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I'm a UK citizen and I've been planning a 6 month long road trip around the US for a while, I got my b1/b2 visa all sorted but my girlfriend (UK citizen same as me) is having complications with hers. Upon going for her interview she was found "ineligible". We think this was due to a few discrepancies between her application and her interview. For example, when she originally applied she had no job, but has since got one that will likely take her back on after our trip, among other things. So we've scheduled another appointment at the embassy, with her application all up to date, but the soonest slot available is only two weeks before our flights. Suffice to say we're in a bit of a panic.

What I want to know is what our safest bet at this stage would be? Do we try again at the embassy for a b1/b2 as planned? or do we cancel this appointment and just apply online for the ESTA. I have heard you may stay up to 90 days at a time on an ESTA, but this can be increased to 180 days in a year so long as it's not all at once? It's a bit more of a hassle leaving the country for a few days but we're willing to do this if it's our best option.

I have attached the letter she received after her interview. Any help would be massively appreciated thanks.

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  • Did she ask at the interview the reason for the refusal? The letter they hand out is stock, but the officer will tell you why you've been denied if you ask. – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Jun 25 at 18:44
  • help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1097/~/…: "If you were previously denied a visa [...] your ESTA application will most likely be denied." So unfortunately that option is pretty much off the table. – Nate Eldredge Jun 25 at 19:26
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    Yes they did give her a reason. They said she couldn't provide evidence of her intent to return. Apparently flight tickets aren't enough as they didn't even want to see those. Does this count as an outright denial? – Aidan Rickard Jun 25 at 19:38
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    Flight tickets demonstrate ability to return, not intent. – Michael Hampton Jun 25 at 19:46
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    USA visitor visas have a high degree of variance in approval. The fact that yours was approved and hers wasn't is immaterial. Two identical twins working with the same company and having the same profile could apply for a US visa and end up with different results. Sometimes there's really no method to the madness. She should reapply though and have her ducks in a row, its only $160 and you're from the UK not some poor developing countries, the odds don't get much better than a British applying for a US visa. Don't try coming on ESTA after visa is denied, high chances of being denied entry. – user 56513 Jun 25 at 21:12

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