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First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

Old Jun 11th 2013, 6:20 pm
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Default First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

Ok so ive been trying to gain as much information regarding my planned first visit to the usa for the purpose of meeting the woman ive been in a long distance relationship with for over a year.

Im a 23 year old student, currently out of work. It seems i qualify to enter on the VWP but im trying to find out what other things i may need to be granted entry.
Now ive scrimped and saved all year and after paying all flight expenses etc im left with around £500 for the actual 18 day visit. Ive been told i will be refused entry without credit cards, bank statements and perhaps proof of employment.
I would appreciate if any light could could be shed on what i actually need and how to go about this properly, what problems i may encounter at immigration and things like that. Also my flight plan requires me to first fly into newark then connect onto chicago before reaching my final destination, am i required to go through immigration at each stop or what?

Thank you in advance
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Old Jun 11th 2013, 6:29 pm
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Default Re: First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

Originally Posted by The-Vecchio View Post
Im a 23 year old student, currently out of work. It seems i qualify to enter on the VWP but im trying to find out what other things i may need to be granted entry.
For sure you need a return ticket, that's a requirement to use the VWP. Other than that, bring whatever you have which proves 1) you intend to return to the UK before your visit time is up; and/or 2) you do not intend to immigrate to the USA on this trip.

Now ive scrimped and saved all year and after paying all flight expenses etc im left with around £500 for the actual 18 day visit. Ive been told i will be refused entry without credit cards, bank statements and perhaps proof of employment.
"Will" is too strong a word here. "Might" is a better word.

I would appreciate if any light could could be shed on what i actually need and how to go about this properly, what problems i may encounter at immigration and things like that.
There's really no one-size-fits-all answer. It just depends on your own situation. See my general idea above, and use your own documentation accordingly. You might never be asked to show such documents, or you might. No way of knowing ahead of time. The only problem you might encounter would be the POE officer thinking you intend to either remain in the USA, or might work illegally.

Also my flight plan requires me to first fly into newark then connect onto chicago before reaching my final destination, am i required to go through immigration at each stop or what?
No, just the first entry to the USA, in Newark. You won't go through immigration again on the domestic flights.

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Old Jun 11th 2013, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

Naturally i will have my return ticket, i have to return as i start a new year at college so would my course acceptance letter be proof enough? Would it be ok to travel without a credit card and just the cash i have with me?
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Old Jun 11th 2013, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

Originally Posted by The-Vecchio View Post
Naturally i will have my return ticket, i have to return as i start a new year at college so would my course acceptance letter be proof enough?
Whether it's "enough" or not, only the POE officer can say. But bring it, for sure. It could help, if you end up needing to show something.

Would it be ok to travel without a credit card and just the cash i have with me?
Yes. There is no requirement to have credit cards.

How long are you planning to visit?

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Old Jun 11th 2013, 6:37 pm
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Default Re: First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
How long are you planning to visit?
He said 18 days!

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Old Jun 11th 2013, 6:47 pm
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Default Re: First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
He said 18 days!

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Well, you didn't make the coffee today, so I was too groggy to see that.

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Old Jun 11th 2013, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

Thank you. Of course my family friends are against me going so it does feel like im being fed false information at times
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Old Jun 11th 2013, 7:56 pm
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Default Re: First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

Maybe. Maybe not. People have been known to drop out, especially if they haven't paid yet.
Originally Posted by The-Vecchio View Post
i have to return as i start a new year at college so would my course acceptance letter be proof enough?
£500 is about $775, $43 a day? Not much money unless someone is providing your room and board. That someone is a love interest?

Having access to sufficient funds for your visit is an important consideration in determining whether or not to grant entry, as is the existence of reasons why you might change your mind and decide to stay if you are granted entry.
Originally Posted by The-Vecchio View Post
Would it be ok to travel without a credit card and just the cash i have with me?
You might be OK, you might not. It will come down to how the particular CBP officer 'reads' you request entry at Newark.

Regards, JEff

Last edited by jeffreyhy; Jun 11th 2013 at 8:15 pm.
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Old Jun 11th 2013, 8:06 pm
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Default Re: First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

is this vwp equal esta that people talk about ?
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Old Jun 11th 2013, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

Originally Posted by iornse View Post
is this vwp equal esta that people talk about ?
Not exactly.

ESTA is the "Electronic System for Travel Authorization" which is the approval that you have to apply for in advance that allows you to travel to the US and seek to be allowed to enter under the VWP (Visa Waiver Program)
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Old Jun 11th 2013, 8:12 pm
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Default Re: First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

This is the VWP.

The VWP does not "equal esta", although the VWP and ESTA are connected. ESTA is authorization to use the VWP.

Regards, JEff
Originally Posted by iornse View Post
is this vwp equal esta that people talk about ?
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Old Jun 11th 2013, 8:18 pm
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Default Re: First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

Originally Posted by The-Vecchio View Post
Im a 23 year old student, currently out of work. It seems i qualify to enter on the VWP but im trying to find out what other things i may need to be granted entry.
Best bit of advice I can give you - at Immigration - don't look like a scruffy git with an obnoxious tshirt. I've seen countless single guys from the UK getting the second interview treatment at Immigration because they just look a mess and/or have an offensive tshirt.

From all the years that I visited the future MrsTinman, what I worked out Immigration was most interested in was when I was leaving, and what I'd be doing when I left. They simply wanted to know that I was leaving.

If you stand there and get all vague about your plans when you get back, you will get the second interview at the very least.
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Old Jun 11th 2013, 8:27 pm
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Default Re: First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

so you apply for esta and than you will be questioned when arrive in US ?
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Old Jun 11th 2013, 8:34 pm
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Default Re: First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

Originally Posted by tinman0 View Post
From all the years that I visited the future MrsTinman, what I worked out Immigration was most interested in was when I was leaving, and what I'd be doing when I left. They simply wanted to know that I was leaving.

If you stand there and get all vague about your plans when you get back, you will get the second interview at the very least.
Yes, when I used to visit my (then) fiancée all they really wanted confirming was if she was waiting for me in Arrivals and when I was leaving. I think twice they asked me what I did for work but despite the part(-part)-time nature of my employment they were unfussed.

Still, it's different each time unless you're a USC, I guess. That's part of the... 'fun' .
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Old Jun 11th 2013, 8:39 pm
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Default Re: First time visit to USA to meet girlfriend

Originally Posted by iornse View Post
so you apply for esta and than you will be questioned when arrive in US ?
ESTA clearance just means you can step on the flight. Doesn't give you any right to entry to the country once you land.

If they don't like you at Immigration, you'll get the second interview and then either allowed in, or thrown out.
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