I overstayed my stay over ten years ago by 6 days by mistake. When I went again they denied me entry and told me I would have to apply for a B-1/B-2 visa and wouldn't be able to use the VWP. When I got back to London, I've applied for a visa a few times with relevant documents and have been denied. So what should I do?

When they denied me entry in the US they interrogated me for 8 hours then detained me in a cell. The next day I was escorted into a flight back to London.

What should I do? Will I be able to re-enter the US? Should I apply for an ESTA then a B-1/B-2 visa or just ESTA? I just want to visit my friends in the US and have a holiday.

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    How long has it been since you last tried to apply for a US visa? Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 3:02
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    One of the questions on the ESTA is if you've ever been denied admission to the US, which it certainly sounds like you have. Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 3:32
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    This is not an answer, it's a comment I am deeply saddened to need to write. My best advice is to wait until the tides turn. Right now someone with the name Ali and a difficult admission history has zero chance of gaining admission to the USA. Wait until the rapeublicans are gone and the USA strikes down the muslim ban.
    – user4188
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 4:15
  • Hello @chx, good to see you again :D On-topic, I disagree: OP should be fine if providing substantial proof of ties to his country, at least for a "mainstream" tourist/business visit
    – Crazydre
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 4:17
  • On past application did you explain the reason of overstay and some assurances you will not do it again (return ticket) Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 9:27

2 Answers 2


What should I do?

As you've already applied for a B visa without success, you should try to figure out whether preparing a stronger application will help, and, if so, how to prepare one. We can't advise you about that because you haven't explained what your earlier applications were like, nor on what grounds they were refused.

Certain grounds of refusal would require you to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility. Without knowing why your applications were refused it is not possible to say whether this concerns you.

Your best bet is to retain a reputable US immigration lawyer, if you can afford one.

Will I be able to re-enter the US?

It may be possible, but it will be difficult.

Should I apply for an ESTA then a B-1/B-2 visa or just ESTA?

Anyone traveling with a B visa does not need ESTA. It is only needed by travelers using the visa waiver program. You do not qualify for the visa waiver program because you have violated its terms in the past. This disqualification is permanent, so there is not much point in applying for ESTA. Your only hope is to get a B visa.


You cannot get an ESTA, as you're ineligible for visa-free entry.

So you need to get the B visa, and attach any and all proof of your ties to where you live (proof of employment, family etc. along with a printed itinerary and return ticket).

Based on what you wrote, I'm going to assume they've kept refusing you because they simply don't trust you due to your previous overstay. "He overstayed once, why shouldn't he do it again?" Your documentation essentially needs to satisfactorily answer that question

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    But maybe he was refused for deception.
    – phoog
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 5:52

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