Q: I've been refused a J1visa twice due to a DUI for ommitting the arrest on the application, how can I be able to use esta

Currently a masters student in France, I was supposed to go on an exchange program with a J1visa in 2019. I have previously travelled to the US several times. The last time, in 2016, I unfortunately got a DUI. I have since gotten a lawyer and took care of it. This year, 2018, i did not mention my dui or arrest because I was afraid that my visa would get refused. I went to the usa embassy for the interview. At the end, the officer took my passport and said "your visa has been approved". Two days later, I receive a letter saying "under law 214b(fail to provide proof of intent to return to france), your visa has been rejected" Worried, i booked a 2nd interview with maximum documentation showing my intent to return home. This time, the officer told me that I did not mention the DUI the first and second time (i did not know the visa got refused because of the dui the first time) He then told me I can't go to the us on an esta. I am in the dark about what I should do. Can someone please help

1 Lawyer Answer
Allen C. Ladd
Allen C. Ladd
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Greenville, SC

A: You will not be able to travel to the USA with a DUI arrest (even without conviction) within the past 5 years, because you are a public danger. You will need to get clearance from a "panel physician" who is on contract with the US consulate in France. Go to the consulate's website, or go to www.aila.org to look for a US immigration attorney in France, for further guidance. (If you don't find one in France, go to Germany in the listings, there are several I know of who handle this matter.)

INA 214(b) can be used to deny visas for many reasons, and here although it looked like it was about your failure to prove your intention to return abroad, they were actually using either the DUI or your failure to mention the DUI. So you have a misrepresentation issue as well as the DUI issue. Talk with the lawyer about this issue, too.

Bonne chance!

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