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J1 visa rejected twice / unable to apply for ESTA

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  • J1 visa rejected twice / unable to apply for ESTA

    Hello and thank you for reading my thread,

    Here is my story:

    I came to the US on an F1 visa in 2009 and stayed for 10 months. I travelled to the US several times since then on ESTA. In 2016, the last time I travelled to US, I received a DUI in california which I have since taken care of with a lawyer. I am currently finishing paying off the fines via payment plan.

    This year, I was admitted to a texas university through my business school here in France for an academic exchange program. I scheduled my interview at the US embassy in Paris and on the application, i did not mention that I had received a DUI or that I had been arrested because I was scared of getting my visa refused.

    After the first interview, the officer says "your visa has been approved". He takes my passport and says that I will receive it in a few days. Two days later, I receive a letter saying I did not abide to law 214(b) which states I need to provide sufficient proof of intent to return home to France after my stay.

    Scared, I reapplied for an interview a week later. Because of the fact that the real motive of refusal was not communicated to me with the first refusal, I ended up making the same mistake for the second interview. During the second interview, the officer said "you got a dui and did not mention it". He then proceeded to telling me my application was being refused a second time.

    He said I would not be eligible for ESTA and that I would have to go through a B1 visa. He then got up and left from the booth.

    My current objective: I've already rearranged my plans to stay in France. My goal now is to be just able to travel to the USA on an ESTA. I basically want to prove to the US that I am capable of following the laws and that I've already taken steps to deal with the DUI and that I am a harmless french master's student that just wants to travel to the USA.

    Does any have any idea how I can navigate this ? Any help will be deeply appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by noylmefrance; 12-29-2018, 07:20 AM.