I am a British citizen by birth and I have just discovered that my great-grandmother is very sick in the hospital. She is a US citizen by birth and has lived there for most of her life. I also have some extended family in the United States. My mother and my grandmother travel to the United States from the UK in ESTA within the next week to visit my great grandmother.
I also want to see her, but I have some relatively recent criminal convictions (about 2 or 3 years ago). Previously I had never had a criminal record at all, and I am in my 30s. Without going into great detail and at the risk of sounding like I was making excuses for the things I did wrong, all of these convictions (approximately 8) were accumulated within a period of 2 months due to my personal circumstances at that time. Offenses include common assault and some cases of driving under the influence of drugs.
I have long complied with all the requirements of my parole order and believe that the sentences are now classified as "spent". in the United Kingdom; However, I understand that this has no incidence in the United States.
I am a trained professional, I have my own home and I have been in a full time job for 1 year in a high level position. My behavior now looks nothing like what it was at the time of those crimes (despite the inferences I can draw from the background of this question!)
After reading some pages on the ESTA website, the CBP website and some .gov links, recommend not attempting to travel on an ESTA according to the Visa Waiver Program if you were ever arrested, warned or condemned; and instead apply for a visa.
My question is: if I enter the US UU By car from Canada, would this alleviate some of the usual background checks, etc.? They would give me an I-94W form. I read some threads here and heard some rumors from people who claim that the Customs procedure is much more relaxed when entering the United States by road; even in terms of saying that a quick passport check was all you were asked to enter. Is some of this true? If so, to what extent?
In what other ways would land entry differ from air entry?
What border crossings (if any) could be stricter than others with their controls?
Are there sections of the US border? UU And Canada that can cross freely on foot? That is to say. without a customs office, not separated by a fence or wall, etc. For example, areas with mountainous terrain or difficult to cross? I know I'm really stretching it here …
Any response or advice in the comments would be greatly appreciated. No matter how pessimistic your comment or response! Anything is really appreciated, because at this moment I have no idea of the subject and I do not know to whom else I would ask given the deadline. To be frank, if a particular "solution" means that I run the risk of not being allowed to return to the US. UU But I get the entry for 4 days (or even 1), then that's fine too. Even if that means I have to take a route or follow an itinerary that would add a week to the trip.
As it stands, I think I would have to go to the United States Consulate in London to try to get an expedited visa to fly by air; but this could be rejected and I assume that later it would appear in the system when my passport is verified if I subsequently tried to enter by road.
I do not want to do things the wrong way (I have learned from my experiences a few years ago) but I will do anything if it means that I can see my great grandmother, for example. maybe there is some option to enter in order to travel only in the United States; In order to reduce the travel time of a particular route through Canada by car?
I'm trying to get to the Midwest of the United States.
Thank you very much for any help or advice you can give me, I really appreciate it!