Consider someone (UK Citizen) who had been arrested but had No Further Action taken by the CPS (i.e. arrested and not charged with an offence) then successfully applied for the record to be deleted via ACRO.

They will therefore have no record of the arrest on:

US Visa applications (DS-160 form) ask: "Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offence or crime, even though subject of a pardon, amnesty or other similar action.

From what I understand, pardons or amnesties are given to people who are convicted (i.e. proven or admitted guilt) of an offence but later "un-punished" (for want of a better word!):

  • Pardon: "...a government decision to allow a person to be relieved of some or all of the legal consequences resulting from a criminal conviction".
  • Amnesty "an official pardon for people who have been convicted of political offences".

Would such a person be required to answer "yes" to this question? I.e. is the ACRO deletion process covered by "other similar actions"?

The only place a record could still exist would be on the local police force's system (they are not always deleted alongside the PNC record) - plus any paper records that the person arrested kept.

I've seen posts saying the US has no access to UK records and would therefore have to request via Interpol - which of course is not routine practise for every single Visa application.

Could any future partnership between the two countries change their current level of visibility to include such a deleted record?

Should the person choose to answer "no", would the US be able to see any records of this arrest?

  • Your second question basically acknowledges that you were arrested, then asks whether you should lie about it.
    – user71659
    Mar 23, 2023 at 22:26

1 Answer 1


Would such a person be required to answer "yes"


Have you ever been arrested

Yes, you have been arrested, there are no ways around it. The fact that a prosecutor didn't take action on your case didn't rewrite the facts.

From the US embassy in the UK :

If you have ever been arrested, cautioned and/or convicted of an offense anywhere in the world, you are required to declare it when applying for a visa.

They will therefore have no record of the arrest on:

The Personal data VCU01 form, that you are required to fill if you say Yes to that question in the DS160 states

Section Two: Fill in this section if the police certificate from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) states "No Trace" or "No Live Trace" or does not list, in full, your arrests/cautions/convictions.

This is obviously your case here, and then you will need to fill

Section Six: Fill in this section if you have ever answered "YES" to any of eligibility questions on the visa application form DS-160 that have not been fully explained in Sections Two to Five. Please review the information you have provided for accuracy

with all the details

You must answer Yes to the DS160 question and explain your case in the VCU01 form

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