Have a Criminal Record? Planning to Travel to the United States? Better Check Your Moral Turpitude.
Many believe that a criminal record automatically makes a person inadmissible to the United States. But, not all criminal convictions prohibit a person from entry to the USA. Only convictions that are considered crimes involving moral turpitude prevent entry.
Moral Turpitude is a legal concept used as the standard by U.S. Customs to determine if a person may enter. Moral turpitude has no precise definition. The type of crimes it includes changes over time. It generally refers to “conduct that is considered contrary to a community’s justice, honesty, or good morals”. Generally speaking, crimes of moral turpitude involve a degree of dishonesty and/or any crime that harms another.
Will My Convictions Prohibit Travel to the U.S.?
Convictions that are likely to prohibit travel to the U.S. include:
- Sexual assault
- Criminal harassment
- Drug offences
Some convictions that may not prohibit travel to the U.S include:
- Simple assault
- Possessing stolen property
- Carrying a concealed weapon
- Some Firearms Act violations
View the comprehensive list of crimes involving moral turpitude from the U.S. Department of State.
Do you have a conviction and need to travel to the states? Consult with a criminal lawyer before attempting to cross the U.S. border.