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Wedding in US, returning to UK immigration issues

Wedding in US, returning to UK immigration issues

Old Dec 31st 2019, 6:06 pm
  #1  
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Default Wedding in US, returning to UK immigration issues

Hi Everyone

Looking for some advice, me and my fiance are getting married in August 2020 in the US and planning on applying for a Spousal Visa afterwards rather than taking the fiance approach.

We have been under the impression that it is totally ok to travel to the US to get married and return home after to complete the visa process but have recently been reading a lot of immigration info saying that although legal to travel to the US to get married, immigration tend to make the belief that you intend to stay and not follow the correct visa process.

We're now worried that I will be denied entry when arriving for the wedding even though I intend to come back to the UK after. Has anyone ever had this issue or any advice on whether immigration at the airport would have any issues? I will be entering on a esta as I always do and we both have jobs which is usually enough to show ı will be coming home.

Thanks!
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Old Dec 31st 2019, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: Wedding in US, returning to UK immigration issues

That’s how we did things. We got married while I was visiting (some years ago now). I returned to the UK after the wedding and we followed the CR-1 process. All went well. I’m now applying for citizenship.
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Old Dec 31st 2019, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: Wedding in US, returning to UK immigration issues

Thanks, that's good to know! Did you get asked anything specific at immigration when you flew over for the wedding or take anything with you as proof you were coming back to the UK?
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Old Dec 31st 2019, 7:57 pm
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Default Re: Wedding in US, returning to UK immigration issues

Many people do this and have no issues.

Rene
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Old Jan 1st 2020, 9:53 am
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Default Re: Wedding in US, returning to UK immigration issues

If you want to 'belt and brace' it, just take a letter from your employer saying they expect you back at work on [date] or a copy of your UK house rental agreement/mortgage or something.

I went to visit my fiance in the US about 10-12 times over a year (including for civil and for religious wedding) and was only questioned once on my intention to leave vs stay (by a CBP officer who i think was having a bad day). Thereafter i always carried a letter from my employer but never had to use it...

So likely to be massive overkill but if it helps with the nerves why not!
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Old Jan 2nd 2020, 2:27 pm
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Default Re: Wedding in US, returning to UK immigration issues

I too got married in the US and then returned to the UK.

When asked the purpose of my trip I said I was visiting friends. Not exactly the whole truth, but the truth nevertheless. That's the route I would take.

If asked the direct question about getting married, do not lie.
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Old Jan 6th 2020, 9:21 am
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Default Re: Wedding in US, returning to UK immigration issues

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
Many people do this and have no issues.

Rene
agreed I got married in US and no issue returning to UK
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Old Jan 6th 2020, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: Wedding in US, returning to UK immigration issues

Originally Posted by Ro3 View Post
Hi Everyone

Looking for some advice, me and my fiance are getting married in August 2020 in the US and planning on applying for a Spousal Visa afterwards rather than taking the fiance approach.

We have been under the impression that it is totally ok to travel to the US to get married and return home after to complete the visa process but have recently been reading a lot of immigration info saying that although legal to travel to the US to get married, immigration tend to make the belief that you intend to stay and not follow the correct visa process.

We're now worried that I will be denied entry when arriving for the wedding even though I intend to come back to the UK after. Has anyone ever had this issue or any advice on whether immigration at the airport would have any issues? I will be entering on a esta as I always do and we both have jobs which is usually enough to show ı will be coming home. .....
That was almost exactly my situation when I came to get married, and while there are no guarantees, whenever this question comes up, I always recommend that you choose a major port of entry, not Podunk International. In other words, if you arrive at JFK, ATL, IAD, LAX or a couple of the other largest US airports, and have made previous visits to the US, it is highly unlikely that you will receive anything more than a few routine questions, get your passport stamped and be on your way with nothing more concerning than the immigration officer wishing you a nice stay.

Needless to say, you should only give the briefest answers to questions, just sufficient to answer the question - answers need not be whole sentences. Do not volunteer any additional information beyond what is asked for, but do not under any circumstances lie. So if you are asked "Are here to get married?", you know what to answer!

I recommend that you choose a major port of entry even if it means then taking a connecting flight to your final destination.

As a back up plan, in case you are sent to "secondary" for further questioning, bring a letter from your employer, stating when you are expected back at work, and a copy of your mortgage statement or lease. These aren't great "evidence", (you can walk out on a job or a lease, and sell your home, even remotely (I later did that)), but will at least provide some talking points if you are challenged.

It sounds like your fiance is also living in the UK (outside the US), so that would be another factor in your favour, as in my case my fiancee was a life-long resident of the US, and remained so up until we got married, so there was a greater chance of it being assumed that I was seeking to "marry and stay".
Originally Posted by Rhysdavies View Post
.... agreed I got married in US and no issue returning to UK
Why would "returning to the UK" be an issue for you?

Last edited by Pulaski; Jan 6th 2020 at 8:58 pm.
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Old Jan 9th 2020, 12:48 am
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Default Re: Wedding in US, returning to UK immigration issues

While the wedding is being planned, you could now start gathering all you need for the CR-1 process, form filling and all evidence and once married all you do is pop in your marriage certificate and post, this will save you a lot of time as the 1st step of the process will take 7/8 months or more to process...
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Old Jan 9th 2020, 1:52 am
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Default Re: Wedding in US, returning to UK immigration issues

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
That was almost exactly my situation when I came to get married, and while there are no guarantees, whenever this question comes up, I always recommend that you choose a major port of entry, not Podunk International. In other words, if you arrive at JFK, ATL, IAD, LAX or a couple of the other largest US airports, and have made previous visits to the US, it is highly unlikely that you will receive anything more than a few routine questions, get your passport stamped and be on your way with nothing more concerning than the immigration officer wishing you a nice stay.

Needless to say, you should only give the briefest answers to questions, just sufficient to answer the question - answers need not be whole sentences. Do not volunteer any additional information beyond what is asked for, but do not under any circumstances lie. So if you are asked "Are here to get married?", you know what to answer!

I recommend that you choose a major port of entry even if it means then taking a connecting flight to your final destination.

As a back up plan, in case you are sent to "secondary" for further questioning, bring a letter from your employer, stating when you are expected back at work, and a copy of your mortgage statement or lease. These aren't great "evidence", (you can walk out on a job or a lease, and sell your home, even remotely (I later did that)), but will at least provide some talking points if you are challenged.

It sounds like your fiance is also living in the UK (outside the US), so that would be another factor in your favour, as in my case my fiancee was a life-long resident of the US, and remained so up until we got married, so there was a greater chance of it being assumed that I was seeking to "marry and stay".

Why would "returning to the UK" be an issue for you?
it wasn’t and after I posted I realised how stupid it sounded!
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