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To think that the ESTA application programme to get into the US is a bit hair-raising?

(129 Posts)
pointythings Sat 03-Aug-13 18:35:36

Was doing applications for me and DDs to go to Disney in 2 weeks (and yes, I really should have done it earlier, I know!) and at the end I got.... Application Pending. shock! Have always, always been approved straight away, was having all kinds of visions of not being able to go.

When I checked half an hour later we were approved, but it really wasn't good for my blood pressure...

Tee2072 Wed 07-Aug-13 14:27:47

I think my favourite, just recalled, US Immigration moment was when we went through SFO 3.5 years ago.

"Why is your passport issued by the State Department?!?!"
"Because I live permanently in the UK."
"What?!?! WHY?!?!"
"Um...because I do?"

She honestly, I swear, had never met an Ex-pat before!!

greenfolder Wed 07-Aug-13 14:40:37

A few years ago we were on a flight to florida. Next to us were a family that had flown a few days before on UK passports. The husband and kids has US passports and dual nationality. They were refused entry, sent back to the uk-had to get their passports, rebook seats etc. They were only going back because it was a family celebration (I think it was their 10 year old that offered up this info to the us border person )

limitedperiodonly Wed 07-Aug-13 14:53:53

I attend a junket held in Los Angeles for people round the world in my industry.

A Kiwi living in Australia was held in custody for 12 hours and sent back on the next flight to Sydney in shackles because she'd made a genuine mistake and didn't have a visa.

Not that daft - she didn't realise until she was on the flight talking to a colleague that attending the conference, unpaid, counted as work. It's a mistake quite a few people I know have made - they just weren't found out. I didn't realise either but luckily someone told me before I went.

She innocently thought that if she confessed at immigration, apologised and applied at LAX she'd be let in. Poor fool.

It didn't help that the official didn't realise New Zealand was a country and not part of Australia. When the Kiwi tried to explain the official flew into a rage because she was unpleasant as well as stupid. There was more idiocy, but we'd be here all day wink

She was allowed back with the correct paperwork but was told that if she'd tried to lie there'd have been no chance of ever being allowed allowed in the Land of the Free again.

Sounds tempting when you put it like that.

Taz1212 Wed 07-Aug-13 15:37:48

Tee, I've had that sort of reaction a few times from immigration - to be fair, it was more common 15-20 years ago. Once I explain that we lived in America because of my father's job they are a bit more understanding. grin I've spent my entire adult life in the UK and the US is as foreign a country to me now as Italy is. When I'm asked why on earth don't I want to live in America, my internal reaction is to think, "but why would I want to live somewhere foreign?" although we're just back from Mallorca and it was rather nice... grin

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