Inadmissible? ESTA or US Entry Waiver required?

oshae

New Member
I am a Canadian citizen born and raised. My girlfriend and I have been together for over 5 years and have lived together for almost a year now. She is a South Korean citizen and a Permanent Resident of Canada for 4 years now.

A few years before I met her, she was in Canada on a work visa. She was travelling with a friend who was a US citizen, headed to Niagra Falls. Apparently they got on the wrong road and entered the line up at the border crossing there, with no way to turn around. They explained their mistake but she was immediately accused of attempting to enter the US, issued a 5 year ban and fingerprinted. The works.

When she exited and re-entered Canada to complete her PR process 4 years ago they mentioned the issue at the Niagra border crossing but that was it.

We would like to travel to Hawaii sometime next year. I'm not sure if she should be applying for an ESTA, a visa or a waiver?
 

Riley Haas

Well-Known Member
Because she is not a Canadian citizen she still needs an ESTA, which she can get online or at the border. (My understanding is the CBP greatly appreciates if she gets it online.) She'll know whether it's an issue when she applies for the ESTA. But even if she gets the ESTA she needs to mention it to the CBP officer when entering the US (which will actually happen at the Canadian airport if you are flying from Vancouver).
 

oshae

New Member
Thanks for the info, very helpful. Just to clarify you're saying she should mention being denied entry when at the border? Even if they don't bring it up?

We're not sure when we're going to go to Hawaii. We live close to the border so I think we are going to plan a trip to drive down to a US destination just for the weekend, and have her apply for the ESTA for that before we go. If there are no issues with that then we will plan the Hawaii trip. Better than getting to the airport in Van and being denied.
 

Riley Haas

Well-Known Member
If they don't ask her if she's even been denied then she shouldn't volunteer it, but if they ask she needs to be honest and clear about what happened.

Good luck!
 
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