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mannequin

Barred from the USA

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Filed: Timeline

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I wanted to share my recent story about being barred from the USA. I am an Australian citizen who has been traveling to the USA for 5 years on the ESTA visa waiver program. I go between 1-2 times per year, usually for 1-2 months. Every year I visit I buy a house or two. I own about 10 houses now. You do not need a visa or have residency status to own property in the USA or pay taxes.

This year I went to the USA for the full 90 days and bought an apartment building I'm redeveloping. The project is taking considerable time so I needed to stay longer. I could have gone to South America for 2 weeks and returned on an ESTA however I decided to go to the Caribbean and apply for a B1/B2 so I could stay for longer than 3 months and also apply for an E2 (investor visa) after acquiring the B1.

I had my interview at the US consulate and was denied the visa and given a sheet of paper saying I couldn't prove significant ties to my home country. The document said I could reapply if I could bring new evidence. So I paid another $160 and upon my second interview I presented about 50 documents showing significant ties to Australia including: car registration papers, proof on family, bank statements, utilities in my name, rental lease and proof of employment. The visa was denied again on the same ground and what really hammered the knife in was when the embassy official told me I could never travel on the visa waiver program again.

I burst into tears as not only could I never see my friends or finish my building in the USA, I couldn't even return to collect my belongings. The embassy official said to me 'You're not a bad person, you haven't done anything wrong!', in response to me being upset, as if that was some consolation. It was merely ironic as yes I'm not a bad person, nor have I done anything wrong but I can never return to the USA without significant effort and expense. My life has literally been turned upside down and I don't think it's fair. I pay way more taxes than the average American but I can't even visit.

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Germany
Timeline

This heartache is why I always recommend people stay away from the B-2 unless absolutely necessary. The VWP makes things so easy for citizens of its participating countries. Some friends of ours here in Germany asked us just 3 weeks ago if they should apply for B-2's since they visit about twice a year for roadtrips and wanted to stay longer than 90 days, but based off of the looks on their faces I think my reaction was as though they had just asked me if I would murder their children for them.

My husband made that mistake in 2010 to come visit me longer and, even though he miraculously overcame the denial on his second attempt, it's left him scarred as he's forever terrified that the next time we go through the POE that they'll arrest and shoot him, haha.

In all sincerity, I'm sorry about your denial. It wasn't even my visa and I myself burst into tears when my husband Skyped with me to say it was denied. Some glorious system glitch allowed him to obtain an ESTA approval the week after his B-2 denial, so he was able to visit after all. And people say there's not a God, haha. :P

All I can recommend is keep trying, but with an attorney. Like you said, without significant effort and expense this won't change in the near future. :(

Edited by Stressed Out

Myself: US citizen; Husband: German citizen

TransferWise Invitation Link: (first wire transfer is free) https://transferwise.com/u/eec50

(B-2 Journey):

 

 

-(then fiance) H-2B work visa application terminated due to qualification difficulties in Aug. 2010.

-(then fiance) B-2 tourist visa denied due to lack of strong ties to Germany in Sept. 2010.
-Third ESTA denied due to his suspiscious visa status on Oct. 15, 2012.
-B-2 tourist visa approved on Nov. 16, 2012!

 

(IR-1 Journey):

 

 

-Extended German residence permit obtained Aug. 23, 2014. (to qualify for DCF)

-Husband's new German passport picked up Aug. 28, 2014. (Old one expires 2015)

-I-130 packet sent to Frankfurt (DCF) Aug. 29, 2014!

-NOA1 issued Sept. 9, 2014 (received Sept.13)

-RFE regarding evidence of bona fide marriage received along with NOA1

-RFE reply packet sent to Frankfurt Sept. 30, 2014

-E-mail response (NOA2) received by USCIS Frankfurt on Oct. 23, 2014 (Petition APPROVED Oct. 20!!!) :dancing:

-Paper NOA2 received in the mail Oct. 29, 2014

-Case number assigned by IV unit Oct. 30, 2014 (Received by email Nov. 3)

-Paper "Packet 3" arrived in mail Nov. 4, 2014

-DS-260 and Document Delivery Registration submitted to Frankfurt Nov. 4, 2014

-Mailed in priority date request found on Packet 3 to IV Unit Nov. 5, 2014

-IV ("Packet 3") package sent to Frankfurt Nov. 17, 2014

-Medical completed by Frankfurt panel physician Nov. 17, 2014

-Received "Packet 4" via e-mail Nov. 20, 2014

-Interview booked for Dec. 3, 2014 (booked Nov. 21, 2014 after email authorization received)
-Visa approved, issued AND picked up by the courier all within 7 hours, Dec. 3, 2014
:dance:

-Visa packet arrived in the mail Dec. 4, 2014

-Visa packet had to be returned to Frankfurt for correction on Immigrant Data Summary sheet (wrong birthplace listed) Dec. 5, 2014

-Corrected visa packet received in the mail Dec. 11, 2014

-$165 Immigrant fee paid Dec. 11, 2014

-POE (through Dublin, Ireland) Jan. 18, 2015

-Registered manually for social security Jan. 27, 2015

-Social security card arrived within 2 weeks after applying in person/green card arrived within 30 days after entering U.S.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Romania
Timeline

You're paying way more taxes because you invested in way more property than average Americans. I feel sorry you cannot get your belongings or see your friends, but thinking that your personal investments entitle you to more privilege than any other person wanting to travel or immigrate tot he states is just silly.


6/24/2014 - I-130 Shipped via UPS to Chicago

6/26/2014 - I-130 Received and signed for at USCIS

7/1/2014 - E-mail of acceptance with Receipt number - NoA 1 (Routed to California Service Center)

07/15/2014 - Change of Address via phone call with USCIS, confirmation via e-mail.

7/30/2014 - I-130 Approved at USCIS - NoA 2 E-mail

08/13/2014 - NVC Received Approved I-130 package from USCIS

08/21/2014 - Case Number and IIN created at NVC

08/25/2014 - Case Number and IIN received via phone call. DS-261 Available and completed online.

8/26/2014 - AoS Fee invoiced and paid online.

8/28/2014 - AoS Invoice status PAID

09/04/2014 - Expedite Request response - Must enter Beneficiary Date of Birth - Re-sent exact e-mail with requested info

09/10/2014 - Expedite Request e-mail received as "Under Review"

09/11/2014 - Expedite Request Approved - Confirmation via e-mail from U.S. Embassy in Bucharest, Romania

09/16/2014 - Embassy Received Case from NVC

09/16/2014 - Received E-mail from Embassy to Schedule our Interview and prepare documents

9/23/2014 - Medical Exam at Regina Maria - Results OK

10/01/2014 - Visa Approved!

10/03/2014 - Received Passport with Visa!

11/2/2104 - PoE Atlanta - Welcome to the US!

11/5/2014 - Paid $165 ELIS Fee

8/1/2016 - I-751 Packet sent in for Removal of Conditions!

8/15/2016 - Notice of Action 1 for I-751 - California Service Center

9/29/2016 - Received Biometrics Appointment

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales
Timeline

Sounds like you have being effectively living in the US.

What do you do that allows so much vacation?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: India
Timeline

Really heart aching experience that you have described. From the sound of it, we can only imagine what you are going through. But, don't lose hope and try the EB5 or some other EB category visa. Since you have invested in the USA, it is easy to prove your intentions to qualify. Good luck and keep us updated.


Our Timeline
1st Jun, 2013 - Mailed i129f
17th Oct, 2013 - NOA2 Email Notification
27th Jan, 2014 - Visa Interview - Refused Visa eligible for waivers I601 and I212
23rd Sep, 2014 - Visa Received

2nd Nov, 2014 POE Newark

6th Nov, 2014 - Married

7th Nov, 2014 - AOS, EAD, AP applications mailed to Chicago

10th Nov, 2014 - Applications delivered and Receipt Date

14th Nov, 2014 - NOA1 Date

20th Nov, 2014 - Received NOA1 hard copies

29th Nov, 2014 - Letter for Biometrics Appointment. Appt date - 12/10/2014

1st Dec, 2014 - Walkin biometrics done

13th Dec, 2014 - RFE email followed by Hard Copy on 12/19/2014 for Marriage Certificate

20th Dec, 2014 - Mailed RFE response with certified Marriage License and Certificate

21st Feb, 2015 - Received notice of potential interview waiver by mail

2nd Mar, 2014 - email received for EAD approved

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales
Timeline

There is enough there to deal with the question. Probably is a lot more.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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You are not barred from entering the US. You can apply for a B visa again tomorrow if you like. You will however, not be able to travel on the VWP for a while, if ever. If I were you, I'd wait 6 months to a year and try ESTA again. Plenty of members on here have had success with ESTA after a B visa denial if they wait a while.

The consular officer just wasn't convinced that you were planning to just visit the US, which is what a B visa is for. Section 214(b) of the INA is one of those "fun" sections of law with no clear definition. It basically states that an applicant for a non-immigrant visa shall be presumed to be an intending immigrant until proven otherwise - one of the only sections of US law where you are guilty until proven innocent. While it seems scary, you were only denied because the CO was not convinced you didn't plan to live in the US. That is, you were denied because he wasn't convinced you weren't an intending immigrant. You cannot get a non-immigrant visa if you have immigrant intent.

The good news is that this denial will not be held against you on future visa applications. "Immigrant intent" disappears from your 'record' once you leave the embassy, that is, you won't be denied a new visa just because this one was denied.

You'll be back in the US one day.

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PS. This is a prime example of why it isn't wise to apply for a tourist visa if you qualify for the VWP/ESTA. Visas require you to show up at an embassy or consulate with proof of ties to your country and $160. ESTA is a $14, straight forward electronic form that'll approve you in seconds if you don't have a criminal record or previous overstay.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Denmark
Timeline

Plus, if you are renovating houses and/or buying and selling real estate for a profit, isn't that borderline working?


3/2/18  E-filed N-400 under 5 year rule

3/26/18 Biometrics

7/2019-12/2019 (Yes, 16- 21 months) Estimated time to interview MSP office.

 

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Filed: Other Country: Russia
Timeline

You are not barred from entering the US. You can apply for a B visa again tomorrow if you like. You will however, not be able to travel on the VWP for a while, if ever. If I were you, I'd wait 6 months to a year and try ESTA again. Plenty of members on here have had success with ESTA after a B visa denial if they wait a while.

The consular officer just wasn't convinced that you were planning to just visit the US, which is what a B visa is for. Section 214(b) of the INA is one of those "fun" sections of law with no clear definition. It basically states that an applicant for a non-immigrant visa shall be presumed to be an intending immigrant until proven otherwise - one of the only sections of US law where you are guilty until proven innocent. While it seems scary, you were only denied because the CO was not convinced you didn't plan to live in the US. That is, you were denied because he wasn't convinced you weren't an intending immigrant. You cannot get a non-immigrant visa if you have immigrant intent.

The good news is that this denial will not be held against you on future visa applications. "Immigrant intent" disappears from your 'record' once you leave the embassy, that is, you won't be denied a new visa just because this one was denied.

You'll be back in the US one day.

I agree, there's no bar, the denial was non prejudicial and it shouldn't be an issue in the future.


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Filed: Timeline

I agree, there's no bar, the denial was non prejudicial and it shouldn't be an issue in the future.

Oh really? The embassy official told me 'You will never be able to travel on the visa waiver program again'.

Shortly after I received an automated email saying my travel status had been changed. When I looked online at the ESTA web portal, my ESTA status said 'travel not authorized'.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales
Timeline

Might be ignorance but they are allowed to lie to you.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Germany
Timeline

Not being able to travel on the VWP isn't what one calls being barred from the US, though. Barring has a much more negative connotation that basically means you're never allowed in the US and have zero chance of getting a visa within 'such and such' a determined amount of time.


Myself: US citizen; Husband: German citizen

TransferWise Invitation Link: (first wire transfer is free) https://transferwise.com/u/eec50

(B-2 Journey):

 

 

-(then fiance) H-2B work visa application terminated due to qualification difficulties in Aug. 2010.

-(then fiance) B-2 tourist visa denied due to lack of strong ties to Germany in Sept. 2010.
-Third ESTA denied due to his suspiscious visa status on Oct. 15, 2012.
-B-2 tourist visa approved on Nov. 16, 2012!

 

(IR-1 Journey):

 

 

-Extended German residence permit obtained Aug. 23, 2014. (to qualify for DCF)

-Husband's new German passport picked up Aug. 28, 2014. (Old one expires 2015)

-I-130 packet sent to Frankfurt (DCF) Aug. 29, 2014!

-NOA1 issued Sept. 9, 2014 (received Sept.13)

-RFE regarding evidence of bona fide marriage received along with NOA1

-RFE reply packet sent to Frankfurt Sept. 30, 2014

-E-mail response (NOA2) received by USCIS Frankfurt on Oct. 23, 2014 (Petition APPROVED Oct. 20!!!) :dancing:

-Paper NOA2 received in the mail Oct. 29, 2014

-Case number assigned by IV unit Oct. 30, 2014 (Received by email Nov. 3)

-Paper "Packet 3" arrived in mail Nov. 4, 2014

-DS-260 and Document Delivery Registration submitted to Frankfurt Nov. 4, 2014

-Mailed in priority date request found on Packet 3 to IV Unit Nov. 5, 2014

-IV ("Packet 3") package sent to Frankfurt Nov. 17, 2014

-Medical completed by Frankfurt panel physician Nov. 17, 2014

-Received "Packet 4" via e-mail Nov. 20, 2014

-Interview booked for Dec. 3, 2014 (booked Nov. 21, 2014 after email authorization received)
-Visa approved, issued AND picked up by the courier all within 7 hours, Dec. 3, 2014
:dance:

-Visa packet arrived in the mail Dec. 4, 2014

-Visa packet had to be returned to Frankfurt for correction on Immigrant Data Summary sheet (wrong birthplace listed) Dec. 5, 2014

-Corrected visa packet received in the mail Dec. 11, 2014

-$165 Immigrant fee paid Dec. 11, 2014

-POE (through Dublin, Ireland) Jan. 18, 2015

-Registered manually for social security Jan. 27, 2015

-Social security card arrived within 2 weeks after applying in person/green card arrived within 30 days after entering U.S.

kXYGp1.png

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