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I traveled to the UK on a visitors visa a couple of years ago. At the time I had one old conviction (20 years old) for a very minor offense which resulted in a very small fine, no jail time. I admitted this on my application and as expected it was of no concern. I have since decide to apply for a long term visa with the aim of eventually moving permanently.

I applied for a Police Clearance certificate last year and to my surprise found another conviction from 2005. Also minor (a traffic offense that is also a criminal offense) which led to another small fine and no jail time. I did not know about this because I did not go to court and paid what I thought was a regular traffic fine and am now told was an admission of guilt fine leading to instant conviction (this was not information I was given at the time.)

I’ve since had both expunged and now have a clean clearance certificate. I know that since I admitted the first offense on my visitor visa application I must admit it again. I would normally have no problem admitting the second since it was also minor and more than 10 years ago. My concern is that I did not admit it last time as I honestly did not know about it and my lack of admission last time will be seen as deception even if I explain the circumstances. But I am equally worried that if I do not admit it, even though it was expunged, they may find out and deny me the long term visa.

  • Nobody knows what will happen. Prognosticating the future is not our forté. Depends on the discretion of the ECO, that’s if he notices it. – cHiEf Immigration vIoLaTer Mar 4 at 11:39
  • Fair comment. Badly worded question, maybe. I was hoping someone could advise on a course of action. My inclination in these things is always to be honest. And hope it does not backfire. It's very possible they won't cross-reference my answers this time with last time. Also possible they won't even be able to find out about the conviction as expungement in my country means it is removed from police records, not just marked as "spent" (as the UK terms it.) But I do prefer honesty and expecting people to be reasonable about their response. – qbert Mar 4 at 11:52
  • What country are you from? It’s extremely unlikely the Uk has automated access to criminal databases of other countries (except for publicly available information—such as from criminal courts). – greatone Mar 4 at 17:24
  • For immigration purposes a criminal conviction will always exist, no matter whether a court expunges a record or not. Rather than us random strangers on the Internet, IMHO, it would be best to seek the guidance of a UK immigration advisor or solicitor, as you would eventually like to settle in the UK. See this Answer for links. It's in your favor that you disclosed one offense and received a visa, but you would want professional guidance so that the omission is not viewed as deception, but simply an oversight. – Giorgio Mar 4 at 23:14
  • @greatone it is always possible the UK can make a query to local police and get information. However in my country an expungement explicitly removes it from all police records. I.e., it is no longer in their database so it is likely - but not certain - they would not find it. This is different to some countries where it is only removed from your regular clearance/criminal report but is still in the records. But there is a record somewhere that I requested and was granted an expungement. – qbert Mar 5 at 19:42

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