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Old Dec 7th 2017, 10:26 pm   #1
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Default Visiting Wife On VWP 3 Weeks After Returning From J1

Hey guys,

Just trying to gauge some opinion here. I'm due to return to Ireland from the US on the 11th of December. I've been here for a year on a J1 work visa. While here, I got married to my girlfriend of 4 years. We had lived in Ireland together in the past and I had travelled to the US to visit her and her family several times before getting the J1 visa. We haven't filed any AOS forms because I own a house in Ireland and we plan on settling there once she is finished her work commitments in the USA in a few month's time.
However, I intend on travelling on the 4th of January to see her and her family for 10 days, as this is the last time I'll get to go and visit them before I begin looking for a job in Ireland.

I'm just wondering if the folks at US Preclearance will find an issue with me returning so soon after my J1, especially with me travelling to see my wife. I am only visiting for 10 days and I'll have about $1000 for the stay, which I feel is adequate enough for the length of my trip. Is there anything that I should bring to prove ties to Ireland? Or is it advised that I not travel at all?

Any advice would be great.
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Old Dec 7th 2017, 10:43 pm   #2
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Default Re: Visiting Wife On VWP 3 Weeks After Returning From J1

They will only know you are visiting your wife if you tell them. They don't have access to marriage records. If they do ask, you can definitely tell them that she will be emigrating to Ireland rather than you to the US.

You're lucky that you have the option of pre-clearance. Since you only recently will have moved back to Ireland, bring proof of your ties in your carry on in case you need to prove that you will be returning. I'm assuming you won't be working but you do own property and that will help.

Visiting your wife is not the issue but the back to back trips to the US, especially since you only just left less than a month earlier after having lived here for a year.
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Old Dec 7th 2017, 10:50 pm   #3
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Default Re: Visiting Wife On VWP 3 Weeks After Returning From J1

For one thing - it actually looks like you're doing things right which for us Irish is usually not the done thing

CBP are pretty forgiving when you tell them the truth when asked. CBP in Dublin are actually pretty chilled at the best of times anyway.

Don't lie. Don't say you're visiting friends etc. When asked, tell them you're going to see your wife, and will be coming back in 10 days. You can't say any more. You have a house to come back to, and will be searching for a job. They can only say no. Just make it clear you have zero intent of staying. Don't bring 6 bags (you'll be shown your bags at the desk). Don't pack a ton of documents like birth certs, CV's etc.

Make sure you have a vague notion of what you'll be doing when you're over etc.
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Old Dec 7th 2017, 10:52 pm   #4
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Default Re: Visiting Wife On VWP 3 Weeks After Returning From J1

With a short stay planned, with a return ticket, I doubt you'll have a problem.

Personally I wouldn't volunteer that your wife is in the US (unless explicitly asked .... lying to.CBP is a singularly bad idea!), but I know some will disagree, probably vehemently, so it's your call and what you're comfortable saying/ not saying.

Bear in mind, if you were an overstay risk, you would probably have not left at the end of your J-1, rather than returning home and then reentering on the VWP, so I don't see that you present a huge risk of being turned away.
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Old Dec 7th 2017, 11:23 pm   #5
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Default Re: Visiting Wife On VWP 3 Weeks After Returning From J1

Thanks for the replies.

I have always been truthful about my past visits to the US, and do have a record of returning home after several visits on a previous ESTA, as well as coming home on time from my J1. I guess I'm just a natural worrier, but I've never had a bad experience with CBP any time I've flown, so, I'm inclined to hope I'll be okay.

I guess bringing things like utility bills for my home and perhaps even a proof of ownership might be enough to prove my ties to home if they are needed. My main fear is being disqualified from obtaining an ESTA in future, and, in turn, pretty much having no hope of obtaining a visa to return there as a tourist in the future. But again, I think I may just be worrying too much.
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Old Dec 8th 2017, 12:57 am   #6
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Default Re: Visiting Wife On VWP 3 Weeks After Returning From J1

Are you subject to the HRR? If so, I'd be mildly concerned that they might think you are trying to circumvent this in some way. Other than that, nothing to worry about as your record is very good. Many of us, myself included, regularly visited our spouses with no issues.
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Old Dec 8th 2017, 12:59 am   #7
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Default Re: Visiting Wife On VWP 3 Weeks After Returning From J1

No, not subject to the HRR, at least not according to my visa, so I'm all good on that front.
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