How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. Your Own...
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 108656
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
Type Your Immigration Law Question Here...
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a British citizen living in the UK and was given a

Customer Question

I am a British citizen living in the UK and was given a caution (British for misdemeanour, no court/prison - just dealt with by Police) here for an unfortunate incident of battery and personal possession of cannabis (1.5g) in May of 2016. I was denied an ESTA for truthfully answering the question about drugs and made an appointment at the US Embassy in London to apply for a B1/B2 visa. I was denied that visa and given a pre-printed letter saying I was found to be inadmissible due to the drugs (I forget the exact statute) and that I would not be recommended for a waiver of inadmissibility and was in effect now permanently banned from the USA. The consular officer only asked me what I did for a living and how much money I make, saying that my "economic profile" was good as I have a good job but that it was basically too soon since the caution. He said some people would say waiting another 3 years before re-applying, although he would personally recommend 4. This is a bit of a pain as I work for an American company in the technology sector, so everything centres around the USA. Is there anything I can do? I guess I'm just looking for a second opinion or your thought?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 14 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help.

Please give me a few minutes to review your question and I will be right with you with an answer. Sorry for any delay. I may have to do some research and at the same time I read and type fast, but not that fast! Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Sorry about the delay. I may have some bad news for you. I just ask that if it is bad news that you not shoot the messenger. Shooting the messenger is either leaving a negative rating (usually reserved for rude or unprofessional experts) or not leaving a positive rating at all.

The problem is the proximity of the drug possession issue. Had this been 3 or more years ago, then you could apply again and would have a good chance, but they want to see 3 or more years (sometimes 2 or more years) with no drug use or issues. When would be the latest that you could travel to the U.S.?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Don't worry, I had assumed as much! As I say, I'm just looking for an expert view on the situation as I've done all I seem to be able to do as a layman.The funny thing is I'd read stories online of people who were simply drug tested by the embassy and they were issued the visa or people who'd been in possession of harder drugs with around the same timescales and had no problems. I obviously don't know the wider context but the apparent lack of consistency makes it difficult to know what to think of the situation and how best to proceed.I guess I'll have to simply re-apply again after a suitably long period of time? I have no other options so far as I can tell? Does having applied and been denied hurt my future chances? I was hoping to have this visa "in the bag" so that if my employer asked me to visit head office at short notice or attend a conference (which happens roughly every 6-12 months) I wouldn't have to answer the uncomfortable question around why I don't enjoy the same right to free travel there as any other British citizen.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

I think the problem is that you have the police report that clearly says you were in possession. What you could do is go to regular testing (maybe weekly or monthly) for maybe 6 months or a year to show that you are clean. That might be convincing enough for them to grant you a visa and the waiver of inadmissibility. The longer you wait, and the more evidence that you provide, the better it will be. After 3 or more years of being clean, I don't believe you will need a waiver. Here is a link to information about the waiver:,0930-labrie.shtm

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions and there is no additional charge. Also, should you need to chat on the phone, private email or need help reviewing documentation, I am happy to do so for a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested in these – I am happy to give you more details! If you have no further questions (at this time) please leave a positive rating for my service. I would sincerely ***** ***** You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars or smiley faces if you see them. If you do not see any stars or smiley faces, you may have to scroll up to the top of the page or click on my name and they should come out. Also, your session does NOT close when leaving a positive rating, so you can continue to ask additional questions without additional charge. Thank you for your understanding.

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
the US embassy required I brought it to the interview and it clearly stated that along with the date.I was under the impression that the US embassy would have sent me to to their approved tester and if I was clean I'd be granted the visa. I wasn't aware that there was a time limit on it as such as well. If I got myself tested, presumably it would need to be accredited by the embassy to be of any worth?The letter seemed to indicate that I was permanently inadmissible and my only route in would be to apply for a waiver?I guess my closing question is, apart from the obvious not getting into any more trouble with the law is, how do you recommend I proceed?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Well, it would have more weight if it was an accredited lab, yes. I'm not sure why it is reflected as a permanent ban unless you misrepresented something. If you did, then yes, you will always need a waiver. And I am not sure I understand the last question. I already recommended that you wait 6 months to a year, go for weekly or monthly testing, then reapply. Since you need to go to the U.S. because of your employment, you cannot wait 2 or 3 years to apply again, so that's the only reasonable way that I see that this could work.

Let me know if you need anything else, but please do not forget to rate me positively. You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars if you see them, or the smiley faces if you see them. If you do not see the stars or smiley faces, please scroll to the top of the page to see them or click on my name and they should come out. Also, we do NOT finish just because it says "Rate to Finish" or something like that. Your question does NOT close and you can continue to ask questions without additional charge on the same question thread even after you leave a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding!

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I didn't misrepresent anything, no. I was upfront and provided supporting documentation about it. Let me double check exactly what the letter says and come back to you.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Regardless, it may be a permanent ban due to a substance use or abuse issue. You will still need to prove that you do not have an issue with substance use or abuse in order to be granted the visa. Let me know if you need anything else, but please do not forget that positive rating. Thank you!

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Hello. I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for your kindness and respect. Good luck to you.

Related Immigration Law Questions