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UK-Justice, Barrister
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 16193
Experience:  Called to the Bar in 2007
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(Indian) Need UK student visa after US shoplifting charge

Customer Question

I am an INDIAN citizen looking to apply for a PhD programme in the UK. In 2008 when I was in the US on some work I was charged with shoplifting (first and only time). -I was ARRESTED, PHOTOGRAPHED and FINGERPRINTED. -NO JAIL TIME though. -I plead GUILTY and asked for time in court. Meanwhile I did some community service. When I appeared in court the CHARGES WERE DROPPED. -I applied for EXPUNGEMENT OF DETAILS from the record. That went through. - When I re-applied for my US work visa, I did not declare that I had been arrested once (assuming I don't need to and it wont show up since my application for expungement from record had gone through). -However, the US Visa authorities in India had it on their records. When they brought it up I had to explain. They did give me the visa ultimately. - MY QUESTION IS: With this background, I am now back in India and looking to apply for a PhD programme in the UK. Do I have to DECLARE it to the UK visa authorities and university? -What are the chances that they will have it on the records due to data sharing between the 2 countries? -I know it was a minor first time offence but I was photographed and finger printed (perhaps my being a foreigner made them extra cautious). Pls advise urgently. Thanks.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  UK-Justice replied 6 years ago.
Thanks for your question. Please remember to click ACCEPT once you get my answer.

1) If you have a letter from the US saying that it has been destroyed then no, you would not have to declare it.

You need to make sure you have documentary evidence confirming this. I have to say it is very unusual to have a criminal record deleted if you have pleaded guilty to something.

But if you have the evidence in writing then you will be fine.

If that is the case you need not declare it to the UK.

If the Indian government have passed this information on then the UK will have a copy under data sharing. But if you have evidence that it was destroyed you will be fine.

It makes no difference whether it was a first offence or not, but you are relying on the conviction being destroyed - I go back to my point about having this in writing - if you do, there will be no problem.

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