6

I am a British citizen with a British passport, and have travelled quite extensively for holidays. I like going off the beaten track, and am seriously contemplating a trip to the Yemeni island of Socotra. This question is not about the safety of that trip. I'm aware of the UK government's advice on visiting Yemen, but have also done considerable research into Socotra specifically, and am currently of the view that this particular trip (which would avoid mainland Yemen entirely) would be sufficiently safe. Edit: Obviously further research is needed on this point, but that's not the point of this question.

However, Socotra is in Yemen, and anyone who has visited Yemen (since 2011) is not eligible to use the Visa Waiver Program when visiting the United States. If I'm honest, the US is not my favourite country, and I'm unlikely to want to visit the country frequently or at short notice, but neither do I want to preclude returning to the US. In principle I know I can still apply for a US visa, but I'm trying to ascertain how likely it is that my application will be successful.

I've visited the US three times previously under the Visa Waiver Program, and have never had difficulty getting visas when visiting other countries. Other than liking to visit obscure holiday destinations, there's no reason why I would ever anticipate a problem getting a visa. I have no police record or history of overstaying my visa; I can easily document having the financial resources to finance any visit I'm likely to make; and I have various financial, professional and family ties to the UK. But I know that if I am declined a visa once it can make it harder to obtain future visas, including for different countries, so I'm trying to find out more about that risk before deciding whether to visit Socotra. Unfortunately the only information I have managed to locate is from those with a vested interest in persuading me to visit Socotra. Can anyone give me advice or direct me to further information?

closed as primarily opinion-based by JonathanReez Aug 29 '17 at 13:52

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 2
    You should expect no other than don't go. Nothing you will do will ameliorate the increased probability of being denied a US visa for visiting Yemen, nothing. Your ability to prove all other requirements for a US visa become moot once the issue becomes one of national security. – user 56513 Mar 29 '17 at 22:53
  • 2
    I am quite honestly not sure you have done enough research into this. I have written an answer to Is it safe to travel to Socotra, Yemen? and at least half a year ago the point was that you had no way of even getting there that did not involve a combination of civil war, pirates, Al-Qaeda and sharks, so maybe you want to clarify that organisational aspect first? Then, as said above, you will have to convince the U.S. that you are not a threat to national security so I would not count on getting that visa. BTW I'm getting it, seems amazing there! – mts Mar 29 '17 at 23:00
  • I did read that answer some time ago, @mts, and gave it due consideration. The trip I'm considering involves charter flights direct between UAE and Socotra which means I can avoid the Yemeni mainland and boats (and the risk of piracy). I doubt I would consider it otherwise. Anyway, this question really isn't about the safety, which I accept is a serious question and one I need to give further thought to. – Richard Smith Mar 29 '17 at 23:10
  • 1
    On further reflection, I'm probably guilty of something that annoys me we others do it on this site: ignoring advice I don't want to hear. This blog post in particular gives a good example of someone in the same position I would be in failing to get into the US. I think that has probably made up my mind not to go. – Richard Smith Mar 30 '17 at 0:35
  • 1
    Coincidentally, I just saw an article about a guy who visited every country on Earth. His two final countries were Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Presumably he's not planning to go to the US again anytime soon. – Greg Hewgill Mar 30 '17 at 1:06