I know there are lots of previous questions about visiting boyfriend/girlfriend in the USA and I did look over them. They are very helpful. My case is a little bit different, so that I think it might be useful to start a new question.
First of all, my girlfriend is not a US citizen. She is the same as I am, a Chinese citizen. She is currently doing research on a J1 visa in the USA. I was a J-1 visa holder from last November to this June. We met in the city where we were conducting research, and fell in love. After June, I went to the country where I am doing my PhD (not the USA or China). We are planning a three-week trip this December in the States.
I do have a valid ten-year B1/B2 visa. I applied for it several years ago as I was attending a conference. Since I have this visa, I can enter the States.
However, when I answer the CBP at my port or entry, their first question would be what's my purpose. What should I say? I am not trying to hide anything. Do you think having vacation with my girlfriend would be appropriate? My question differs from the previous questions in the forum in two senses:
First, my girfriend is not a US citizen or green card holder. Second, we are not meeting in the city where she is doing research, but in Honolulu.
I have several worries:
I have heard so many stories that visiting a girlfriend in the US is a red flag to CBP.
I have already spent 7 months in US with a J1 visa. Would they think that's already too long? This trip is 3 weeks with B1/B2 visa.
My onward ticket is to China since I will have another five weeks holiday with my parents in China.