ESTA with a Criminal Record

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ESTA Application for Those Who Have Been Convicted or Have Criminal Record

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Is ESTA Applicable for Those Who Have Been Convicted or Have Criminal Record?

ESTA Application for Those Who Have Been Convicted or Have Criminal Record

Questionnaires of ESTA application have questions related to your criminal record in the past. Concept of criminal record is mainly cases corresponding to the lists below.

  • Crimes which give harm to others such as murder, accidental homicide, serious assault, kidnapping and multiple vicious traffic violation
  • Crimes depriving property of others such as arson, robbery, theft, fraud and receipt of stolen goods
  • Crimes inflict damages upon government authorities such as a large amount of tax evasion, bribery, false evidence and drug offense

Those who were arrested under crime listed above by criminal conviction need to answer “Yes” to the question. In general, those who answer “Yes” would not be authorized ESTA to travel to the U.S., instead, find necessary visa for your purpose of the visit to the U.S.
For detailed visa information and required documents, click link below.
There is a case of being considered as a subject even if lists above are not applicable to the person, depending on the quality or contents of the crime. No matter which area the crime happened or nationality, those who have arrested, prosecuted or convicted by serious crime in the past need to answer the truth when applying for ESTA.

ESTA Application for Those Who with a Past Conviction

ESTA Application for Those Who Have Traffic Offence

Rules established by U.S. government authorities, traffic offence or drunken driving without causing involuntary homicide would not be considered as serious crime. However, those who have been arrested as addicts by violating the liquor laws repeatedly must answer “Yes” to the question for criminal record of ESTA application. In case of infliction of serious harm upon others or serious damage upon government authorities’ assets by traffic offence and drunken driving must answer “Yes”. Those who have experience of speeding or parking violation without gross negligence in the past could select “No”.

ESTA Application for Those Who were Convicted for Drug Offense

Those who had arrested under possessing, using or distributing illegal drugs in the past must answer “Yes” to the question for criminal record of ESTA application.
Medical cannabis is also qualified as illegal drugs in the U.S. However, those who used medical cannabis for therapeutic purpose and not convicted could select “No” to the question for criminal record of ESTA application. Use of Medical Cannabis is based on the country where an applicant resides. Those who have criminal record by drug offense are not subjected to ESTA application, therefore apply visa at U.S. embassy or consulate general.

ESTA Application for Those Who were Convicted by Assault

In case of no infliction of serious harm or damage to individual or others’ assets by assault in the past, select “No” to the question for criminal record of ESTA application. However, those who have been arrested as being part of multiple assault cases or habitual offender of the assault are considered as “Yes”, and travel to the U.S. by ESTA would not be allowed. Also, those who had arrested or prosecuted for a crime with assault, and later found as the wrong person still need to select “Yes” to the question for criminal record.

ESTA Application for Those Who Have Suspended Sentence

Suspended Sentence is basically the judiciary punishment with conditions, therefore arrest or prosecution occurred by additional crime would revoke suspension and carry out the punishment instead. CBP (the U.S. Customs and Border Protection) that has jurisdiction over ESTA does not qualify those people who are in the suspension as criminal by the moral confusion.

Necessity for Not Hiding the Criminal Record

The law for supporting criminal’s return to daily lives into society is not established under U.S. immigration law. Therefore, strict restriction for the entry to the country is formulated for those criminals who inflicted serious harm, or those who were being part of the serious crime case in the past. ESTA, the travel authorization system prior to departure, is playing significant role of judgment for those who wish to travel to the U.S. as safe citizens and would have no harm to the U.S. Those who have serious criminal record in the past or have arrested in the U.S. are judged as security risk, therefore entry to the U.S. by ESTA would not be permitted. Besides, those who have been judged as overstay in the U.S. or any other countries, and forcibly deported back to their countries are not subject to ESTA application. They are not allowed to travel to the U.S. with visa either. Please refer to the link below for the differences between ESTA and visa, or for suitable cases of visa acquisition when traveling to the U.S.

Apply for ESTA here Please apply 72 hours before departure