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SA Criminal Law - Convicted for Armed Robbery 10+ Years Ago - Affect Travel?

Discussion in 'Criminal Law Forum' started by dazers, 29 September 2015.

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  1. dazers

    dazers Member

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    Hello lovely people. Apologies if this is the wrong section to post. I have some inquiries about the following situation and would appreciate some detailed answers from some knowledgeable and kind people:

    Australian citizen, born here.

    Over 10 years ago, I was convicted of armed robbery, sentenced 5 years, served 13 months.

    No other serious criminal action that I'm aware.

    I'm seeking to travel to USA to visit girlfriend.

    What exactly is the process to find out if the trip is possible under Criminal Law?
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Under the Australian spent convictions scheme, your conviction would likely be considered spent under Australian law which means you would not have to disclose the conviction for most employers etc.

    However, the US Embassy states that "Australian applicants that have been arrested, convicted, cited, or charged for any offense, including those involving the use of a controlled substance, even if the charge was later dismissed, must apply for a visa prior to travel. This applies even to spent convictions or convictions that were not recorded."

    Usually Australians simply have to enter their details on the ETSA visa waiver system. This requires that you check boxes stating whether you have prior criminal convictions etc. Therefore I would contact the US embassy about obtaining a Visa to travel to the US to ensure that you can enter the country when you arrive.
     
  3. dazers

    dazers Member

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    The impression that I get from this answer and answers from other places is something like this:

    Technically a Visa must be applied for. Realistically, it is unnecessary.
    Details are simply entered into ETSA and Visa waiver granted.
    No cross checking of criminal history is done or background check.
    Criminal record info in Australia is not just transferred and swapped with USA willy-nilly.
    As long as the person is of good appearance and genuine intent they have nothing to worry about.
    It would be EXTREMELY UNLIKELY to be caught on the technicality.
    Due to being in SA, the person would have to travel interstate just to apply for a Visa. This makes applying for a Visa even more of an unreasonable, pointless, expensive proposition.
    The risk:reward and everything else dictates the best option for this particular individual is to just apply for a Visa waiver.
     

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