How to intentionally get denied entry to the US, without getting into trouble?

  • I have a multiple entry visitors visa for five years. I went to USA last year and lived there for one year with my husband (6 months entry and other 6 months of extension).

    I left USA legally. Now my family wants me to go back and live with my stupid in-laws and husband in USA. I don't want to go but I have family issues and I have to go. Is there a way I can get deported from the airport?

    How can I get denied at the airport from entering USA without getting in trouble? (My husband overstayed his visa and he's now an illegal immigrant there. The problem is, if I get an entry he'll make me overstay too and I don't want that)

    I'm from Pakistan, and we have a Pakistani passport. I also have a Schengen visa and am currently a Spanish resident.

    The easiest way is to get your husband deported. Call USCIS tell them where he is and have him deported.

    Another idea is to tell border patrol that you're being forced to come to the US against your will.

    I called homeland security and told them every single details about him, even his work and Address. But they didn't deport him, they gave him 3 months to hire an attorney and come back to court so he went and applied for political asylum. Now they can't deport him :(

    Thanks Mark. I didn't really know how to ask lol, guess I'm the weirdest person who wants to get deported from airport, sounds silly :( but it's about my life and my career. I can't leave my college and come to USA and stay there. Why do I have to do that if I have better options in my country but my family doesn't understand :(

    @user11743 This is not silly. I think everybody understands your situation. Some countries have good organization to support women in these situations, but I am afraid your country is not one of them. (I don't have good advice for you unfortunately)

    @user11743 not silly at all, it's a very interesting and valid situation! Great that you were able to come on here and try and find a solution!

    Beware, if you get denied entry once it will be hard to get there again (forever).

    Can you contact you local US Embassy? Explain to them that you would like your visa revoked / cancelled. They may be able to do so - that way you can explain to your relatives that "The crazy Americans cancelled my visa and I can't do anything about it."

    Really? I can get my visa cancelled? How? That would be the best way. I won't have a "deported from the airport" record and I will be able to get a visa again whenever I want and meet my friends :D

    If you tell the border patrol agent that you will be coerced to overstay your visa, you should be denied entry. Also, what if you "lost" your passport? You'd need to reapply for a visa at the US Embassy, and if you tell them that you'll be coerced to overstay it, you'll most likely get your visa application denied.

    Talking to the embassy *should* cause them to take some form of action. I mean, you are saying that if you're granted entry into the US, you'll be coerced into committing a crime. One would think that the embassy wouldn't hold that against you, seeing as you haven't yet committed any crime and that you're attempting to avert one. If that's going to work well with your family situation on the other hand, I don't know.

    I got my visa from Pakistan and I'm living in Spain right now, so I don't know if the embassy people can help me without me getting in trouble :(

    I would "accidentally" lose my passport right before the flight. Wouldn't that be an option?

    My dad has my passport :( I will try to steal and then lose it, but is it gonna work? I might get a new passport with a visa and I will have to go again :(

    From what I've read of your situation it appears: * you have been forced to marry someone * your passport is being withheld from you Both of these are immoral acts. Since you say you have a schengen visa, would it be possible to travel to a country in the schengen area where these acts are illegal and go to the police there? You say you don't want to get the family into trouble but that have already committed crimes against you. And you are not in Pakistan any more - you don't have to put up with these crimes. Though spain does not have a forced marriage law, there are EU countries that do.

    I have thought about doing that but I can't just leave and get my mum and younger sister in trouble. They'll pay for it and they're living in Pakistan so I don't wanna do it.

    Contact the US Embassy in Madrid and explain the situation. Their phone number is at

    I insist that you should contact an association before trying to do anything on your own. The employee you'll find in the embassy may not understand your needs or your reasons for wanting to be rejected from the US. Also, any "I lost my passport" seems pretty hard to justify as a coincidence, and, at best, gives you only a few months before facing the same problem again.

    This is the most serious question I have ever seen on Stack Exchange. I feel slightly ashamed for initially thinking otherwise, when I had only read the title.

    Never get deported. That stays as a blemish on your immigration record. Better get help and try not to board the flight to US.

    Out of curiosity, why not go to the US, make some friends, go stay with them for a bit, sue for divorce, and then as soon as that is settled, return to Pakistan? You can make yourself not legally able to remain in the US, and yet still leave on good terms.

    Doesn't the US Visa application literally ask you if you will overstay? If you answer "yes", it will probably bring up a text box saying "Explain:", and you can explain.

    Thank you so much everyone. Ok let me tell you something, My husband told me if I don't get entry, he'll go for paper marriage to get a green card and for that purpose he'll have to make an official divorce letter with me. That's a fake divorce but official. So I was thinking if somehow I don't enter USA and he goes for paper marriage I will get divorce papers. And that's all I want. I won't have to be bad and leave my family and go through tough time.

    In Canada, we have a number of organizations that provide services directly to individuals who are dealing with forced marriage. I'm not sure how relevant it can be to your situation but for onlookers... I'm certain that there must be sister organizations in the US.

    @user11743 I think we would all be very pleased to hear from you in a few weeks to know that you successfully managed to solve your issues. Don't hesitate to post here how you operated, so that other people can benefit from your experience.

  • This question was shared on Hackernews and has a lot of comments and ideas over there that might be of interest to you as well.

    Some of the major points raised there:

    • do take into consideration how many people here are for you trying to get out of this situation BEFORE going to the US
    • seek support. You've done the right thing reaching out online, now it's time to speak to a women's rights group, embassy, potentially even the police.
    • if you do, write everything down first, to make sure you get the message across plainly. You'll likely be nervous and upset, and it'll help to have a prepared statement.

    There are some other options like telling the border officer that you're likely to overstay, which will get you taken aside for further questioning, at which point you can explain your situation. But it would be better to find a solution BEFORE your flight.

    This is the best answer, overall. I hope @user11743 takes this advice.

    Thank you so much. I have considered this option but as I told you if I go to some women's right organisation and bring dishonour to my family, I will get in deep shit. I know I can go to police, a shelter or something but I'm concerned about my mother. If I do something stupid like leaving home and seeking security ,my mother will get in trouble and she's in Pakistan. I'm waiting for her to come here and then I will take a step.

    @user11743 if you visit an organisation like this, you don't have to do anything you don't want to. Listen to what they can suggest, they'll have ideas we haven't had on here. They might be able to come up with a more useful suggestion. And if not, you can walk away - nothing lost, as nobody else needs to know.

  • One of your best chances if you're not too much in a hurry would be to go see a specialized association in Spain (maybe a feminist association?).

    These people would then have access to bigger means (embassy for example?) that could help you. These people can act with discretion.

    As suggested by others, the idea to be denied the entrance is tricky and may not work or have unexpected results.

    The association "Coordinadora Feminista" seems to deal with both women's rights and immigration. You may want to send them an email describing your situation (don't use your usual email address so they can't get back to you if you don't want to).

    Thanks for your suggestion. I don't wanna do anything to cause dishonour to my family by going to agencies and then go through honour killing lol.

    They don't need to know that. These kind of associations frequently deal with sensible cases. They can act without making anything public. Make sure you choose a serious association though if you choose to go that way.

    This is the most useful answer I've read - there are organisations who are experts in helping with this sort of thing. If you can't find one, even start with a counsellor who could then direct you.

    Like what kind of association? I haven't heard about one around here :( Can you give some more detail on it?

    I'm not from Spain and can't give you good advice but searching for "feminista asociación espana" in Google seems to give interesting results. These associations usually deal with violent husbands and so on. They can protect the women by giving them a place to live and advices so they can escape their fate. While your case is a bit unusual, they will have access to other resources and will give you good advice. They know about discretion and the doubts/fears you may have.

    @user11743 like others suggested - womens' associations, feminist ones, in fact even visiting a church and asking to speak in confidence, they would most likely be able to tell you about some womens' rights groups to help you.

    *"even visiting a church and asking to speak in confidence"*, that's like the worse advice ever. Spanish Catholic church is very hard-line on the Holy Matrimony, and they strongly oppose divorce. Besides, she's from Pakistan, thus most likely Muslim, not Catholic.

    Really, worst advice ever? Can think of worse quite easily. 'Church' was just an example, can substitute for temple, synagogue, shrine, doctor, whatever - someone who could help with connections to various support groups. She doesn't even need to tell the church person what it's about.

    @MarkMayo I don't know about "worst advice ever", and nothing about how it might be different in Spain, but even here in the US going to a church isn't very good advice. "Marriage is sacred" and all that jazz - although you _might_ get lucky...

    This might not apply in this situation, but girls in the UK who have been unable to get access such help have deliberately set off metal detectors at the airport to get a chance to speak to an official before being made to fly.

    This won't work: you can fight criminals legally only after a crime has been committed not before ... Every month more than one woman is killed by her husband or boyfriend in Spain (

    @vartec, weird comment! There's no law against Muslims walking into churches, and there's nothing in the Christian faith which forbids helping a Muslim (quite the contrary, in fact). I definitely think she'd have a better chance than if she walked into a mosque...

    Most churches I've ever been involved with in the US would be happy to help someone in that situation.

    @vartec, @Izkata, Use common sense. Why would people reply with *"Marriage is sacred"* when we're talking about **forced marriage**? Also, there's a huge myth that church only welcomes christians. Folks from other religion or no religion are welcome too, including Muslims (even if they have clearly stated that they have no intention to ever be a Christian).

  • Getting stopped at the border is a bad idea. But if you do something "stupid", you can probably persuade the US Embassy to revoke your visa, all while pretending that you were actually doing your best to smooth your passage to America.

    E.g. you could write them a letter like this:

    Passport number: xxxxx

    US Visa number: xxxxx

    Dear US Embassy,

    I am a Pakistani citizen and a legal resident in Spain. My husband is a Pakistani citizen and an illegal resident in the US. He has applied for asylum in the US, and hopes to regularize his status soon.

    My husband has asked me to join him in the US, and I have a [type of visa] visa that would allow me to do so. But I am concerned that my status as the spouse of a known illegal alien might cause me difficulties at the border.

    Please can you confirm if I will be allowed to enter the United States?

    Yours etc.


    I changed "I wish to join my husband" to "My husband has asked me to join him" because the time may may come when you have to apply for asylum to escape your marriage. So you don't want a letter saying "I wish to join him" on your record.


    Forget what I said earlier. You've just written that you're booked on a flight for this week. There isn't time to write a letter. Just phone the embassy and tell them what's going on. Or go there in person. Whatever you do, do it ASAP!

    This is the best advice I got. Thank you so much. I'm definitely gonna try this tomorrow. Can I call the US embassy and say all this instead of writing a letter? It would be better if I call the immigration office and ask them about it.

    @user11743 I think a letter is better. Think about how bureaucrats work. If you phone them, they'll just say, "Sorry, but we can't give legal advice." and hang up. But if you give them a document with all your details (name, address, visa number) that states your intentions, it's much harder for them to ignore it.

    @user11743 If you prefer to phone them, and you want results, I think you'll have to explain exactly what's going on. "I want you to cancel my visa, because if you don't, I'll be forced to come to America be with the man I was forced to marry. I'll be forced to overstay my visa like he did." But in that situation, the thing that concerns me is that they might ask you to "co-operate with their investigations", and I don't think you're ready to deal with that. But I'm just guessing here. You need to talk to somebody who knows more about how this particular bureaucracy works.

    @user11743 In any case, the important point is this: the authorities will probably revoke your visa as soon as they realise you are the wife of an illegal alien. So they just need somebody to help them "join the dots". There's more than one way to do it, and only you can decide what kinds of risks you can accept. I think the letter is a good approach because, even if you're caught, you'll probably get little more than a beating from your husband / father for "meddling in matters you don't understand". But it's your call.

  • Some suggestions from a friend, conveying some advice from a forced-marriage-fighting charity.

    The woman posting the question needs to hide a spoon in her underwear when going to the airport before she gets to the plane. When she is screened, either via metal detector or backscatter it'll trip the scanners, and they'll have to take her into a more private location for further screening. This is when she needs to tell the authorities that she has been forced into marriage and is going to be forced into living in a coercive situation.

    That advice is from here - the Guardian.

    Basically, in her situation a lot of the advice could get her into serious trouble if she tried it while she was still with her family, so forcing a separation for private screening can get her whisked away to help without giving her family a chance to actually harm her if they object strenuously.

    This has nothing to do with the situation at hand. I can't see why it got any upvotes.

    @LorenPechtel Because it appears that this is the actual situation based on OP's comments. She has been forced to marry a guy she doesn't like and is being forced to drop her career to follow her "husband" to the states where she will be coerced to overstay her visa. So essentially what we are looking at here is a form of human trafficking.

    @Sylverdrag The spoon trick is to get away from guardians. She seems to have reasonable freedom as it stands and would be able to simply ask for help. I read it as her looking for a way to be kept out that she won't be blamed for.

    @LorenPechtel And you don't think being able to get away from guardians will help with not being blamed for being kept out? Especially when her "reasonable freedom" involves her passport being kept from her, and being afraid to go to the embassy.

    @LorenPechtel Being able to explain the situation at the right time, alone, gives her a chance to point out that her "husband" is illegal. All her family knows is that she had a strip search. Then her husband gets grilled about his previous overstay - he is the one they reject, she is not to blame.

    @Sylverdrag But they would figure she had triggered the strip search. She's looking for an option where there's nothing that can be traced to her.

    @LorenPechtel You didn't understand how this answer was relevant to the question, so I explained why and how. Is it possible that her family might blame her anyway? Why did they pull her for a strip search? Maybe the immigration officers wanted to have a look & cope a feel, or maybe it's racial profiling... They can guess, but they won't know. No matter the solution, if they are denied entry, her family will probably blame her anyway, but here at least, there is no evidence and she can deflect the blame on her husband's overstay. Perhaps not the best solution but relevant.

    Having a spoon in your underwear is no guarantee that you would be taken to a private area for further search. Security people are human and they make mistakes all the time.

    I once forgot a few coins in my pocket and that tripped the scanner. They just manually checked me and told me everything's fine, no private rooms involved.

  • Can't you just say you're going and then not go? They're not going to know if you got on the flight, or if you were denied. If you're denied you'll never get past immigration and -- if they're meeting you there -- they'll never get past immigration in the other direction. Now sometimes immigration will inform people waiting that you've been denied but it's not mandatory as far as I know.

    This doesn't work if someone is travelling with you, or if they're paying for the flights because of the issue below.

    Your other problem is that the airline will be charged for your return flight (and, probably, fined) they may very well try and get this money back from you and/or whoever paid for the flights. If they have any indication you planned it they will definitely try and get the money and may get legal on you. Potentially they could blacklist you to prevent you flying with them (and maybe even their partners).

    You could definitely use Karlson's suggestion and say you're being forced against your will to enter the country. But that might cause legal issues for your friends and family. You could be brutally honest and explain that you're worried you'll be compelled to overstay, that should be enough for them to flag you but it really depends.

    The other suggestion in the comment, get your husband deported, is good too. Although it might be obvious (to him) that tip came from you.

    In any case, you definitely don't want to directly lie to anyone or break any laws. The very fact that you know you're going to attempt this is a lie-of-omission when you board the plane.

    I would very strongly recommend you do not try to do this -- it's of dubious legality, it's almost certainly going to annoy the airline if it works, and it may or may not cause problems for your family in the US.

    My family is very smart, they've some people working at JFK and they will know if I came or not. I love USA, I would definitely want to visit again but that one year I spent with my family there.. OMG. I can't imagine I'm gonna go through all that once again. I'm so happy in my country, I'm going to college and working, but all they want for me to come to STATES and overstay and live with my husband. I won't be able to go to school, and my career is out of question. I don't want my family to get in trouble, they're gonna kill me if they find out that I did something at the airport.

    I am gonna get a return ticket, Am I still gonna get in trouble from the airline? I don't want my family to get in trouble, I just want to make it look like "They didn't give me entry" simple. If I tell immigration officer that I was forced to come here they'll get my family in trouble :( I will do anything to get deported really, I'm in my second last year of college and I can't leave.

    This might be a stupid question, but why don't you just tell your family, that you will not come to the United States? My opinion, but if they don't understand, that your not willing to give up your current live, studies and career and stay in the US illegally, they don't deserve you coming over.

    @Smoe Judging from other comments, it seems it might not be safe for her to do so

    The benefit of not telling anyone about the husband is that while he's illegally in the US, he's not movable. He can't really travel. If he would be deported well the world is his oyster now and he can travel to where the wife is.

  • I have a multi entry visa in my expired passport and I need to carry that; and I was told if I would want a visa in a new passport, it's a new interview and all fees. So if you manage to lose your passport, your visa is poof, gone. The London US Embassy page concurs:

    Once you have obtained a new passport, you may apply for a new visa, if required.

    Forcing you to get a new visa is almost impossible: if you go study, you can't be monitored 24/7 so just call the US embassy once you have your interview appointment and tell them the truth and ask to be denied after the interview! The truth never hurts and this can't be a reason for a ban -- you did not violate any rules. As the US never gives a reason for why would someone be denied, you are 100% safe, the family will never know.

    Edit: Spain might have less experience in these matters (the Wikipedia entry for honor killings doesn't even list Spain) but Germany certainly deals with this a lot.

    Try Terres des femmes, just be careful of what email address you use. At the end of the day, no matter what, you might need to escape to Germany (good that you are inside Schengen already -- you can get to Germany w/o a passport! On 15 December 2013 the TGVs from Paris were extended all the way to Girona and Barcelona and there's a high speed train from Madrid and there are TGVs from Paris to Germany) and ask for refugee status there. If the words "honor killing" ever seriously occurred to you, if that's a realistic threat, that's an excellent reason to ask for refugee status.

    This answer is culturally insensitive. Honor killing does not mean that it is the disobedient wife who will be the target; the victim can be anyone from her family. And her extended family presumably does not want to have to seek refuge status in Germany en masse because of her decision. This is why she is seeking a solution (deportation) where the husband cannot pin the blame on her. Actively running away into a land where she can get refuge status does not solve the problem. Living as a refuge in Germany (esp. if language barrier present) is not an improvement over study in Spain either.

  • Your best course of action at this point is to convince your husband to come to Spain legally. His attorney can work something out about you sponsoring him with your status there. He should discuss with his attorney how to cancel the asylum claim without committing further fraud. There's a checklist for this.

    There is nothing you can do inside the country that will help you. Whatever you do, you will end up on the bad list with ICE or CIS. The best that you may get is immediate deportation or voluntary departure. This may or may not affect your visa status, but it's likely that you will not retain it.

    If you do come to the USA, there is a very real chance that your husband will drag you down with him. Asylum fraud is not a good thing. You will be complicit in this and could be removed. You could be held in a detention facility during proceedings.

    If you can't convince him to leave, your second-best option is to inform CIS or one of ICE's few remaining asylum fraud teams that your husband is in the USA illegally.

    In that case, you may want to go to your nearest consulate and discuss it with an officer there.

    This is not legal advice, I am not an immigration attorney, and I am not an employee of DHS.

    Good luck.

    If she wanted to be reunited with him, and if her family gave much weight to her opinion, this would be good advice. But ...

    Understood. There is no option that doesn't involve confronting her family or risking immigration status with the USA, possibly including detention. (She could claim asylum under VAWA from Pakistan, but since she can go anywhere in Europe, the claim would possibly be denied.)

  • I'll take the risk that I may be misinformed about this option, but …

    I have seen a lot of good advice in comments and answers, but unless I missed it, no one has suggested requesting asylum in Spain. IF the family is in Pakistan, wouldn't this be a good way to get some protection from actions by people in Pakistan or in the USA? (As well as the ability to remain in Spain when your student status ends.)

    If asylum is granted, neither Pakistan nor the USA would have any power to make you leave Spain. And I would also recommend you not leave Spain unless Spain forces you to.

    The problem was/is her dependence on the family in Pakistan and fear of repercussions on her mother and sister back home. Not her own safety.

License under CC-BY-SA with attribution

Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM