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Friends of ours were supposed to fly out to the USA today. A couple in their 50's, 16 y o daughter and elderly grandma. The dad is an accountant and ...
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    Junior Member sammy's Avatar
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    US visa waiver approved but denied permission to land.

    Friends of ours were supposed to fly out to the USA today. A couple in their 50's, 16 y o daughter and elderly grandma. The dad is an accountant and the mum is a nurse. Very conservative WASPy types. They had their visa waiver program approvals months ago.
    Qantas rang them this morning to say that the grandmother, mother and daughter have been denied landing approval (from manifest) Qantas reckon it's only ever happened once or twice before.
    The US embassy couldn't help and everything stateside was closed. So, the plane left without them and the situation is still unresolved.
    I suppose it is some kind of mistaken identity, but it seems crazy. Apparently this is almost unheard of, and they have picked on an elderly lady, a middle aged nurse and a school girl!

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    Posting Enthusiast simongr's Avatar
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    I don't think that they picked on the people - more likely picked on the names. Out of interest do the three women have similar names?
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    Junior Member sammy's Avatar
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    Re: US visa waiver approved but denied permission to land.

    They all have the same surname (including the dad who was OK'd) Mum and daughter have completely different first names. I don't know the grandma but I assume her name is different, too.

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    Established Member harvyk's Avatar
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    Re: US visa waiver approved but denied permission to land.

    I'm going with simongr, I expect that they ran the names over a terrorist watch list and someone somewhere with a similar name (I don't even think it needs to be an exact match) has been flagged on their system. You will most likely need to get a redress number from the DHS which basically says "I know Jane Smith is evil, but I'm not the Jane Smith you are looking for". I believe it then needs to be attached to all future bookings...

    Check out
    TSA: DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP)

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    Thumbs down Re: US visa waiver approved but denied permission to land.

    Wow that sucks. To have the visa waiver approved months ago and to then be denied on the last day seems very unfair. What's the point of the whole waiver process then?


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    Established Member harvyk's Avatar
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    Re: US visa waiver approved but denied permission to land.

    Quote Originally Posted by stomplad View Post
    Wow that sucks. To have the visa waiver approved months ago and to then be denied on the last day seems very unfair. What's the point of the whole waiver process then?
    You'd probably find it's two completely different things, the first is permission by customs to enter the country, the second is permission to fly to the country. Whilst customs is usually the headache for travelers the checks for actually getting on a plane and flying there are only done at T-72 by Department of Homeland Security. (Which is why they prefer all US bound flights to be booked with more than 3 days to spare)

    Had the ticket been a direct flight (or at least one which didn't transit in the US) to either Mexico or Canada and the pax then drove across the boarder at a checkpoint then chances are there would have been no problems.

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    Does seem strange, but it Will be a watchlist of sorts. Imho I'd prefer it to happen there instead of arriving and being denied.

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    Re: US visa waiver approved but denied permission to land.

    Yes, I get the similar names thing, but three of them? I would understand it more if they had denied the whole group, but the dad was approved. To me that implies that they approved/denied them each on an individual basis. It also seems a bit odd to deny a minor.
    The names are similar in popularity/ethnicity to, say, Greg, Jennifer and Emma Reid (obviously not their real names)
    I will post an update on how this all turns out. I expect there will be several phone calls to Washington tonight once US offices ore open.

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    Re: US visa waiver approved but denied permission to land.

    Quote Originally Posted by sammy View Post
    Yes, I get the similar names thing, but three of them? I would understand it more if they had denied the whole group, but the dad was approved. To me that implies that they approved/denied them each on an individual basis. It also seems a bit odd to deny a minor.
    The names are similar in popularity/ethnicity to, say, Greg, Jennifer and Emma Reid (obviously not their real names)
    I will post an update on how this all turns out. I expect there will be several phone calls to Washington tonight once US offices ore open.
    Wow this sounds scary and random. I've booked for the US next May and while I've been there before its was 30 years ago. How soon can I at least get my visa waiver?

    Thanks Paul

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    Re: US visa waiver approved but denied permission to land.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spudwa View Post
    Wow this sounds scary and random. I've booked for the US next May and while I've been there before its was 30 years ago. How soon can I at least get my visa waiver?

    Thanks Paul
    You can get it now - it lasts for 2 years.

    Cheers,
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    I have a signature.

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