Many non-U.S. citizens believe that they will be able to enter the United States without issue because they have a valid visa or are entering under the Visa Waiver Program. Unfortunately, for some of those people, they will find out that they can not only be denied entry, they can be held in a jail until they can be returned to their home country. Take Molly Hill for example. Molly Hill is a citizen of Australia with an American boyfriend. She recently flew to Hawaii on the Visa Waiver Program expecting to have a nice vacation with her boyfriend. When she tried to enter through customs at the airport, Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents read through her diary, questioned her, and determined that she had not proven that she was going to return to Australia within the timeframe of the visa waiver program, which is 90 days. Instead, they believed that she was entering to marry her U.S. boyfriend and planning to stay inside the U.S., which would be a violation of the visa waiver program. Ms. Hill was taken into custody, spent the night in a jail, and returned to Australia the next day. She is also banned from using the Visa Waiver Program and must now apply for a B visa (visitor visa) at an embassy if she wishes to visit the United States. Of course, the probability of a B visa being approved in her case is low because CBP has already made a determination that she did not intend to depart the U.S. within the terms of the Visa Waiver Program.
So, what happened here? Why did CBP deny Ms. Hill’s admission? Under the Visa Waiver Program (INA §217) , the alien must prove: