Visiting the USA

I’m writing this on the plane to Boston, the flight was delayed by an hour due to a problem with the left engine which is always what you want to hear before take off!  It’s a  nearly full flight with all of the usual perks such as limited personal space and dubious smells emanating from my fellow travellers. I thought I would use this mid air post to enlighten you all about the joys of entering the USA as a visitor while married to a US citizen.

I’m allowed to stay in the US for up to 90 days with the Visa Waiver Program. As the husband of  a US citizen (USC) it is possible that the CBP officers will subject me to extra scrutiny at passport control because they feel I may stay illegally with my wife after my 90 days expire. Obviously I’m doing things the right way with the visa I’ve applied for but I’ve heard of foreign partners of a USC being refused entry before.  To reduce this risk I carry proof of  my ties to the UK including return tickets, my ticket home from Heathrow, my rental contract and payslips to prove I’ll leave the US. I also carry a copy of my spousal visa (I-130) application. As you can tell half of my luggage allowance is basically bloody paperwork!

On my last visit to the USA the CBP  guy was professional and polite and when I explained I was married to a USC  he merely asked who was moving where so I explained about my visa application. He then stamped my passport and welcomed me to the USA. On my visit before that I was questioned for over 5 minutes and the same questions asked twice to see if I changed my story.  I’ve heard of people being questioned for a lot longer so i guess I’ve been lucky so far.  Every visit is different but it’s important to never lie and to be polite, these guys are only doing their jobs and having an attitude will only make your US entry harder.

Hopefully today will be the last time I need to enter the US on the Visa Waiver Program. The next time I visit  the US it should be as an immigrant with my documents ready to  be processed at the airport.  After that I’ll be a legal resident with a greencard and entering the country will be much easier. I hope this  post explained a little about visiting the US and  the processes at Passport control for those who are curious or nervous because they are visiting while dating a USC.  

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One thought on “Visiting the USA

  1. sabina

    Hello!

    Reading your blog has made me a little more confident that everything will be ok.

    It’s nice to see that other couples go through the same things as me and my husband. Knowing that there are others just like us makes it somehow easier.

    Here is my story:

    I’ve met my husband in Seattle in 2012 while I was visiting my family during the summer there. It was love at first sight, I know it’s a cliche, but that’s just how it was.
    We spent a couple of weeks together after we met, and then I went back home since I am still in school here. After I left, he came to visit me for Christmas in 2012 for 3 weeks, then I visited Seattle on my spring break in April 2013, and then again I visited for 2 months during summer 2013. At the end of my stay in summer 2013 he asked me to marry him before I went back home and I said yes. We got married in Seattle in September, and we applied for the I-130(in November) and for the K3 (in December) .
    He visited me here twice since September.
    I am flying to Seattle on Friday and we finally get to see each other after 3 months of Skype&Whatsapp.
    I am really nervous about entering the US again on my B2 visa, since this would be my first time visiting as the wife of a US citizen (I have previously been admitted 3 times in the US on my B2, but I was visiting relatives) so I have no idea what to expect from the CBP officer.
    I am in medical school here, in my 6th and final year, I graduate in September with a Medical Doctor degree so I have no intention of staying more than 3 weeks, I have to attend my courses. I got a notarized letter from school saying that I’m in my final year and I still have courses I have to attend, and that I have my graduation exams in September. I don’t know if that will be enough to prove that I’m going back.
    I’m so stressed that there’s a chance I will be refused entry and not see my love, I can’t even be happy that I’m going there.
    I really miss him and I would be just devastated to fly halfway across the world to see him and get rejected. I try to stay positive but it’s hard.
    Our petitions are both still in Initial Review, we have no idea how much longer it will take until one of them gets approved.

    P.S. I think I read every single forum thread about this kind of situation, and I still don’t know what to expect…I guess each case is unique and I will just have to wait and see what will happen.

    In the end, I guess we just have to be strong, cherish every moment spent with our loved one, and be thankful that we found each other in this big world.

    Good luck!

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