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Want to travel to the US? Don’t tell the government this...

It’s a pretty straightforward question: “Are you involved in terrorist activities or genocide?”


For (hopefully) most of us, the answer is a resounding NO, and the few who may be able to answer in the affirmative, chances are, they’re going to lie. I mean, asking outright is certainly a novel approach to finding terrorists, and one that, if it worked, would likely save the US taxpayer quite a bit of money. But realistically, who would ever tick the YES box?


Apparently, Mandie Stevenson.



The Scottish Stevenson was applying for her US Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA), she accidentally clicked the YES box when asked if she was involved in terrorist activities.


“I think when I’ve scrolled through the web page it has clicked yes by mistake — and on that question which is the worst of all,” she told the UK Sun.


Stevenson didn’t realise the mistake until after her application was denied and she was forced to travel from Falkirk in Scotland to the US Embassy in London to persuade the powers that be that she isn’t actually a terrorist.


While US officials accepted that hers was an honest error, they warned that her paperwork may not be ready in time for her trip so Stevenson and her boyfriend spent some AUD1440 to rebook their bucket list trip to New York for October. 


Due to fly out with her boyfriend last Saturday, Stevenson got the approval just one day prior.


“It’s been so stressful. I can laugh about it now but it’s a lesson to take more care."


Stevenson and her boyfriend planned the trip after Stevenson was diagnosed with breast cancer at 26. 


“Because of my illness I need special travel insurance I book just before I go, so I couldn't claim on that either,” she told The Sun.


Stevenson and her boyfriend will finally travel to New York next month. 


Written by: Gaya Avery
Published: 24 September 2018

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