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I did my bachelor in UK from 2009-2012. In 2010 when I was 18 years old I was caught for shoplifting. The police gave me a caution letter. I didn't have to go to the court. I was kept in jail for 2/3 hours after getting caught. I only had to pay fine. I left U.K. in 2012 October, with no other bad records. In 2013 I applied for tourist visa to U.K. to attend award ceremony of my internship my visa was denied stating I provided false information. I remember when I applied for visa extension in 2011, my university visa consultant suggested me to say I dong have any criminal conviction and I received my extension that time. In 2013 I did the same but I didn't only get denied visa, I also got banned for 10 years. I was really shocked.

I have a clean record in all the other countries I have lived and travelled so far. In past 5 years I have travelled to 24 countries (Asia, Europe, Africa) without any problem. My passport is quite filled with visas. I am not a UK citizen. I live in Germany now I'll have to go to USA this year to attend a conference. Now I'm really scared to apply for the visa. Do I answer NO for question "Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, even though subject of a pardon, amnesty, or other similar action? " Can they check my biometric of U.K. ? My UK visa is in my old passport and if I don't show the old passport they wouldn't know I lived in UK right?

  • Did they fingerprint you when they arrested you? – greatone Jun 19 '17 at 16:59
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    OF COURSE you should answer "yes". – Fattie Jun 19 '17 at 20:07
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    Your university visa consultant gave you a horrible advise. Getting caught lying in a visa application is a big issue. – Quora Feans Aug 29 '17 at 18:52
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Do I answer NO for question "Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, even though subject of a pardon, amnesty, or other similar action? "

Well, the very simple answer to that is "answer YES" because you were arrested, even though a Police caution is an "out of court disposal" and not a conviction - you were still arrested...

To suggest that you answer any other way would be suggesting that you do something that would put you in violation of US law when applying for a visa.

If you want to see what the UK holds on your police record, request an ACRO Police Certificate.

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Do I answer NO for question "Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, even though subject of a pardon, amnesty, or other similar action?

You have to answer YES, which is the truth.

Can they check my biometric of U.K. ? My UK visa is in my old passport and if I don't show the old passport they wouldn't know I lived in UK right?

Yes, they can check however it does not mean they will. Know that the USA and UK share immigration and law enforcement information more closely than any other two countries. See Five Eyes. Don't try to be smart or cunning. They have or can have access to more information about you than you know.

That said a simple crime of shoplifting does not necessarily make you inadmissible to the USA. From what you say, it is very possible (without more information) your offense may fall under exception (ii). You will however need all the disposition documents related to your arrest/charge to apply for the visa.

Read What are the chances of a US visa if I have a criminal record?

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).

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    The crime of petty theft may not make you inadmissible but how about the crime of deceiving immigration (max penalty 2 years prison) when aged 21? – RedGrittyBrick Jun 19 '17 at 14:49
  • @RedGrittyBrick He was not convicted of that crime nor even charged with that crime in the UK so it is immaterial. He however will still have a tough time getting a USA visa because of the UK ban. – user 56513 Jun 19 '17 at 14:52
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    @PaulofOsawatomie in the UK, in order to accept a police caution you have to admit guilt - so there is no need for a conviction. If you do not admit guilt, then the caution is not given and instead your case is referred upward, often to the Crown Prosecution Service for a decision on whether to press charges. – Moo Jun 19 '17 at 15:07
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    Make no mistake, a caution does remain on your police record, its not a "get out of jail free card" by any means and you should rarely accept one without speaking to a solicitor. – Moo Jun 19 '17 at 15:09
  • @moo Updated for clarity. The answer still stands in essence. Thanks – user 56513 Jun 19 '17 at 15:11

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