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Ross_s

Tourist Visa Declined, confused and deflated!

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Hi there, looking for any guidance or info you guys are able to offer me with regards to my current situation...

So I'm a Scottish, British national with no criminal record who visits the US frequently using the Visa waiver program with no issue whatsoever previously I stayed the maximum allocated time and left when instructed to. My ESTA from my previous trip is still valid until September this year.

Anyway I have been planning another trip to New Orleans to live with friends for a few month much the same as before but I found it to be within my budget to if possible stay longer than 90 days as my understanding of the ESTA program is that you cannot extend the allotted time of your stay I was advised to apply for a B-2 visa.

So I was at the Belfast Consulate today for my "interview" which lasted 2 minutes maximum I was asked five questions and declined!

Q: Why do you want to visit the USA for 6 months? A: I'm unsure if the intention is to visit for 6 months, certainly 90 days and maybe a little longer if financially pheasable!

Q:What is your current job in the UK A: bartender

Q:How do you propose to leave your employment for an extended period? A: employer is also a close friend and has granted this sabbatical!

Q: Marital status? A:Single by law, although in a relationship

Q:how much funds do you have? A: $7000

I was then told the following "this is a catch 22 situation, you do not have a job that I am convinced you would feel compelled to rush back to its something you could pick up in New Orleans so I'm afraid I am declining you!"

I was handed a piece of paper and asked to leave, I attempted to further question her she very rudely explained she would not be answering questions as she has her next interview to see!

I said can you please just explain to me how I am supposed to take a vacation in the US now? She responded "with difficulty, you may get in, you may not its down to the port authority goodbye!"

I left feeling dejected and disgusted! I was offered no opportunity to elaborate on my personal situation or to explain any ties that compell me to return to the UK! I was the first interview of the day, I can only assume the woman has not had a nice morning and I get her wrath I even smiled at her as I entered the room to which I received a cold scowl!

I'm still reeling from this and fee physically sick as it just appears that this woman has destroyed my ability to visit the US in the manner I have been!

Can anyone share any similar stories or offer insight into where I go from here?

Thanks in advance for any replies.

Edited by Ross_s

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To be honest with you, based on what you've said here, I agree with the decision not to give you a B-2. It appears that you are spending a lot of time in the US, why? If you truly had ties in the UK, you would not be able to be spending all this time in the US. You should have stuck to the VWP and hoped that you got the normal 90 days.

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This is the kind of story that makes me mad, we here in Florida advertise come to Florida for your Vacation, and then a Bureaucrat tell the person, I know you are not going back, no visitor’s visa for you. But all the people coming across the Mexican border can stay without paperwork. It seems the old saying fits, countries and people that want to be friends with the U.S.A. the U.S.A. does not want to be friends with them, and all the people that don’t want to be friends with the U.S.A. the U.S.A. wants to be friends with.

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This is the kind of story that makes me mad, we here in Florida advertise come to Florida for your Vacation, and then a Bureaucrat tell the person, I know you are not going back, no visitor’s visa for you. But all the people coming across the Mexican border can stay without paperwork. It seems the old saying fits, countries and people that want to be friends with the U.S.A. the U.S.A. does not want to be friends with them, and all the people that don’t want to be friends with the U.S.A. the U.S.A. wants to be friends with.

What you have conviently forgotten is that a huge number of people abuse tourist visas..hence, our strict laws....if we had a strict policy on not allowing six month admissions or changes of status, or unwaivable penalties for abusing the visa privilege, then perhaps more people could get tourist visas...but until that day arrives, our laws remain as they are....and the idea of a bartender having the resources to goof off for 6 months in the US is a joke...$7000? a paltry sum. And why would anyone believe that (a) he would be rushing back home to his old job if (b) the bar owner actually kept it open for 6 months? Way too many gaps or unbelievable stories for this one to get approved.

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Sorry, but that woman did NOT do anything....YOU did....look at the totally illogical nature of your request...

(a) a bartender does NOT get 6 months paid vacation

(b) there is no realistic possibility that your 'job' will be kept on hold during your 6 month 'vacation.'

© bartending is a very portable job....one that can easily be continued in the US

(d) $7000 would not last 8 weeks while 'vacationing' in the US...and no, no one is going to believe that your friends will foot the bill for your food, housing and entertainment for that entire period....no one has friends like that.

(e) your uncertain, shifting answer as to why you 'must' spend 6 months in the US, backtracking to 90 days or maybe more than 90, etc...did little to establish confidence in the VO.

(F) the denial is NOT the fault of the VO....after all, who was the applicant? You. Who has the responsibility of convincing a VO of your true intentions? You.

Whose 'fault' was this denial? Yours. Period. Trying to blame a nameless, faceless person won't (a) change the decision nor (b) generate any useful sympathy.

Bottom line: a six month 'vacation' for someone of working age makes little sense. And $7000 is a pittance for supporting one's self for six months in the US.

Well I was nothing but truthful, I was already set to go for another 90 days and it was suggested On this forum that I should apply for a B-2 visa and $3000 was plenty enough to keep me for 90 days previously. My job is being kept open for me! So what you are telling me is that I've been punished for not lying?

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This is the kind of story that makes me mad, we here in Florida advertise come to Florida for your Vacation, and then a Bureaucrat tell the person, I know you are not going back, no visitor’s visa for you. But all the people coming across the Mexican border can stay without paperwork. It seems the old saying fits, countries and people that want to be friends with the U.S.A. the U.S.A. does not want to be friends with them, and all the people that don’t want to be friends with the U.S.A. the U.S.A. wants to be friends with.

It makes you mad the the customs officer did her job? The op was rightfully denied a B-2 visa. The people that come across the Mexican border without paperwork are here illegaly. Most of us here in the US don't want anyone here that isn't here legally.

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Well I was nothing but truthful, I was already set to go for another 90 days and it was suggested On this forum that I should apply for a B-2 visa and $3000 was plenty enough to keep me for 90 days previously. My job is being kept open for me! So what you are telling me is that I've been punished for not lying?

Sorry, but your story simply isn't realistic.

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Regardless of the cause of my being declined I would appreciate any help in advising me going forward please.

Sorry, but your story simply isn't realistic.

So I should have contrived another story?

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Probably too late now, but it's never a good idea if you are from a US visa waiver country to try to apply for a tourist visa, even if you want to stay longer. The US's goal is to keep people out. The US doesn't have a vacation culture and they don't want anybody to enjoy life. Personally, I'd spend your money elsewhere. Go spend your money in Cuba.

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So I should have contrived another story?

If I have a hard time believing your original story, then a customs officer will rip it to shreds. You should never lie to a customs officer, but you need to maintain a realistic lifestyle when traveling abroad. If you were some spoiled rich kid with unlimited funds and no job to return to because Daddy pays for everything, your story would make a bit more sense, but only having $7,000 to last up to 6 months, is not realistic, neither is claiming that your job will be held for you for that long. Not to mention the amount of time you've already spent in the US previously.

Edited by Teddy B

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Well I was nothing but truthful, I was already set to go for another 90 days and it was suggested On this forum that I should apply for a B-2 visa and $3000 was plenty enough to keep me for 90 days previously. My job is being kept open for me! So what you are telling me is that I've been punished for not lying?

That poster just accuses everyone of fraud. I would ignore it.

Sorry that happened to you. I think the officer explained his/her reasons well, so even if you disagree, at least you know why. Hopefully the ESTA will be approved when you reapply and you can go for 90 days. A person has to have a really good reason why they need 6 months instead of 3 months. Good luck.

Edit for above: The OP said he didn't want to go for 6 months, just longer than 3. I think $7K is a fine amount.

Gong forward, I would redo ESTA and hope for approval.

Edited by Harpa Timsah

AOS for my husband
8/17/10: INTERVIEW DAY (day 123) APPROVED!!

ROC:
5/23/12: Sent out package
2/06/13: APPROVED!

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If I have a hard time believing your original story, then a customs officer will rip it to shreds. You should never lie to a customs officer, but you need to maintain a realistic lifestyle when traveling abroad. If you were some spoiled rich kid with unlimited funds and no job to return to because Daddy pays for everything, your story would make a bit more sense, but only having $7,000 to last up to 6 months, is not realistic, neither is claiming that your job will be held for you for that long. Not to mention the amount of time you've already spent in the US previously.

So what should my next step be to take a vacation in the US

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So what should my next step be to take a vacation in the US

You can try again for 90 days under the VWP, hopefully they'll let you in. But remember, your life is NOT in the US, you need to provide proof of that at all times.

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You can try again for 90 days under the VWP, hopefully they'll let you in. But remember, your life is NOT in the US, you need to provide proof of that at all times.

Can I travel on my existing approved ESTA?

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