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Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

Old Apr 10th 2014, 1:49 am
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Default Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

Hi I have a question that hopefully you will be able to answer!
Here's a bit of history first: my boyfriend (a dual Irish/US citizen) and myself (a UK citizen) have been together for coming up 3 years. We have done the whole long distance two weeks in the uk, two weeks in the USA ect, seeing each other every couple of months. I am just coming to the end of a three month stay in USA on the esta and we are looking to the next stage of our relationship.

I have been looking a lot at different visas, we know we want to get married sometime in the future and whilst I think that I can't stay in the USA (for more than the 90 day esta) whilst applying for a spouse visa, my boyfriend thinks that I can, and that USA won't "kick out his wife".
Please clarify this for us as it's looking to be at least two years until I can live in the USA with him full time, giving time for proposal, wedding planning and getting the visa on the current processing times!

The fiancé visa won't work for us, as we would want to get married in either Ireland or England.

Thanks, Emily
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Old Apr 10th 2014, 1:59 am
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Default Re: Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

Originally Posted by EmilyMc View Post
we know we want to get married sometime in the future and whilst I think that I can't stay in the USA (for more than the 90 day esta) whilst applying for a spouse visa, my boyfriend thinks that I can, and that USA won't "kick out his wife".
YOU are correct. While waiting for an Immigrant Visa to be processed, you can only visit the USA as a visitor as you've been doing. Only when you have your immigrant visa in hand and use it to enter the USA, THEN you can remain in the USA.

Please clarify this for us as it's looking to be at least two years until I can live in the USA with him full time, giving time for proposal, wedding planning and getting the visa on the current processing times!
It won't be 2 years until you can live together, it would be more like 8 - 10 months (after marriage, of course).

If you want to have a long, drawn out, proposal and a fancy wedding, then yes...all that takes planning. But many people just do a simple courthouse marriage in order to get the ball rolling on the immigrant visa process, and then have a fancy affair later.

The choice is yours. But while waiting, you cannot live in the USA, no.

Ren
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Old Apr 10th 2014, 2:03 am
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Default Re: Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

Thanks for the quick reply. It probably would be about a year until we get married ( due to family all over the world needing to plan to fly over, and family is important to both of us!)
Ah well, we have done three years, what's another couple!
Thanks again!
Emily
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Old Apr 10th 2014, 2:11 am
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Default Re: Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

Apparently you did not intend to stay permanently in US when you arrived on VWP last time?
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Old Apr 10th 2014, 2:27 am
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Default Re: Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

No, I always intended on only staying for just under the 90 day limit, so I am boarding my flight back to the uk on Monday . This was the trial period (so to speak) to see if we could spend more than two-three weeks together and still get on as well as we do!
I know how strict they are so I don't want to overstay!
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Old Apr 10th 2014, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

Originally Posted by EmilyMc View Post
No, I always intended on only staying for just under the 90 day limit, so I am boarding my flight back to the uk on Monday . This was the trial period (so to speak) to see if we could spend more than two-three weeks together and still get on as well as we do!
I know how strict they are so I don't want to overstay!
To be fair, what does two to three weeks really serve as? You need months really. But, good luck in any case!
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Old Apr 10th 2014, 11:03 pm
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Default Re: Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

Originally Posted by hungryhorace View Post
To be fair, what does two to three weeks really serve as? You need months really. But, good luck in any case!
Maybe, but not everyone has months to spare. People need to be at work, at school, with kids back home...etc. I spent only a few days with my now husband when we decided to get serious about each other. After 2 years on the phone, we spent 3 weeks together to look for any huge red flags. After seeing none, we went ahead with the K-1 visa. 14 months later, we spent another 2 weeks together (for his interview) before heading off to the USA together. So a few weeks can serve a lot, when that's all you have to work with.

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Old Apr 10th 2014, 11:05 pm
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Default Re: Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

But you come across as being the most rational woman on the face of the planet, not sure it would work for anyone else.
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Old Apr 10th 2014, 11:17 pm
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Default Re: Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

Originally Posted by Steve_ View Post
But you come across as being the most rational woman on the face of the planet, not sure it would work for anyone else.
LOL thank you!

Rene
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Old Apr 10th 2014, 11:22 pm
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Default Re: Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
Maybe, but not everyone has months to spare. People need to be at work, at school, with kids back home...etc. I spent only a few days with my now husband when we decided to get serious about each other. After 2 years on the phone, we spent 3 weeks together to look for any huge red flags. After seeing none, we went ahead with the K-1 visa. 14 months later, we spent another 2 weeks together (for his interview) before heading off to the USA together. So a few weeks can serve a lot, when that's all you have to work with.

Rene
Pretty scary when you think about it isn't it?! When I move over we'll have spent a total of about 7 weeks together and the longest period was only 11 days - eek!
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Old Apr 10th 2014, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

Originally Posted by BunnyGirl View Post
Pretty scary when you think about it isn't it?! When I move over we'll have spent a total of about 7 weeks together and the longest period was only 11 days - eek!
Aha, I see we have a lot in common!!

It's a bit scary when you think of how little physical time together that is, yes! But we're coming up on our 10th wedding anniversary on April 29, very happy together.

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Old Apr 10th 2014, 11:35 pm
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Default Re: Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
Aha, I see we have a lot in common!!

It's a bit scary when you think of how little physical time together that is, yes! But we're coming up on our 10th wedding anniversary on April 29, very happy together.

Rene
Aww, that's so cool! Hope we're just as happy 10 years from now!
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Old Apr 10th 2014, 11:37 pm
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Default Re: Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

It's good when it works out well, no matter the time involved.

I've probably had it good compared to some then, I've spent just over 33 weeks with my OH in the last 2 years.
We're already way past the 'bickering like an old married couple' stage :-)
And I think that if she hasn't killed me by now she probably never will.
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Old Apr 10th 2014, 11:46 pm
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Default Re: Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

Originally Posted by Jonion View Post
I've probably had it good compared to some then, I've spent just over 33 weeks with my OH in the last 2 years.
Wow, how did you manage that? That's great

Originally Posted by Jonion View Post
And I think that if she hasn't killed me by now she probably never will.
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Old Apr 11th 2014, 12:13 am
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Default Re: Can I stay in America whilst waiting for spouse visa?

Originally Posted by BunnyGirl View Post
Wow, how did you manage that? That's great
Being self-employed was a big part of it.
Although my boss wasn't always too happy about me being out of the country for 8 weeks at a time.
I've done 3 trips over there of 7,8,9 weeks. She's been over here three times as well but her boss was never going to let her have more than her due vacation, so they were 3,4 & 2 weeks.. I guess I am a nice boss after all
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