Post # 1
Ok Bees, I need your help.
The SO and I are (hopefully) going to Vegas with another couple next year. The SO, his friend A and I all qualify for the US Visa Waiver programme but C does not – as she has a criminal record.
Now, it’s a drug charge from about four years ago, no jail time served, probably a class C I think. She’s going for an interview with the US consulate to apply for a Visa to travel to the US. We’re told that she might get rejected but she can apply for an appeal by getting an MP to write an endorsement for her.
My question is… has anyone gone through a similar experience or know someone who has tried to apply for a US Visa who has a past charge? I’m really concerned as to what her chances are of actually getting approved to go and we’ve been told conflicting things by different people and I was hoping there might be someone here who can shed some light. We just want to see if we can hope or if we need to start thinking of some back-up plan.
Post # 3
I would start thinking of a backup plan, as the drug charge can be grounds for rejection. There are some crimes which they will overlook (petty theft) but drug charges tend to be a pretty big black mark in the eyes of US Immigration. I’d recommend your friend go for her interview with bank records and employment records in hand, to show that she can support herself in the States without selling drugs (even if her arrest was just for possession), and that she has a job to go back to (meaning she won’t drop off the radar in the US and stay forever). If you’ve already purchased plane tickets, a return itinerary would help demonstrate that she has solid plans to return home.
Your backup plan would have to be either leaving her at home, or all traveling somewhere else; flying to Canada and attempting to drive to the US would probably be a bad idea, as there are passport checks at the border crossing, and if you’ve been denied a Visa, it’s pretty easy for the immigrations guys to spot that.
Post # 4
@fishbone: Thank you for your reply! We have been told that the US are, understandably so, very strict when it comes to drug charges hence why we’ve been worried. Your advice to bring additional paperwork is quite sound and I’ve already messaged her about it – hopefully she hasn’t gone to see them yet.
Lol to be honest, the flying to Canada idea would never have crossed my mind to do. Besides we don’t have a choice in terms of travelling elsewhere or even flights – the tickets were won through a competition so at least none of us will be losing money if she doesn’t get to go. Still, it will be their honeymoon so it’s going to really suck if it all falls through *sigh*