Question about US CBP

Old Dec 11th 2014, 1:21 am
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Default Question about US CBP

Hi guys

After seeing how knowledgable you guys seem, it feels like the best place to ask my question; thanks in advance.

I'm a young student, 21 years old who studies at university of St andrews. I visit the USA frequently, approximately 9 times since 2012. Usually, Christmas, Easter, summer and autumn. However this year, I've just visited Christmas, Easter and summer, no autumn visit. I'll go to the U.S. again ( to the same place as last 9 times) at Christmas for a month before I go back to uk. This will be my last trip to the U.S. until the coming Christmas. Do you foresee any difficulties due to my many frequent trips? Should I bring proof of my university course? Proof of attendance? Return tickets?

My second question, I opened a U.S. bank account, but I wasn't informed if I didn't use the account, I would be charged a 'dormancy few'. I just found out the account was 'charged off' and the $60 debt passed onto a collection agency. My question is - will the CBP have knowledge of the debt or is this purely a civil matter?

Thanks one more - Johnny
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Old Dec 11th 2014, 2:15 am
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Default Re: Question about US CBP

You have established a pattern of arriving fairly frequently, however you have also established a pattern of leaving again after just a few weeks. It sounds like you have never experienced a problem on arriving in the US and clearing immigration, so I see absolutely no reason to be concerned about your upcoming visit either. None whatsoever. That said it is generally thought that having a return or onward ticket is generally a requirement of visiting the US on the VWP (on rare occasions people here on BE have reported entering the US without a return or onward ticket), and I would never recommend trying to enter the US as a visitor without a return or onward ticket.

A debt is a civil matter and of no concern to CBP. In any case the amount is trivial and not worth a collection agency doing more than make a few aggravating phone calls. If a friend or family member is being harassed they should just say you've left the country then hang up. No collection agency would invest a dollar in out-of-pocket money to chase you down.

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Old Dec 11th 2014, 5:27 pm
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Default Re: Question about US CBP

Originally Posted by Johnny4123 View Post
My second question, I opened a U.S. bank account, but I wasn't informed if I didn't use the account, I would be charged a 'dormancy few'. I just found out the account was 'charged off' and the $60 debt passed onto a collection agency. My question is - will the CBP have knowledge of the debt or is this purely a civil matter?
Are you using the VWP for these trips? Everything involving banks has become such a gigantic pain the ass over the last decade that I'm a little surprised to hear you can even open an account as a visitor (and hence presumably with no state ID, driver's license, etc.)
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Old Dec 11th 2014, 6:48 pm
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Default Re: Question about US CBP

You can open a non-interest-bearing account as long as you have some kind of unique identifying number, such as a passport number.

Rene
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Old Dec 11th 2014, 6:53 pm
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Default Re: Question about US CBP

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
You can open a non-interest-bearing account as long as you have some kind of unique identifying number, such as a passport number. .....
Legally speaking, that's true, and having a TIN will get you an interest earning one, but the burdens of the USA PATRIOT Act mean that many banks, especially the smaller ones, don't want to be bothered with accounts opened by non-resident foreigners and so just won't touch them.
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Old Dec 12th 2014, 1:06 am
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Default Re: Question about US CBP

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Legally speaking, that's true, and having a TIN will get you an interest earning one, but the burdens of the USA PATRIOT Act mean that many banks, especially the smaller ones, don't want to be bothered with accounts opened by non-resident foreigners and so just won't touch them.
An ex colleague recently moved to SF for work. Her new employer put her up in temp accommodation until she found long term accommodation. No bank would let her open an account as she doesn't have permanent accommodation (and there was some other reason that I can't recall; related to the fact that she's just arrived in the US - albeit on an E3 visa). No one would allow her to sign a lease as she doesn't have a US bank account. In the end she managed to get a bank account with a sympathetic bank manager after literally breaking down and crying at the bank.

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Old Dec 12th 2014, 2:11 am
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Default Re: Question about US CBP

Originally Posted by Qantasflyer View Post
An ex colleague recently moved to SF for work. Her new employer put her up in temp accommodation until she found long term accommodation. No bank would let her open an account as she doesn't have permanent accommodation (and there was some other reason that I can't recall; related to the fact that she's just arrived in the US - albeit on an E3 visa). No one would allow her to sign a lease as she doesn't have a US bank account. In the end she managed to get a bank account with a sympathetic bank manager after literally breaking down and crying at the bank.
There is a piece of your story missing. It is not necessary to be a US resident or have a US address to open an account with a US bank. I can't be sure what the reason is for your ex-colleague having a problem opening an account, though it may be as simple as not having documentation linking her to a "permanent" address, which does not need to be in the US.

There are only four elements required for a bank to be allowed to open an account for anyone: name, address, date of birth, and a government issued ID number; whether they are willing to do so is another matter entirely! Then there has to be a means of proving each of the above. The government issued ID number is usually a US SSN, but for someone without a SSN they can use a passport number, DL number, etc. but ideally would also have a TIN (available to anyone/ everyone who is not eligible for a US SSN).

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Old Dec 12th 2014, 2:42 am
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Default Re: Question about US CBP

That's what I was able to piece together from her multiple Facebook updates. Apparently the problem was to do with not having a long term lease in the US.
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Old Dec 12th 2014, 2:46 am
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Default Re: Question about US CBP

My parents visited on VWP 4 years ago. Dad decided to open a US account and did so by visiting a local BOA. He used my address, and upon going back to UK did a change of address, and does everything online.

However, the bank still sends W8-BEN to my US address every year -just came this week. I have forwarded them and assume he completed them (it asks for foreign address). Worst case, I suppose BoA will close his account, I don't think he uses it anyway, it was just an excercise.
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Old Dec 12th 2014, 8:37 am
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Default Re: Question about US CBP

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
You can open a non-interest-bearing account as long as you have some kind of unique identifying number, such as a passport number.

Rene
Wouldn't having a U.s bank account for a tourist be considered evidence of immigrant intent?
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Old Dec 12th 2014, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by johnnybrown532 View Post
Wouldn't having a US bank account for a tourist be considered evidence of immigrant intent?
No.
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Old Dec 12th 2014, 12:52 pm
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Default Re: Question about US CBP

First of all are you entereing on a visa? VWP? In any event why do you have such frequent visits to the US? Do you have a GF/partner there? Nobody can tell you for sure as to what is going to happen at the border. You might be taken to secondary inspection or you might not. You will only find out once you get there and ask for admission. It only takes one officer to become suspicious of your frequent travels.. Why are you asking this question now? Have you received a warning from CBP previously? Your bank account debt has got nothing to do with CBP. If you're using the VWP then having a return ticket is a prerequisite. Having proof of attendance/ university docs won't alleviate any concerns the officer might have as they don't show strong links to the UK.
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Old Dec 12th 2014, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: Question about US CBP

Originally Posted by sandor333 View Post
First of all are you entereing on a visa? VWP? In any event why do you have such frequent visits to the US? Do you have a GF/partner there? Nobody can tell you for sure as to what is going to happen at the border. You might be taken to secondary inspection or you might not. You will only find out once you get there and ask for admission. It only takes one officer to become suspicious of your frequent travels.. Why are you asking this question now? Have you received a warning from CBP previously? Your bank account debt has got nothing to do with CBP. If you're using the VWP then having a return ticket is a prerequisite. Having proof of attendance/ university docs won't alleviate any concerns the officer might have as they don't show strong links to the UK.
He wouldn't be the first uni student to vanish in america and abandon their studies and they know it. Though it may hold in his favour that the length of time between visits does seem to be increasing now. Then again he is spending a lot of time in the same place.
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Old Dec 12th 2014, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by johnnybrown532 View Post
..... Then again he is spending a lot of time in the same place.
People with holiday homes in Florida do that all the time. The person who asked this latest question is not, based on what he has told us, in any risk of being turned away by the CBP immigration officer.

I suggest you stop spouting cräp that serves no purpose other than to feed the unfounded concerns of people who have next to no reason to be concerned.
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Old Dec 12th 2014, 9:43 pm
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Default Re: Question about US CBP

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
People with holiday homes in Florida do that all the time. The person who asked this latest question is not, based on what he has told us, in any risk of being turned away by the CBP immigration officer.

I suggest you stop spouting cräp that serves no purpose other than to feed the unfounded concerns of people who have next to no reason to be concerned.
He has just been to america 9 times in 2 years and has bank account. His risk is higher than mine. Those people with holiday homes are not 21 years old and young and probably single though are they? Illegal immigration is a young man's game to be fair isn't it

Lets say it's new york he visits. He either has mates out there or a girl or maybe he even goes over there and picks up quick money working illegal during term breaks and now he has opened an account. Why? To transfer money back home? What if CPB finds a bank card on him they might not like that despite what has been said about immigrant intent by you.

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