Is it possible that US DHS denies an entry to a passport holder eligible to enter the US with ESTA if he doesn't submit his other nationality on the online format? I mean, It may depend on the context because they wouldn't probably suspect a "Mathieu" having dual french/belgian citizenship entering with a French passport and omitting to submit his own belgian citizenship in the format, but they would suspect an "Ahmed" or "Abdul" having a French citizenship and having submitted no other nationality. So in the latter case, would DHS or immigration officer enquiry further about him or simply deny him entry because of him omitting to submit his other nationality? And how can they check that he omits his other nationality other than by name?

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Willeke Feb 23 '20 at 13:23

When you apply for an ESTA (or for a visa, for that matter), you are supposed to answer all the questions honestly, and as accurately as you can.

I’m pretty sure there’s actually some text in the form that says that.

If you omit things they asked for, they may or may not catch you, but if they do, they most definitely won’t like it, and the consequences can range from a simple ESTA or visa refusal, denial of entry at the border, to an outright ban. A ban can be an explicit ban for up to 10 years, or it can be an implicit ban for life, just because they no longer trust you. I’m quite certain that in some extreme cases this can also result in fines or emprisonnent (beyond the time you will be kept in holding until they can send you back if you are denied entry).

Remember that all applications are attached to you as a person, not to any passport or citizenship you hold or may have held in the past. If you have already previously entered the US with different details, it will be trivial for them to match the two entries, at application time based on name, date and place of birth etc, or at the border when they check your fingerprints.

Attempting to lie to any immigration official is always a very, very bad idea. It will catch up with you at some point, sooner or later, and it can ruin your chances of ever entering not only the country to which you lied, but any other countries who ask if you ever were denied a visa or entry, or those who exchange data with that country. Just don’t do it.

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    (+1) If you unambiguously hold another nationality, you obviously should declare it. The main grey area is countries like Iran, where, by Iranian law, nationality is inherited from the father. However, the US assesses nationality according to US principles (which include the right of "expatriation"). Therefore, in the case of a person who has never had any Iranian documentation and is not registered with an Iranian embassy/consulate, and does not consider him/herself Iranian, I always tell them not to declare themselves as dual nationals, and to enter under the VWP if a VWP national. – Crazydre Feb 22 '20 at 15:57
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    The ban can also be an explicit ban for life, which is in fact the duration of the US ban for misrepresentation. – phoog Feb 22 '20 at 16:00
  • @phoog Ah, I didn’t know that, I was under the impression the longest explicit ban was 10 years. But implicit or explicit, once then caught you lying, it’s quite difficult to convince them you’re now truthful... – jcaron Feb 22 '20 at 20:42
  • @Crazydre there are indeed many situations where you could avail yourself of a nationality by birth, but did not ever do anything related to that nationality (like getting registered, getting a passport...). That is a grey area, and the US will probably accept that at face value. But if you ever did anything official related to that nationality, you should most definitely declare it. – jcaron Feb 22 '20 at 20:46
  • @jcaron you may be confusing the US with the UK in that regard. The US has several indefinite bans at 8 USC 1182. – phoog Feb 22 '20 at 21:39

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