When arriving at the airport or port, passengers are controlled by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It is they who decide whether people are fit to enter the United States. To be eligible you must be in compliance with the following:
- Meet the criteria of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
- Be in possession of an authorized ESTA.
- Possess a valid passport under the VWP.
- Do not be a threat to the health, welfare, protection or safety of the country.
- Waive the right to protest against any decision by CBP regarding your eligibility. You will get this agreement by providing your biometric information to the authorities (giving your passport) and providing fingerprints and personal photographs. The only case in which an appeal can be made on a decision made by CBP is during the asylum application.
- To have met these conditions on previous entry to the United States under the VWP.
Example 1: Marc
Marc is known to his friends and family to be particularly paranoid about personal issues. He wants his life and interests to remain private.
Last month, for the first time, Marc arrived in the United States, in Seattle. There, Marc had to do immigration checks, and he was very surprised that the immigration officer, after examining his passport and travel authorization, asked him to give his fingerprints and make a portrait Of identity.
Marc wanted to know why.
As part of the visa waiver program, we are required to provide the biometric data. There is no exception to this obligation.
Immigration officers scrupulously follow the instructions, and they are the ones who make the final decision about your eligibility in the United States. It’s up to you to be serious.
An uncooperative or suspicious attitude can trigger further checks on your person, which may prevent you from entering the country.
Example 2: Shelly
Shelly is a citizen of Singapore who was denied a tourist visa by the US Embassy in 2001. By answering online questions to get her ESTA for her trip to Miami, Shelly had answered no to the question of whether she had ever been denied entry to the United States.
Upon arrival at Miami airport, during immigration checks, Shelly had the unpleasant surprise of being led separately in an office for clarification.
As you can imagine, the US Department of Immigration had a file on Shelly that reported that they were denied a visa in 2001.
After a few hours of waiting and further checks by the authorities, Shelly was granted the right to return, provided that she reported the 2001 incident in the future.
One of the conditions for entry into the United States is to comply with immigration laws, which implies the strictest honesty in answering all ESTA questions.