Boy denied entry to the United States, ruins trip to Disneyland

Boy denied entry to the United States because of passport

A British boy was denied entry to the United States this month because he was considered a “threat”. Born in the United Kingdom, the boy was deemed inadmissible because of his South African passport, which gave immigration officials reason to suspect that the nine-year-old boy was a flight risk.

The boy’s grandparents had paid thousands of dollars to go on a trip to Disneyland and were keeping it a surprise until mid-February, when they’d intended to tell him where they were headed while at the airport. Disneyland receives over 13 million visitors per year, many of which are from countries outside of the United States.

Boy who was denied entry to the United States was born in the United Kingdom

While the boy was born and raised in the United Kingdom, his grandparents immigrated to the United Kingdom from South Africa in 1990. His grandparents got the boy a South African passport, which means that the boy would need a United States Tourist Visa to visit the United States.

Those who are citizens or nationals of the countries on the Visa Waiver Program List do not need a United States Tourist Visa and can apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), which is what the grandparents could have done for the boy if he had a British passport.

What about Canadian Permanent Residents being Denied Entry to the United States?

For Canadians, you can generally enter the US with your valid Canadian passport subject to certain inadmissibility issues.But you currently have a Permanent Resident card in Canada, you are allowed to leave the country of course. You can leave with or with out a PR Card.

However, Permanent Resident cards are not passports and you must still use your old passport to travel, including to the United States. If you are in the middle of applying for your Permanent Resident card, you may also leave the country but must notify a Visa office in order to get the proper documents to travel.

Those living in Canada hoping to travel to the United States, especially during this time of year when the weather is so miserable, should take a warning from this story. Don’t spend thousands of dollars on a trip for your family, only to find out that a family member is inadmissible because they are deemed a “threat” thanks to their passport’s country of origin.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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