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Stetub Nov 16th 2019 10:23 am

Travelling to US with a pending Visa
Hi all, I have just registered today to post even though I have been been using this forum for some time now for so much helpful information.

I did find a post a long time ago but unable to trace it anymore so thought I would make a new one.

My fiancee and I have submitted all the paperwork in US for a K1 Visa. We had planned for me to be at her Uni graduation having supported her through 4 years of study, and also a 2 week trip to Florida for us. Will I be able to apply for ESTA with a pending K1 Visa application should it not come back in time for this trip in April.

Thank you in advance.

Noorah101 Nov 16th 2019 1:11 pm

Re: Travelling to US with a pending Visa
Yes, you can apply for ESTA and travel on the VWP while waiting for the K-1 to process.


livinginnyc Nov 17th 2019 1:55 am

Re: Travelling to US with a pending Visa
As Rene mentioned, you can happily travel on an ESTA while waiting for K1 approval, I did it at least 3 times and had no issues.

I did keep some basic items it in my carry on just in case (mainly proof of employment/rent.etc - ties to the UK), but it was never asked for/needed.

Not sure if it's advisable or not, but I used visits, to drop off items. I'd usually fill a suitcase + carry on with clothes.etc and leave 90% of them in the US. I did declare it all, it wasn't ever an issue, but it did make the 'final' move slightly less painful!

Stetub Nov 17th 2019 2:50 am

Re: Travelling to US with a pending Visa
Thank you both for your reply. Its always that doubt in the back of your mind and having it confirmed by others really gives me peace of mind. My whole story is a bit of a strange one, to me anyways.

Originally our plan was to get married in September 2020 then Honeymoon. However since my fiancee will be working right after graduation in April 2020 (with a chance of not getting the job if she mentions having to take off 3 weeks to get married and be on honeymoon, or not mentioning it until she has a job then request leave could maybe have it declined).We decided to have wedding in late April and honeymoon 2 days after. So once she is back she can get right into working.

I just visited her in August 2019 to propose and we finalised our paperwork for her to hand in on her side (US) in mid September. We are working to a very very tight schedule with a very low chance we will get the whole Visa process completed by start of April 2020.

If I get Visa in time its happy days, if I don't I'll be over for a commitment ceremony + happily ever after party (wedding party but not married) + Honeymoon.

I am worried about taking so much stuff over in the April return trip if Visa is not finalised. Will they think I am trying to get married without a Visa. if they ask questions I would want to be up front..."what are you doing on this trip sir?". "Having my wedding party but we are not having a wedding yet". Might give them wrong ideas.

Maybe I am too paranoid.

Noorah101 Nov 17th 2019 4:17 am

Re: Travelling to US with a pending Visa
My guess is that you won't have your K-1 by April 2020, more like September 2020.

Hopefully you are planning a honeymoon within the continental USA, as you will be land-locked until you receive yorr AP after filing AOS (about 4 to 6 months).


Wirksworth Nov 18th 2019 3:33 pm

Re: Travelling to US with a pending Visa
We applied for my K1 visa on 18th Sept 2018 and only got the I797 Notice of action on the 2nd April 2019 so very hard to see how you will get your K1 by April. After the I797 receipt you need to book your medical and then the embassy interview. Choreographing this takes a few months depending on appointment slots. I got my K1 visa in July, entered into the USA in August and married in September.

I travelled back on forth with my K1 application pending with absolutely no problem. I stayed in the USA the same length of time I was away and never had any hassle with this despite doing it for 18 months. I have the Global Entry which makes entry to the USA a 3-5 minute process and also gives you TSA pre-check, this is great if you need to fly internally in the USA. I would recommend everyone getting global entry if they are going back and forth reasonably regularly.
Good luck with everything!

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