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Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

Old Jun 19th 2010, 8:29 pm
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Question Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

Hello -
I'm a 32-year old, male German citizen seeking to enter the US under the visa waiver program (VWP) for a period of 3 weeks. Reason: I'm meeting up with a group of friends from my college days over 4th of July. I have no intention to enter into employment while I'm in the country nor to stay longer than that time. I have a return ticket and sufficient funds. However, there are 2 potential issues:
1.) This year I already spent 5 months in the US (also under the VWP). Reason: I work as a freelance writer, so I can work from anywhere in the world. My clients are in Europe, and I'm paid in British pounds into an English bank account. I do not have clients in the US, but have been doing work for my overseas clients while I was there. I first arrived in the US on January 19, to visit friends, with the intention to stay for 90 days. However, in mid-March I was asked to travel back to Europe for work (4 day trip) and upon re-entry was granted another 90 day stay, so I used the opportunity and changed my ticket accordingly. At no point did I overstay. QUESTION: Is there a chance I will be denied reentry when I travel back to the US after only having been away for 2 1/2 weeks? If so, what would the reasoning of the immigration officer be and what could I say/do to convince them otherwise?
2.) I have a criminal conviction for "public intoxication" (alcohol-, not illicit drug-related) under CA penal code article 647 (f). This was over 10 years ago while I was at college in CA, I was 21 at the time, and the overall sentence was a $150 fine. I assume this does not constitute a crime involving moral turpitude for immigration purposes? QUESTION: Can I tick 'No' for the respective question on the ESTA application and I94 form?

Many thanks in advance for your help and advice!!
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 8:40 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

Originally Posted by nomadsurfer
QUESTION: Is there a chance I will be denied reentry when I travel back to the US after only having been away for 2 1/2 weeks? If so, what would the reasoning of the immigration officer be and what could I say/do to convince them otherwise?
Yes, there is a very real possibility you will be denied entry. The rule of thumb many people use is that after a trip you should spend at least as long out of the US as you spent in the US on that trip. Coming back 2 1/2 weeks after a two essentially back-to-back stays of a couple of months each will definitely get you extra scrutiny. I have no idea what you could do to convince CBP to let you in. Be prepared for the very real possibility of being denied entry.
2.) I have a criminal conviction for "public intoxication" (alcohol-, not illicit drug-related) under CA penal code article 647 (f). This was over 10 years ago while I was at college in CA, I was 21 at the time, and the overall sentence was a $150 fine. I assume this does not constitute a crime involving moral turpitude for immigration purposes? QUESTION: Can I tick 'No' for the respective question on the ESTA application and I94 form?
No idea on this one. My guess is that is not a CIMT, but IANAL.
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 8:41 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

The work you did for overseas clients while in the US on the VWP was at the very least extremely dubious and quite possibly unauthorized.

Yes there is a pretty high chance you will be refused entry or at least given a very stern talking-to, on the basis of having been in the US for a large fraction of the year. I have a more risk-tolerant attitude than most on this forum, and I would still say "don't push your luck".

Don't know about the CIMT.
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

Thanks both for your fast replies! Not want I wanted to hear of course , but still much appreciated.
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 9:03 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

Sorry, I have another question:
I've actually already bought my flight, can't get my money back, so I might chance it and give it a go.
However, if I'm denied reentry, and it looks as if I might, how will this affect my chances of future visa applications, say an H-1B?
Thanks again.

Last edited by nomadsurfer; Jun 19th 2010 at 9:08 pm.
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 9:50 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

A no-complications VWP refusal (no fraud etc) makes you permanently ineligible to use the VWP, but doesn't prejudice other visas although you will have to declare the refusal.
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 9:54 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

Originally Posted by henryh
A no-complications VWP refusal (no fraud etc) makes you permanently ineligible to use the VWP, ....
I don't think this is true...not 100% sure, but I think if you're just turned away at the POE, you can still try in the future to use the VWP. It's only if you over stay the VWP visit that you can never use the VWP again.

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Old Jun 19th 2010, 10:01 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

Cite? I'm quite confident.
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 10:16 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

Cite why you are 100% that it is true.
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 10:18 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

Happened to my friend.
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 10:21 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

Originally Posted by henryh
Happened to my friend.

What happened to your friend? Denied at the POE and on subsequent travels couldn't obtain entry under the VWP?

Was there a code placed in their passport?
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 10:45 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

Yes. He was subsequently able to obtain a K-1. There was an annotation in his passport, and a copy of some kind of affidavit that he signed - I don't know all the details.
If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but as I said, I'm quite confident.
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 11:08 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

I would be very surprised if the OP actually were to be admitted into the US at the POE, having spent five months of this year in the US out of less than six months.
People have been refused entry for a good deal less than that.
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Old Jun 19th 2010, 11:50 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

This doesn't have the authority of the INA or anything, but...

http://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/v...velerguide.pdf
You need a visa if you:
• Intend to stay longer than 90 days
• Intend to travel to the United States for a reason other than
business or tourism
• Have been arrested, even if not convicted
• Have a criminal record
• Have a serious, communicable disease (including HIV)
• Have been refused entry to the United States on a previous occasion
• Have been deported from the United States
• Have previously overstayed the 90 days permitted under the VWP
• Are a child included on your parent's passport


But Wikipedia sez:
Those previously refused entry to the United States are not automatically ineligible for the visa waiver program, but unless the reason for refusal is addressed, it is likely to reoccur. Hence again, many Embassies advise such persons to apply for a tourist visa.
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Old Jun 20th 2010, 12:39 am
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - Some possible issues??

Originally Posted by nomadsurfer
If so, what would the reasoning of the immigration officer be...
The CBP officer isn't required to have a reason to deny you entry. Denial is at his sole discretion and at his sole whim.

Ian
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