I applied for a VWP/ESTA to travel to the US for a short trip to New York but I answered 'yes' to the question regarding criminal record. So, now I have to get a Police Certificate from ACPO and then travel to the US Embassy in London.

In 1980, I was charged with receiving stolen goods during a night out drinking with my mates. My friend stole an ornament and showed it to me and that's why they charged me; I got convicted and fined.

As this does come under Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude even though it is a petty crime, would I be approved a visa or would I have to get a waiver of ineligibility?

Also, if I were denied a visa would this show in my passport and if so would this have any impact on travel to other countries?

I have just the one conviction which I have stated, and I have kept a clean record since.

I have also received my ACPO which says No Trace. I have also received 2 Subject access one from my local police where I was arrested and charged and also a Subject access from the police national computer and both say there are no records due to the time that has elapsed.

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    You will be asking for a waiver of ineligibility and the consular officer interviewing you at the US Embassy in London will tell you if you can apply for a waiver and, if so, will give you the details of how to do it. With an offense that old, a clean record since, hopefully you will be successful.
    – Giorgio
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 22:54
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    @Dorothy: I am not sure there is necessarily an inadmissibility. There would only be an inadmissibility if he was convicted of a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude, or if he was convicted of multiple offenses. It's not clear he has that.
    – user102008
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 23:22
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    @user102008 true; he correctly revealed the conviction on his VWP/ESTA and has been asked to get the police cert so that he can apply for the waiver of ineligibility, if required. Any conviction can be a problem and the consulate will tell him whether he needs a waiver.
    – Giorgio
    Commented Jan 25, 2017 at 23:34
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    @Dorothy - The OP's crime is not grounds for visa ineligibility, so not cause to apply for a Waive of Ineligibility. The authorities want a copy of his record simply to have the actual facts, not the OP's version of the story. That said, they will consider his record when deciding to allow his visit. But likely it will not be the cause of a refusal.
    – user13044
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 1:14
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    You'll find the rules here. Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 6:35

1 Answer 1


In my opinion, the chances are 50/50 maybe even better. You are talking about an issue that happened 37 years ago, and from your assertion (without us seeing your charge and discharge documents) a petty theft, which we cannot conclude is a CIMT. Your writeup also does not imply you have multiple felonies

Not all receiving of stolen property is a CIMT. An example receipt of stolen property with intent to temporarily deprive, under Calif. Veh. Code § 10851 or Calif. P.C. § 496(a) is not a CIMT.

Without knowing if it is definitively a CIMT, we cannot tell if it makes you inadmissible to the USA.

Now even assuming it is a CIMT it will have to be determined the maximum punishment you could face before declaring you inadmissible and in need of a waiver. Check your discharge papers if the exculpatory clauses in italics apply to you.

If you're not familiar with law, get an attorney for a small fee to examine your discharge and charging papers and exact wording and designation of your offense to determine the maximum penalties and then if he determines the exculpatory clause applies to you, prepare a small brief which the consular, a layman can understand.

Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws

(i) In general.-Except as provided in clause (ii), any alien convicted of, or who admits having committed, or who admits committing acts which constitute the essential elements of-


(I) a crime involving moral turpitude (other than a purely political offense) or an attempt or conspiracy to commit such a crime, or

(II) a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)), is inadmissible.

(ii) Exception.-Clause (i)(I) shall not apply to an alien who committed only one crime if-

(I) the crime was committed when the alien was under 18 years of age, and the crime was committed (and the alien released from any confinement to a prison or correctional institution imposed for the crime) more than 5 years before the date of application for a visa or other documentation and the date of application for admission to the United States, or

(II) the maximum penalty possible for the crime of which the alien was convicted (or which the alien admits having committed or of which the acts that the alien admits having committed constituted the essential elements) did not exceed imprisonment for one year and, if the alien was convicted of such crime, the alien was not sentenced to a term of imprisonment in excess of 6 months (regardless of the extent to which the sentence was ultimately executed).

It's not that complex.

If visa application is denied, a refusal stamp may be placed in your passport. Does it affect you negatively when trying to visit other countries? Yes, however it is not by any stretch a death knell.

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