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Will I be able to enter the USA?
March 28, 2014 8:54 AM   Subscribe

I'm a British citizen planning to travel to the USA soon. Last time I left the USA, my green I-94W visa waiver card wasn't removed from my passport. That was in 2002. I threw it away maybe 5 years later, thinking it was silly to keep it. I have since found that the US likes to cancel them anyway. I've have got an ESTA preclearance, which I assume looks up as much information as the immigration officers would have to hand at the airport.

I am aware that I can also file a request with the DHS to get them to attempt to sort it, but I don't have conclusive documentation of my return to the UK (I was out of work at the time, lolling around for a long summer until I was admitted to hospital), so my worry is that filing any paperwork will do more harm than good. If anyone does have any stories of being denied entry to the US for these purposes or having entered with similar paperwork issues, then that'd be great.
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
 
Oh! I am a British citizen and the exact same thing happened to me. I kept my waiver, though.

My question, and answered. Perhaps you can provide them any evidence at all that you'd left the US and you were present in the UK when you came back. (A sworn statement from a friend/colleague/landlord?)
posted by randomination at 9:28 AM on March 28 [1 favorite]


I'm in Mexico so i din't know about the specifics you say, but I think I've heard some people in similar situations bring paperwork with them that proves they've been living in their home country such as bank statements, proof of a job, utility bills etc.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 11:58 AM on March 28


What kind of travel? You don't need a tourist visa to come from the UK to the US, and if you're not staying long, I should think it wouldn't be an issue. But maybe I don't understand the question.
posted by Because at 10:45 PM on March 28


As per that website:
"If you departed by a commercial air or sea carrier (airlines or cruise ships), your departure from the U.S. can be independently verified, and it is not necessary to take any further action, although holding on to your outbound (from the U.S.) boarding pass - if you still have it - can help facilitate your reentry next time you come back to the United States."
posted by dave99 at 6:31 AM on March 29


What kind of travel? You don't need a tourist visa to come from the UK to the US, and if you're not staying long, I should think it wouldn't be an issue. But maybe I don't understand the question.

UK visitors under the Visa Waiver Program can enter the US for no more than 90 days at a time. We used to be given a little card on entry, with a number on it that corresponded to a bigger card it was torn from, that was collected on exit (usually by airline staff at the gate as you board the plane) to show we'd left the country. If it wasn't collected and matched up with the other part of the card, in theory the traveller would be flagged after 90 days as an overstayer.

The correct thing to do if you found you still had the card was to contact the US Embassy to explain that you still had it, send it in with confirmation that you were back in the UK. As there is now electronic pre-authorised via the ESTA system, I'm not sure what happens now. Hence the question. The OP doesn't want to be refused entry because he might have been flagged up 5 years ago as an overstayer when he was back in the UK all along.
posted by essexjan at 1:54 PM on March 29


The exact same thing happened to me, either in 2001 or 2002. I have never had any difficulty in returning to the USA.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:52 AM on March 30


Thanks all. OP here safely returned from the U.S. I had no problems at all getting into the country.
posted by ambrosen at 7:49 AM on April 26


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