No Coming Home Again for Bitcoin Jesus as US Visa Request Denied
Español The North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami this year will have to go on without millionaire, bitcoin entrepreneur Roger Ver, as the US government has once again denied the expat entry to the country.
In an interview with CoinDesk, the so-called Bitcoin Jesus stated the US Embassy in Barbados rejected his visa three times — at a cost of US$160 per application — and refused to examine the paperwork he submitted. Although Ver cannot appeal the embassy’s decision, he is permitted to reapply.
According to the letter Ver received from the embassy, his visa request was denied because he could not sufficiently demonstrate residence in a foreign country that he has “no intention of abandoning.”
Despite renouncing his US citizenship in March 2014, immigration services appear concerned Ver would overstay his visa if granted. “You have not demonstrated that you have the ties that will compel you to return to your home country after your travel to the United States,” read the government’s response.
Ver says the embassy refused to consider documentation regarding his nine years living in Japan, and the business he launched there in 2006, or the fact he recently became a citizen of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
“They wouldn’t even let me slide the documents regarding Japan through the slot in the window,” he told CoinDesk.
— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) January 6, 2015
After serving a 10-month prison sentence and three years probation for the illegal sale of agricultural firecrackers on eBay, which the US Department of Justice described as “dealing in explosives without a license,” Ver left the United States. Since then, he has mostly lived in Japan and hasn’t visited the United States in over a year.
Ver says he consulted with lawyers before renouncing his US citizenship and was assured he would not have no trouble qualifying for a visa to visit his home country. “I would be fine with them denying my visa if it was for a valid reason,” he told CoinDesk, “but they are either lying, ignorant, or stupid when they claim that I plan to secretly overstay my visa and live as an illegal immigrant [in the United States].”
A self-described libertarian anarchist, Ver proudly wears his “Borders Are Imaginary Lines” T-shirt when traveling, and says he has had no issues gaining access to other parts of the world.