Good luck because Vegas weddings can be amazing.
Question Author
Fru 124 yes he ticked yes to the question regarding convictions.

Dee Sa - Thanks? We are still keeping the wedding booked for now, he has sent off for his police certificate and paid extra to receive it back within 5 days, once he has this he needs to email this to the embassy (to address they have already provided) it takes upto a maximum of 5 days for them to confirm they have received the documents at which point he can book an interview, there is currently a 12 day waiting list for an interview. On the interview he will be asked questions regarding the conviction and then told wether he has been granted one or not. If he is, it takes 5 working days to get to you. So i am still hopeful...

Theres a lot of people who are giving me an opinion which to be honest im not too interested in, as i said im looking for somebody who has actually been through the process!!! Ive heard, my friend said and im sure u wont get one really dont tell me anything!!!
natlever I truly hope it all works out for you, where are you going to get married in Vegas ? think positive, would it help if u went with for the interview as the "anxious fiance" or are they immune to all that ?keep us posted pls.
I think you are very lucky to get things done so quickly some people wait months.
Have a lovely wedding. I alway wanted to get married in Vegas but hubby was appalled at the idea so I settled for Hornchurch. Essex !!!!!
Question Author
Just wanted to let everyone know, my partner received his police certificate in the post on the 28th April, we emailed our doc over to the embassy and got a reply on the 30th april, his interview was booked for the 4th May and he was granted the visa!!!!!! So our wedding in Vegas is still going ahead!!!!! Would just like to say to anyone in this position we did a hell of a lot of worrying for nothing reallly, stressing and crying and it was all over within an hour or so..... we are very lucky and im so pleased its all worked out!!!!

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