"Ema Nymton" wrote
| A friend of mine has a minor criminal record in the US. All of the
| crimes were committed over 10 years ago, however, when recently trying
| to visit Canada, he was denied admittance. The problem has since been
| resolved with the Canadian authorities, but he is worried that he may
| be prevented from vacationing in England for a week, this October. He
| will be bringing documentation with him to England in case there is a
| problem, but is there anything else that can be done? What is
| England's policy on this? All of the offenses were misdemeanors, and
| as I said they were all very long ago. But the Canada incident has us
Well, we allowed the boxer Mike Tyson, a convicted rapist in, although there
was a lot of controversy - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/752952.stm
The www.ukvisas.gov.uk website is the UK Government's guide and it says,
Q: What if I have been refused a visa for another country before?
A: Each visa application for the UK is dealt with on it's own merits, but
an entry clearance officer may wish to know why another country refused you
From 13 November 2003, entry clearance will be required for nationals of the
following countries who intend to stay in the UK for _longer than six
months:_ ... the USA.
The website confirms that USA nationals, travelling from the USA, for
tourist/visit purposes, confirms you do not need a visa: (Do You Need A
Visa? section, database generated so can't post URL)
You asked if a national of United States needs a visa to come to the UK as a
No, you do not need a visa.
On arrival in the UK you must satisfy an immigration officer that you
qualify for entry to the United Kingdom as a visitor. under the Immigration
Please see Guidance - Visitors for further information. Your sponsor, if
you have one, may wish to see Guidance - Sponsors.
N.B. Even though you do not need a visa, if you have been previously
refused entry clearance for, or entry to the UK, you may wish to consider
applying for one, to find out if you qualify for entry before you travel.
Please contact Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York for further information.
For addresses see www.BritainUSA.com or
11766 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1200 Los Angeles, California 90025-6538
Telephone: (310) 481 0031 (310) 481 2900 Visa
Facsimile: (310) 481 2960 (310) 481 2961 (Visas only)
845 Third Avenue New York NY 10022
Telephone: (212) 745 0200 British Consulate-General Main Switchboard
(212) 745 0200 Consular and Visa
Facsimile: (212) 754 3062 Consular and Visa
The Wrigley Building 400 N Michigan Avenue Suite 1380 Chicago IL 60611
Telephone: (1)(312) 970 3800
Facsimile: (1)(312) 970 3852 (1)(312) 970 3854 Consular/Visa Sections only
How do I qualify to travel to the UK as a visitor?
You must be able to show that you:
- want to visit the UK for no more than six months
- plan to leave the UK at the end of your visit
- have enough money to support and accommodate yourself adequately without
working or help from public funds
The Immigration and Naturalisation Dept (IND) at www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk
has the conditions on which permission to enter may be granted or refused:
Grounds for normal refusal include:
(18) save where the Immigration Officer is satisfied that admission would
be justified for strong compassionate reasons, conviction in any country
including the United Kingdom of an offence which, if committed in the United
Kingdom, is punishable with imprisonment for a term of 12 months or any
greater punishment or, if committed outside the United Kingdom, would be so
punishable if the conduct constituting the offence had occurred in the
(19) where, from information available to the Immigration Officer, it
seems right to refuse leave to enter on the ground that exclusion from the
United Kingdom is conducive to the public good; if, for example, in the
light of the character, conduct or associations of the person seeking leave
to enter it is undesirable to give him leave to enter.
Grounds for refusal of leave to enter in relation to a person in possession
of an entry clearance, include:
321. A person seeking leave to enter the United Kingdom who holds an entry
clearance which was duly issued to him and is still current may be refused
leave to enter only where the Immigration Officer is satisfied that:
(iii) refusal is justified on grounds of restricted return ability; on
medical grounds; on grounds of criminal record; ...
It would seem prudent for your friend to contact one of the Consulates
mentioned above to discuss whether his particular circumstances are likely
to give cause for concern to the Immigration Officer at the time of arrival.