Every trip to the US starts at immigration, and on my now nine visits to the US, none of the encounters have been pleasant, but this last one is the worst I’ve tried so far.
I complained about it on our Facebook page, but let me tell you what happened:
The line was long and seemed to not be moving. It did, of course, but slowly. We ended up waiting in line for a little more than one and a half hours. Ugh! So annoying after a long flight.
When we finally had to talk to an officer, we were almost done, when he asked us to step into one of the small investigation rooms that everybody fears. Jonas had already been cleared, but he was struggling with my two passports: my current passport and my old one containing my US visa.
My heart nearly stopped. Thankfully, Jonas was allowed to come with me. I was investigated by two officers: a man and a woman, aka. Good Cop and Bad Cop.
They asked me if I had ever used my visa before. I told them that I had, last year in San Francisco. I had applied for the visa because I wanted to stay for longer than the 90 days that you get through the ESTA program.
They asked me lots of questions and suddenly the woman (Bad Cop) asked me:
So please tell us why you overstayed on your last visit?
I must have looked very surprised. I had no idea what she was talking about. I asked her what she meant by that and after lots of questions back and forth, I finally found out what was going on.
Basically, what happened was that the lady in San Francisco had granted me the only 90 days entrance by mistake last year. I’m sure it was a mistake because nobody told me that my B2 visa – and thus my desired 111 days long stay – hadn’t been accepted at immigration.
But because of that mistake it now looked like I had overstayed on my last visit – not something they appreciate at US Immigration. Damn. I tried to explain myself, since I know I did nothing wrong.
I showed my return ticket at immigration in San Francisco – she knew how long I was going to stay. And she accepted and I was let in.
I don’t think you’re telling us the truth
Bad Cop continued to say. Annoyingly, she was eating pistacchio nuts, making lots of annoying sounds and not even looking at me while telling me that she thought I was lying.
I felt so helpless.
In the end, Bad Cop had to leave. Obviously, going home was more important than making me feel like shit. I really think she was just messing with me and enjoying herself while doing so. Some people just can’t handle having too much power.
Good Cop tried standing up for me many times – he was a superstar.
When Bad Cop finally left, he granted me entrance with my B2 visa right away – and with a smile. All was good and I was very thankful to finally breath the fresh, hot air outside.
Now I just hope that my future visits to the US will begin a bit smoother than this one. My B2 visa expires in 2022, so I have maaany years of fun with it to come.