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Too many visits results in a ban?

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So my boyfriend is working in Hawaii. And over the past 7 months of our relationship, I have visited him 4 times.

 

July 2019 - 3 days

August 2019 - 4 days

December 2019 - 1 week

January 2020 - 1 week

 

I am a teacher so I visit whenever I have holidays (summer, Christmas and Chinese New Year holidays). 
 

I have a British passport so I enter on ESTA.

 

As I passed through immigration in January, the immigration officer told me that I am visiting too much and it could result in a ban of 5 years. 
 

I understand the concerns of “visiting too much” however I have been honest that I come to visit my boyfriend and I have a steady job as a teacher therefore I will be returning to my country of residence. Plus the duration of my visits are not lengthy so I didn’t not think frequent trips were much of a problem.

 

Could anyone shed some light on this potential ban if visiting too much? I never knew such thing existed

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As long as your can provide ties to UK you might be fine but 4 visits in 6 months is uncommon. So the onus is on you to prove that you are not an immigrant.  They can keep hassling you though with visits of that close proximity.


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9 minutes ago, Donald120383 said:

As long as your can provide ties to UK you might be fine but 4 visits in 6 months is uncommon. So the onus is on you to prove that you are not an immigrant.  They can keep hassling you though with visits of that close proximity.

Yeah, I completely understand it is uncommon. 

 

I have an unexpected two weeks off from school the following week and was potentially planning on flying back to Hawaii. That'll make it my 5th trip. So maybe I will have to give it a miss this time.

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The idea is to spend a good chunk of time out of the US as you do in the UK. Frequent visiting, even if short and you're being honest, can flag suspicion of officers, who may decide to yes, not be kind and punt you out.

 

Back in the day my husband used to take a big chunk of time, visit, stay out for a half a year or a year, then return again. Always bring proof of ties to the UK and travel insurance could be helpful too. With you taking short constant visits, the CBP might be questioning your ties (like working etc) to the UK to be able to visit like that.


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I have friends (family of 4) who come to USA pretty often, stay for a month or two and don't have any problems.  They have enough money just to spend time wherever they want. And I met many people who do the same without any questions from immigration officers. 

 

But what I find strange is that you really fly from UK to Hawaii just for 3-4 days?? 

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26 minutes ago, Cornflake said:

I have friends (family of 4) who come to USA pretty often, stay for a month or two and don't have any problems.  They have enough money just to spend time wherever they want. And I met many people who do the same without any questions from immigration officers. 

 

But what I find strange is that you really fly from UK to Hawaii just for 3-4 days?? 

The clue is Chinese New Year holiday.


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36 minutes ago, Cornflake said:

How is it related?)

Not a holiday the schools recognise in the UK.


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If you do get stopped and taken in for a secondary interview, and it appears that they are going to return you to the UK.  Make sure that you make a formal "withdraw your request to enter the US"  If they allow you to withdraw your request to enter, you will not get a 5 year bar.  However, if they deny that request and perform an expedited return.  You will have a 5 year bar.

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I would be careful with future visits. Although you have not spent a lot of time cumulatively in the US, you have made a large number of visits in a short period of time. Ironically, if you had entered once or twice and stayed for a month, it would probably raise fewer red flags than having entered 4 times for visits of a few days each. The reason I would be careful is that this IO has probably made a notation in your record with their observation that you are visiting too often, and this comment will be read the next time you enter the US. If that visit is "too soon," they could deny you entry.

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There are plenty of people (especially wealthy people) who visit the USA regularly and stay only for short periods of time and maintain their residence/life in their primary country (not the USA). It seems strange to me that you got singled out. If you have no particular reason for visiting then maybe it would be odd, but you are visiting your boyfriend. And the short nature of the visits demonstrates you have a life in the UK that you have to return to. It's frustrating when people are suspected of doing something devious when what they are doing is actually total normal and understandable given the circumstances. 


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Maybe consider spending some time together in a 3rd country that is neutral and easy to get to - like CANADA. 


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02/2020: Interview (10 months)

03/2020: Oath & naturalization (11 months)

Officially a U.S. Citizen! 

 

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On 2/10/2020 at 3:59 AM, Cornflake said:

I have friends (family of 4) who come to USA pretty often, stay for a month or two and don't have any problems.  They have enough money just to spend time wherever they want. And I met many people who do the same without any questions from immigration officers. 

 

But what I find strange is that you really fly from UK to Hawaii just for 3-4 days?? 

No, I flew from HK to Hawaii as I reside in HK currently.

 

And yes, I had holidays and wanted to see him. Thats what love does. Cheese.

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7 hours ago, N400NYC said:

Maybe consider spending some time together in a 3rd country that is neutral and easy to get to - like CANADA. 

Yes but seeing as I am a teacher, with much more holiday time. I fly to Hawaii so we can spend the evenings together after he finishes work. He doesn't have as much days off. 

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On 2/10/2020 at 11:18 AM, jlc201 said:

I would be careful with future visits. Although you have not spent a lot of time cumulatively in the US, you have made a large number of visits in a short period of time. Ironically, if you had entered once or twice and stayed for a month, it would probably raise fewer red flags than having entered 4 times for visits of a few days each. The reason I would be careful is that this IO has probably made a notation in your record with their observation that you are visiting too often, and this comment will be read the next time you enter the US. If that visit is "too soon," they could deny you entry.

 

7 hours ago, N400NYC said:

There are plenty of people (especially wealthy people) who visit the USA regularly and stay only for short periods of time and maintain their residence/life in their primary country (not the USA). It seems strange to me that you got singled out. If you have no particular reason for visiting then maybe it would be odd, but you are visiting your boyfriend. And the short nature of the visits demonstrates you have a life in the UK that you have to return to. It's frustrating when people are suspected of doing something devious when what they are doing is actually total normal and understandable given the circumstances. 

On 2/10/2020 at 9:29 AM, MarcusZoe said:

If you do get stopped and taken in for a secondary interview, and it appears that they are going to return you to the UK.  Make sure that you make a formal "withdraw your request to enter the US"  If they allow you to withdraw your request to enter, you will not get a 5 year bar.  However, if they deny that request and perform an expedited return.  You will have a 5 year bar.

Yes, I explained that to the IO telling him actually in July and August, I didn't stay that long. But he said it didn't matter. 

 

I do think it was/is quite unfair if they do/did issue me a 5 year ban. Obviously as a teacher, I have regular school holidays that I can go visit, making me a frequent visitor of Hawaii to see him. I was honest about my intentions and I had no intent of overstaying my stay. 

 

We are submitting our I-129F this weekend and so I won't be visiting as frequently. 

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