So the fantastic news is we received our response to our evidence pack in November and it looks like they will be forwarding our application to the embassy, providing we can answer just two little queries.
The first issue is interestingly a request of copies of my “court or prison records indicating the nature of this person’s conviction and sentence”
Hmm, well the “problem” with this is that I don’t have any court or prison records, never having been charged with anything, let alone convicted or sentenced and I have the ACRO police record to prove it:
There you are, that’s what NO TRACE means.
So we spoke to a lovely person at the NVC Centre and she said this was because I’d checked a box that said Yes I had a record.
Now I know I didn’t, so out came my copy of the question I answered, and that question says :
“Have you ever been arrested OR convicted for any crime, even though the subject of a pardon, amnesty, or other similar action?”
Arrested or convicted, you note, not and convicted. To a Brit this distinction is important.
It was also a real test of my integrity, as although my police record is perfectly clear, I know I was arrested, 21 years ago.
So after a brief internal struggle and against advice from several people who turned out to be much more cynical than me, being a basically honest person and because lying to immigration is the stupidest thing ever when applying for a visa, I had declared yes I had been arrested and gave the following explanation:
That in 1994, while a student, I was arrested by the police because I answered the description of someone the police were looking for in the area I was in (female, 20s, white, long blonde hair). I was interviewed and because I was not the person they were looking for, released, with no further action being taken against me and no records kept by the police. (see No Trace)
Then on the header sheet under the section that said:
Court and Prison Records I checked the “Not Applicable” box.
Now if if the question had said arrested and convicted I would have answered No, because clearly I wasn’t.
Anyway this was a mistake on my part, and the “no further action being taken” and “Court and Prison Records not applicable” apparently did not clarify that I wasn’t charged, convicted or sentenced and now I have to write a letter to the NVC to say that I mistakenly answered yes to that question because in fact I have no court records or convictions and send a copy of my police record (which I already sent and they have confirmed they received it and that they can see it is clear) to support this.
The NVS may take up to a month to process this additional documentation before forwarding the file to the embassy.
So that’s what I did and included an apology for any confusion I caused. We had the letter notarised and posted it while I was in the US and yesterday we received the email saying they have got the letter and may take a month to review it.
Lost in Translation is a 2003 Sofia Coppola directed movie starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, set in Tokyo.