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USA visa application

(7 Posts)
Lovechild2016 Wed 22-Feb-17 15:20:08

I have a problem and I realise before anyone says anything that yes it is my own fault for leaving it so late.

I am due to be travelling to California next week for a holiday. When I came to apply for my ESTA (as a British critizen) it asks the question have you ever travelled to Iraq?? I have completed the application as not sure what to do. I travelled to Kurdistan in 2013 with a charity to do some medical volunteering. The stamp is on my old passport and I have since changed my name as got married.

If ESTA is refused and I have to apply for visa through embassy apparently the wait is a month so won't be able to make the holiday next week.

My questions:

Does Kurdistan count as Iraq?
Will the USA know I was in Kurdistan from their online systems (I haven't travelled to USA since my trip to Iraq)
If I apply for ESTA and its refused is there any way I can still go to America next week?

Anyone who has any experience in this area I would really appreciate advice.

Thank you

UnGoogleable Wed 22-Feb-17 15:24:53

I can't answer the specifics of your question, but in general

1. They might not find out that you had visited Iraq if you don't disclose it. But you won't know until you come to US immigration. And if it comes up on their screen there, and it turns out you haven't disclosed it, it's highly likely they'll turn you round and send you home.

2. If you apply for an ESTA and it is refused, no you won't be able to go next week.

3. All is not lost - you can get a Visa in a day if you visit the Embassy in London in person. However, I've no idea how long the waiting list is to get an appointment - I'd get in touch with them today and give it a try.

WhatHaveIFound Wed 22-Feb-17 15:28:47

Watching with interest as DH and i went on holiday to Iran in the 90s and will be travelling to California in the Summer.

Jaimx86 Wed 22-Feb-17 15:31:18

DP's ESTA was denied a few years ago following a visit to the Middle East. He booked an appointment at the embassy in London, but it ended up being sorted by email. He emailed a contact number from the ESTA application asking why he'd been denied and in the end he just had to send some scanned documents to them. Can't you try to ring someone?

Jaimx86 Wed 22-Feb-17 15:32:42

WhathaveI, his ESTA was fine this time round (going to USA in April) so there must be a time limit where they're cautious about visits to countries on the list.

WhatHaveIFound Wed 22-Feb-17 15:38:34

This page states it's visits to those countries on or after March 1, 2011. So it looks like i'll be ok after all but you'll have to apply for a visa at the embassy Lovechild2016.

Lovechild2016 Wed 22-Feb-17 15:41:35

Ok thanks for info. I think I'm just going to be honest on the application as I don't want to be done for fraud! Hoping I'll be able to get appointment in turn. The person I woke to on the phone categorically told me it was going to be impossible though. Very frustrated with the whole thing.

The time limit is 2011 so if your visit was in the 90s whathaveifound you should be ok.

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