list arrest (not conviction) on fiance visa application

Old Aug 30th 2018, 4:10 pm
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Question list arrest (not conviction) on fiance visa application

Hello! I have a question regarding fiancé/spousal visas that I’m hoping someone might be able to help with.

I am planning to come over to the UK on a fiancé visa to be with my British partner (I am American). Once there, we will get married and then apply for a spousal visa. While we haven’t made any further plans than this, it’s possible that down the line we will then look into getting ILR or citizenship. We’ve tried to do our homework about the process and what is required of us, and mainly I think we have a firm grasp on things. However, we have a question regarding the Criminal History portion of the application.

Without going in to too much detail, there was an incident several years ago and I ended up being arrested for battery (misdemeanor) in the US. The entire situation was completely ridiculous, and in my opinion the arrest was completely unjustified. But in any case, charges were never even filed, so I was never actually convicted of anything. There are no outstanding issues with this, and I am actually now in the process of trying to get the arrest sealed on my record. Apart from one speeding ticket (also several years ago), I have no other blemishes on my record. I am a very law-abiding citizen, but I am terrified that this one infraction is going to completely derail our plans for me to live in the UK with my partner. A few questions around this:


1. Do I need to disclose this arrest on the application? I believe I can safely mark “No” on the questions referencing “convictions” (since I don’t have any) and “awaiting/currently on trial” (since I am not). But my concern lies with the “Have you engaged in any other activities that might indicate that you may not be admitted to the UK” and “Have you received any other penalty in relation to a criminal offence; for example a caution, reprimand, warning, or similar penalties in the UK or any other country” questions.

2. Is a background check performed on all applicants? If so, is it worth waiting until my arrest has been sealed? However, I assume that if a background check is performed, it will be an FBI one which would show the arrest anyway…

3. Is it worth getting a lawyer to do the application? We would prefer NOT to use a lawyer since we are trying to save money at the moment, but if there would be a distinct advantage to using one, we are open to this.

4. Would there be any difference between the fiancé visa application and other visas down the line (i.e., if this doesn’t prevent me from getting my fiancé visa, would there be some reason why it might prevent me from getting ILR, etc.)?

5. Do I need to declare my speeding ticket?

6. If I do have to disclose the arrest, do I have to submit supporting documentation like the police report, etc.?

7. If we do end up needing to use a lawyer to assist with the application, what would be a reasonable ballpark for what we could expect to pay?

Please note that I am *not* in any way trying to do anything illegal by not listing it if I am required to. I want to do everything 100% by the book so that we don’t come into any issues later. I would mainly just like to know what is/isn’t required since I find the language on the application to be slightly vague. Many thanks in advance for any input.
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Old Aug 31st 2018, 12:51 am
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Default Re: list arrest (not conviction) on fiance visa application

1. An arrest is not a conviction. A caution, reprimand, etc.. all indicate an acceptance of guilt for a crime. This would not apply in your case.

2. HMG does not have access to US criminal records and the Home Office does not request police certificates from visa applicants.

3. No more than any other applicant.

4. No. ILR/citizenship checks whether you have been paying your taxes and National Insurance but is otherwise the same.

5. No.

6. N/A.

7. N/A.
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Old Aug 31st 2018, 6:28 pm
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Default Re: list arrest (not conviction) on fiance visa application

Thanks for the replies, BritInParis! That is pretty much what I wanted to hear. Most of the advice I've been getting has been to disclose it, but if it's not required to disclose it (since it's not a conviction) and if no background checks are performed that would show the arrest, then I would prefer not to mention it.

Do you happen to know what is done with the fingerprints we must provide at our biometrics appointment (e.g., are they run through any criminal databases)?
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Old Sep 3rd 2018, 12:08 am
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Default Re: list arrest (not conviction) on fiance visa application

Originally Posted by happyhippo View Post
Thanks for the replies, BritInParis! That is pretty much what I wanted to hear. Most of the advice I've been getting has been to disclose it, but if it's not required to disclose it (since it's not a conviction) and if no background checks are performed that would show the arrest, then I would prefer not to mention it.

Do you happen to know what is done with the fingerprints we must provide at our biometrics appointment (e.g., are they run through any criminal databases)?
You can disclose your arrest/speeding ticket in the 'additional information' section if you really want to but there's no need to if you have answered all the questions regarding your character truthfully.

Your biometrics are primarily used to prevent identity fraud. The Home Office won't be asking the FBI to check your criminal record.
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Old Sep 4th 2018, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: list arrest (not conviction) on fiance visa application

Ah ok, that's good to know. Thanks!
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