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I have been traveling to U.S. on ESTA, but on my last trip they told me to get a tourist visa, because I had been first 5 weeks in the US and 4 weeks in Norway and then 3 months in u.s and 5 weeks in Norway, so my last trip after that I was going to stay for 3 months again. They let me in, but said that I needed to stay 3 months in Norway then I could go for 3 months. So they told me to get a tourist visa, but I was denied. I sold my apartment, and don't have a job now, and I have a boyfriend in US. That's why they denied me a tourist visa. Now we are working on a fiancé visa.

But I would like to visit my fiancé and his children. I apply for a ESTA again when I have been in Norway for 3 months?

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    Visa Waiver is specifically for "short and occasional" visits to the US. Your history indicates that your visits were really long and continuous, which is almost certainly why you were refused. A fiance visa is almost certainly the way to go now. – DJClayworth Oct 4 '15 at 18:26
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The DHS does not disclose the criteria by which ESTA is approved or denied but we know the other way around -- if you are denied entry on ESTA even once , you need to get a visa. Meaning, getting a visa is deliberately a more through check. No way if that is denied you'd be given the ESTA. And, given your circumstances the only way to enter the USA is via a K-1 visa (or some other long term visa but K-1 is most likely to be granted). You have no ties to your home country by your own admission and your travel patterns and connections show definitely an intent not to visit but to live in the USA.

  • And yet I know people from WVP-eligible countries who have been denied a visa and have subsequently entered with ESTA/WVP (after correctly disclosing their visa refusal). WVP nationals applying for B1/B2 visas are given extra scrutiny when applying for a visa due to the fact they have chosen not to use the WVP program, which is in itself generally suspicious. – Doc Mar 24 at 2:51
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You can absolutely apply for an ESTA.

The real question is whether your ESTA will be approved, and realistically nobody can answer that other than you - by actually applying for one! During the ESTA application you will need to disclose that you has previously had a visa denied (The specific question is "Have you ever been denied a U.S. visa you applied for with your current or previous passport, or have you ever been refused admission to the United States or withdrawn your application for admission at a U.S. port of entry?"), however this will not in and of itself cause your ESTA to be refused.

If your ESTA is approved, then you can still potentially have issues at the border, and/or be admitted for a period shorter than you are asking for. There is no specific rule for how long you need to stay outside of the US between trips, but the general rule of thumb is that you need to be outside of the US for longer than you were in the US. The combination of many trips to the US, your previous warning about entering the US, and the fact you have a boyfriend in the US will almost certainly make Customs and Border Patrol officers suspicious that you may not plan to leave the US when your period of entry is over which increases the chances you will not be allowed entry - even with a valid ESTA.

As an aside, the maximum period you can stay in the US under the Visa Waiver Program is 90 days, which is NOT normally the same as 3 months. It's only a few days difference, but it can be an important distinction.

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