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Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Old Nov 7th 2023, 4:08 pm
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Default Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Hi everyone...all new to this so please bear with me !!!

I've looked at a lot of similar threads and stories from others, so it does appear I'm not the only person that's been in this position

I'm 52 and engaged to my American fiance. We met nearly 2 years ago whilst she was based in the UK with work.
She's now had to move back to the US due a job change. We currently get to spend around 5 weeks together every 3 months - taking it in turns to visit each other, as we're lucky enough to be able to work remotely.

The idea was always for us to live in the US in the future...this has now been brought into focus quicker than we were anticipating.

Our plan is for us to get married when I next visit her in the US, with a view to me then returning to the UK and us beginning the process for an "I-130 Petition for Alien Relative".
I know the processing time for this can be up anything up to 18 months - so during this time I can hopefully put my affairs in order in the UK as I have a house to sell, job etc.

I know we're at the beginning of a potentially long journey - obviously, there's a lot to do and considerations for an immigration lawyer to ensure everything is processed correctly.

But does this generally sound like a viable plan ? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Jon
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Old Nov 7th 2023, 4:34 pm
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Default Re: Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Yes ..... you marry in the US, then YOU return to the UK and apply for your visa.

Good luck......
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Old Nov 7th 2023, 4:36 pm
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Smile Re: Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Very much appreciated !!!
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Old Nov 7th 2023, 4:37 pm
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Default Re: Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Originally Posted by JMW1
Hi everyone...all new to this so please bear with me !!!

I've looked at a lot of similar threads and stories from others, so it does appear I'm not the only person that's been in this position

I'm 52 and engaged to my American fiance. We met nearly 2 years ago whilst she was based in the UK with work.
She's now had to move back to the US due a job change. We currently get to spend around 5 weeks together every 3 months - taking it in turns to visit each other, as we're lucky enough to be able to work remotely.

The idea was always for us to live in the US in the future...this has now been brought into focus quicker than we were anticipating.

Our plan is for us to get married when I next visit her in the US, with a view to me then returning to the UK and us beginning the process for an "I-130 Petition for Alien Relative".
I know the processing time for this can be up anything up to 18 months - so during this time I can hopefully put my affairs in order in the UK as I have a house to sell, job etc.

I know we're at the beginning of a potentially long journey - obviously, there's a lot to do and considerations for an immigration lawyer to ensure everything is processed correctly.

But does this generally sound like a viable plan ? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Jon
If you are working remotely in the US on ESTA VW-T you are potentially breaking US law.
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Old Nov 8th 2023, 12:59 am
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Default Re: Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Regarding the working remotely, you cannot do your daily work in the USA while visiting on ESTA. My guess is that she probably can't in the UK, either.

Rene
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Old Nov 8th 2023, 3:09 am
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Default Re: Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Originally Posted by Noorah101
Regarding the working remotely, you cannot do your daily work in the USA while visiting on ESTA. My guess is that she probably can't in the UK, either.

Rene
I think she can in the UK. The US is pretty much alone when it comes to this kind of thing, most other countries have moved with the times and are happy for visitors to work remotely.
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Old Nov 8th 2023, 8:08 am
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Default Re: Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Originally Posted by JMW1
Hi everyone...all new to this so please bear with me !!!

Our plan is for us to get married when I next visit her in the US, with a view to me then returning to the UK and us beginning the process for an "I-130 Petition for Alien Relative".
I know the processing time for this can be up anything up to 18 months - so during this time I can hopefully put my affairs in order in the UK as I have a house to sell, job etc.

I know we're at the beginning of a potentially long journey - obviously, there's a lot to do and considerations for an immigration lawyer to ensure everything is processed correctly.

Jon
I'm currently going through this and slightly ahead of you (married in May this year), what I can say is that you probably don't need an immigration lawyer as the advice given on this forum has been excellent and has made the form filling pretty straight forward.

As for the timelines, we applied online in May and it looks like (and I'm really tempting fate here) that the i-130 will be complete early December so if that date is met we'll probably complete the process in less than 12 months (possibly 10)
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Old Nov 8th 2023, 8:55 am
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Thumbs up Re: Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

That sounds really promising !!!
Appreciate the comment and advice. You're way ahead of me, but it's very re-assuring on the timeline
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Old Nov 8th 2023, 11:04 am
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Default Re: Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Originally Posted by DerekB1972
I'm currently going through this and slightly ahead of you (married in May this year), what I can say is that you probably don't need an immigration lawyer as the advice given on this forum has been excellent and has made the form filling pretty straight forward.

As for the timelines, we applied online in May and it looks like (and I'm really tempting fate here) that the i-130 will be complete early December so if that date is met we'll probably complete the process in less than 12 months (possibly 10)
If you are using the online timeline thing for your estimate then ignore it completely! Notoriously unreliable I’m afraid and tends to go from a week or a month left to ‘your processing is taking longer than expected’. Figure a year for the I-130 and then be pleasantly surprised if it’s any less. Then approx 6 months for the second part of the process, although the NVC timescales have been creeping up recently so may be a bit longer if that continues.

Last edited by christmasoompa; Nov 8th 2023 at 11:08 am.
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Old Nov 8th 2023, 1:16 pm
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Default Re: Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl
Yes ..... you marry in the US, then YOU return to the UK and apply for your visa.

Good luck......
Yes, marry in the US and SHE applies initially via I-130. YOU will apply for the CR/LP visa when the I-130 and required documentation have been approved stateside and sent to the UK.
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Old Nov 8th 2023, 1:22 pm
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Default Re: Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Originally Posted by DerekB1972
I'm currently going through this and slightly ahead of you (married in May this year), what I can say is that you probably don't need an immigration lawyer as the advice given on this forum has been excellent and has made the form filling pretty straight forward.

As for the timelines, we applied online in May and it looks like (and I'm really tempting fate here) that the i-130 will be complete early December so if that date is met we'll probably complete the process in less than 12 months (possibly 10)
Word of advice - if you have your approval and the visa in your passport before your first anniversary try not to emigrate to the US before said anniversary. If you enter before the first year anniversary you will be a Conditional Resident 1 (CR1) which means you have to file to have the conditions removed 90 days before the expiration date on the two year green card.

However, if you enter the US on the visa after the first anniversary you will be a LPR (legal permanent resident) and there will be no conditions to be removed.
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Old Nov 8th 2023, 2:37 pm
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Default Re: Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Originally Posted by Rete
Word of advice - if you have your approval and the visa in your passport before your first anniversary try not to emigrate to the US before said anniversary. If you enter before the first year anniversary you will be a Conditional Resident 1 (CR1) which means you have to file to have the conditions removed 90 days before the expiration date on the two year green card.

However, if you enter the US on the visa after the first anniversary you will be a LPR (legal permanent resident) and there will be no conditions to be removed.
Ah, I thought it was 2 years, but thanks I'll wait until after May before heading across should we be lucky enough to have the opportunity before then
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Old Nov 8th 2023, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Originally Posted by JMW1
Hi everyone...all new to this so please bear with me !!!

I've looked at a lot of similar threads and stories from others, so it does appear I'm not the only person that's been in this position .......

The idea was always for us to live in the US in the future...this has now been brought into focus quicker than we were anticipating.

Our plan is for us to get married when I next visit her in the US, with a view to me then returning to the UK and us beginning the process for an "I-130 Petition for Alien Relative".
I know the processing time for this can be up anything up to 18 months - so during this time I can hopefully put my affairs in order in the UK as I have a house to sell, job etc.

I know we're at the beginning of a potentially long journey - obviously, there's a lot to do and considerations for an immigration lawyer to ensure everything is processed correctly.

But does this generally sound like a viable plan ? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. ....
That's pretty much what I did when I met my wife and we got married, so yes, I have no doubt your plan will work.

I also agree with the advice to skip an immigration lawyer. The forms are not particularly demanding, and in any case the lawyer would ask you for all the information required to fill in the forms anyway. And even if you were to miss something the form only gets returned for correction/ completion, it doesn't cause the your entire application to implode.

Last edited by Pulaski; Nov 8th 2023 at 2:49 pm.
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Old Nov 8th 2023, 2:45 pm
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Default Re: Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

Originally Posted by Rete
Word of advice - if you have your approval and the visa in your passport before your first anniversary try not to emigrate to the US before said anniversary. If you enter before the first year anniversary you will be a Conditional Resident 1 (CR1) which means you have to file to have the conditions removed ....
Has something changed? It used to be two years/ second anniversary.
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Old Nov 8th 2023, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Getting Married in the USA on ESTA

The only change has been the loss of my mind

IT IS THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY
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