My husband was previously (2011,2013,2014) issued a B2 visa after having his ESTA application denied due to the moral turpitude question. He was given a B2 visa and we have travelled to the USA four times on this visa. This visa has since expired.

When doing my own ESTA now, I have noted that the question of moral turpitude has been removed from the ESTA application, so my husband should now pass the application. If he does so, will he be questioned or denied entry upon arrival in Hawaii as to why he previously had a B2 but now has an ESTA?

Also, for the question "Have you ever been denied a visa?" his answer is "no", isn't it? Because he was denied ESTA but granted a B2? He was never denied the B2 or entry to the USA previously. Only the ESTA was denied.

2 Answers 2


The moral turpitude question hasn't been removed so much as reworded. Presumably this was because few people actually know what turpitude means, much less whether a given crime involves moral turpitude, perhaps unless the person in question is a US immigration lawyer.

The current question seems to be

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?

If the crime that prompted your husband to answer yes to the moral turpitude question truly, honestly did not result in serious damage or harm, then he should be okay applying for ESTA. Don't be surprised if they look at his previous ESTA refusal and refuse this one too, but then again they might look at his visas and grant the ESTA.

Will he be questioned or denied entry ipon arrival In hawaii as to why he previously had a B2 but now has an esta?

He might be. If he is questioned, he should just answer everything honestly and be forthcoming about his history (as I presume he was in previous visa applications and applications at the border for admission to the country).

Also the question have you ever been denied a visa his answer is no is t it because he was denied the VWP but granted a B2 ? He was never denied the b2 or entry to the usa previously only the VWp

Actually, he wasn't even denied the VWP; he was denied ESTA. And, as the US goes to great pains to point out, ESTA is not a visa. So yes, his answer to the question were you ever denied a visa is no.

  • 1
    Is there a legal definition of ‘serious damage’?
    – Traveller
    Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 9:58
  • @Traveller probably not. As I understand it, the new question derives from the meaning of "moral turpitude." The standard may have been established by court precedent, but there is no statutory or regulatory definition.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 13:51

As phoog's answer says, the question was reworded. However, I have to say you should ask a US immigration lawyer about this before attempting it. If you've successfully gotten B2 visas in the past by being upfront, the last thing you want to do is lie on an ESTA application (in the eyes of US immigration) and become inadmissible due to different interpretations of whether a particular crime does or does not involve moral turpitude.

You didn't say what the crime involving moral turpitude was, but even if most people would consider it not to cause serious damage or harm (such as carrying a small amount of marijuana for personal use), US immigration may find that you still should have answered "yes" to the new wording.

  • This is certainly a concern, but crime of moral turpitude has to do with general grounds of inadmissibility, but just eligibility to use the VWP. So the grant of a visa is possibly equivalent to a finding that he should have answered no to the question on the first application. It could also imply, however, that he qualifies for one of the exceptions.
    – phoog
    Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 17:12
  • @phoog Exactly---it's hard to tell which case it is.
    – krubo
    Commented Apr 20, 2019 at 19:24

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