USA travel & esta with old assault charge

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Happy88

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2 September 2018
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Looking to go to Hawaii with my parents at Easter next year, however before booking tickets want to clarify my dad can actually go!o_O

He has an "Unlawful Assault" conviction from 1970 when he was 18, he paid a fine, no jail time and nothing since. It came up on a police check a few years ago for a job he accepted so it's still around.

We're having trouble with the esta question, and moral turpitude. With all honesty he feels he can answer NO to this question as it is asked:

"Have you ever been arrested or convicted for a crime that resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority?"

Is someone who causes "serious harm" charged with Unlawful Assault?

It then goes on to say:
There are factors, such as the age of the offender or the date of the offense that may affect whether an offense will be considered a crime involving moral turpitude for purposes of the Immigration.
- An almost 50 year old conviction with nothing since.

We are worried that when we get to immigration he might have to answer a simpler question i.e Have you ever been convicted of a crime? In which case he would answer Yes, and he may then be in for a few hours of hard time??We will have a connecting flight to Maui, so we can't account for this.

We aren't going until Easter next year, so have plenty of time to pay the $14 and see if it's approved, however I don't really see the point because it says that esta allows travel but not guaranteed admission. So we would be worried in the lead up and of course upon landing!

With this charge, are we wrong to think he can rightfully answer that question with NO as it's asked? Or to be safe, do we go the B1 visa route requiring what I'm assuming is an interview at embassy etc, no doubt boat loads of fees, and know 100%. (

Would be appreciative of any help so we can go ahead and book our holiday!
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

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16 February 2017
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I suggest you look at the USA information and see what they mean by 'serious harm'.
 

Happy88

Member
2 September 2018
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0
1
I suggest you look at the USA information and see what they mean by 'serious harm'.
From what I can tell (google), assault crimes of moral turpitude are deemed to be ): Assault (with intent to kill, commit r**e, commit robbery or commit serious bodily harm), Assault (with a dangerous or deadly weapon).

About what I thought a reasonable definition of serious harm would be, not a pub biff in the 70s.

He can honestly answer No to that question but isn't convinced he won't still be pulled up on it on arrival so I think he'll opt out which sucks
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

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He can still apply for a visa. The ESTA is just a manner of short cutting that process.