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Looking to travel to the US? You need to know if your offence is classed as “a crime involving moral turpitude”?

‘Moral turpitude’ is a legal concept in the US and is important when trying to work out whether you can travel under the Visa Waiver Scheme (ESTA) or whether you need to apply for a visa from the US Embassy.

The information that’s available from the US Embassy can make it difficult to match your UK offence with a US equivalent, and so it’s not always easy to work out if your offence would be deemed to be a “Crime Involving Moral Turpitude” (CIMT). This confusion can mean that people who would be eligible to travel with an ESTA go to the unnecessary time and expense of applying for a visa. Likewise, some people can end up mistakenly travelling on an ESTA when they should have applied or a visa.

To try and help with this, we’ve published some new information which sets out a list of the 80 most common UK offences and those which, in our opinion, would be deemed to be a CIMT.

As this information is new, we’re keen to get your thoughts. Let us know what you think of it and how it could be improved by emailing us at or completing our feedback form.


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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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