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Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long post)

Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long post)

Old May 5th 2020, 5:12 am
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Default Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long post)

Hi there everyone, just wanted some advice on my situation, I have quite a long post as I wanted to include all details, so hoping some experienced people may take a few mins to read through and perhaps offer some advice.

Just some background on myself- I am a 25 year old male living with parents in London.

When I was around 18 or 19 I wanted to visit America, as my next holiday destination, I travel quite extensively. I go on around 3-4 holidays a year so there was nothing unusual about wanting to visit the states.

Due to an arrest when I was around 18 I was ineligible for an esta, I wanted to go the honest route and make full declarations of my arrest. My arrest was an allegation by an ex girlfriend, I was never charged, never convicted. Simply arrested, questioned and released, end of the matter.

Had my embassy appointment booked etc took all my police certificate, went for my interview, the lady asked 1-2 questions about the arrest and she definitely didn't think much of it. Didn't seem too concerned at all about it.

However I was refused a visa for not having strong ties to the UK. I was stupid when I was 18 in thinking that being British, getting a visa wouldn't be an issue, I thought I'd go and explain my arrest and the rest wouldn't be a breeze, so I didn't prepare any supporting documents. Obviously I couldn't have been more wrong.

So I done some reading and realised that I must prove some very strong ties to the UK. I didn't have any bank statements as I've always worked for my father cash in hand (I was 18 at the time). So I booked another appointment a couple months later. This time with a letter from my dad stating he'd be paying for my trip, and some bank account statements, showing close to a million, which is pretty clear proof he could fund my trip.

This time round I was interviewed in a private room, asked some detailed questions about my trip, I was quite honest that I was simply eager to visit the states for my next holiday. This time round I was put under administrative processing - (forgot what section this is), while they done some more 'digging' as he referred to it. Again, I was refused a few weeks later when I checked the status of the application online, refused under the same section I believe 42(b), not strong enough ties to the UK.

By this point I wasn't so fussed about visiting the states anytime soon. And booked a different holiday. Story gets a little more complicated now, because I was so certain I'd be able to visit the states as I say I didn't believe it would be that difficult for a British person, I'd made friends with a female from new york online, thinking that I'd have a friend to show me around when I visited. I didn't end up going of course but we ended up in a long distance relationship, for the past 5 years.

I have to make clear, that during my first 2 visa applications, I was 100% honest during all questioning, I wasn't planning my trip to go see this friend in America, rather I tried to make friends from there simply because I was visiting there.

So because visiting the states was out the question for the moment, we have since met up twice, in Pakistan (I am born in the UK but ethnically Pakistani). We both went Pakistan to meet up there twice, once in 2017 and once in 2018.

In 2019, she came to the United Kingdom with her mother and wedding arrangements proceeded. We were due to get married this summer in London however it is now probably delayed due to covid 19, and will likely be in the winter now. I do not think we would struggle to prove its a genuine relationship. We have 5 years of non stop communication history. I've spent thousands on her, she's spend thousands on me, etc..

After she came to London and we had made wedding arrangements I thought I'd try to apply for the visa again, so that I could now visit her in the states as we are now practically engaged. As always during my interview I told the truth and I'd told the interviewer my intentions this time round are to go and see my fiance. (once again my interview was in a private room). The guy doing my interview was extremely nice and had been joking around the whole time, don't know if this was genuine or if they're trained to be like this but it seemed genuine.

He told me in the nicest way possible that it'll be a refusal once again, and that after I married her 'nobody can stop you going to the states'. I was quite surprised I got refused again as I've been extremely honest til now and I had good financial. Credentials behind me. In total I do have 3 arrests, the one originally mentioned regarding the ex girlfriend, and in the past 5 years I got arrested twice for common assault. Both times I was never convicted only given a simple caution at the station. The interviewer didn't even ask me about them, he said that my arrest record doesn't concern him at all. Bare in mind, common assault doesn't even make one ineligible for an esta visa.

Anyways... The plan is for my fiance to move to London by early next year...i have spent around £120,000 on my house renovation, ready for her arrival here, and I have since invested close to £500,000 on my new business. Its quite clear that I have strong ties to the UK and I have absolutely no intention of leaving the UK anytime soon.

However after the wedding, she would really like for us to buy a holiday home in America, and for to visit for at least a couple months of the year. My question is in light of all of this information above, how likely would I be after the wedding to be able to go visit with her? Is there a certain level of elegibility or any sort of rights, being that I'd be married to an American passport holder, could anyone break down what the process would be, when the best time to apply would be etc

I apologise VERY MUCH for the long post and I understand this is not official legal advice but any informal advice would be greatly appreciated.!
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Old May 5th 2020, 8:09 am
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Default Re: Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long po

If you yourself are not planning to move to the USA permanently, then it seems unlikely you will get a visa to visit the USA. Having a USC spouse actually works against you because you would have a reason (and a path) to simply stay in the USA. Even if this is not your intent, the officers will think it is.

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Old May 5th 2020, 8:11 am
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Default Re: Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long po

Having 3 arrests in 7 years also doesn't look good.

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Old May 5th 2020, 8:50 am
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Default Re: Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long po

Yeah...I mean there are a few major issues here.

Your cautions for common assault from the perspective of US Immigration are admitting guilt. That is what a caution is, mind you. But the consequences are the same for an equivalent conviction when it comes to immigration. That's just the reality.

The fact that you were interviewed in a private room for a visitor visa is quite unusual. As Noorah101 says, you applying for a visitor visa with a potential USC spouse is not a good thing for you - that's deemed as an immense overstay risk. From their perspective, you very well may be leading this lady on and then intending to hop skip and jump once you're into the US. They are looking for bona fide evidence of a relationship, and that either comes in the form of a proposal with a K-1 visa or marriage and a full on immigrant visa petition. Anything shorter than that is treated with deep suspicion. I have every belief that you don't fall into that category, based on your post, but unfortunately it's not close to enough.

At this stage, your only real choice is to marry and then immigrate permanently into the US. I don't think you'll be getting a visitor visa any time soon, and the repeated visa refusals go greatly against you.

Even then, you will have to determine whether your cautions are crimes involving moral turpitude. Typically, common assault is not, and is easily covered by the petty offence allowance, but the repeated nature and specific circumstance maybe require a waiver of inadmissibility (form I-601). There's the potential for an uphill battle even if you decide to move to the US.

In answer to your question, I agree with Noorah, it's unlikely to happen. I'm sorry.
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Old May 5th 2020, 12:30 pm
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Default Re: Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long po

You've already got lots of good advice above, so the only thing I would add is that while it might be an expensive option, and will create a bit of a tax issue (but not an insoluble one), there is nothing to stop you applying for a spouse visa and using it as a visitors visa, especially if you are planning to buy a vacation home and visit frequently.
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Old May 5th 2020, 12:34 pm
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Default Re: Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long po

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
You've already got lots of good advice above, so the only thing I would add is that while it might be an expensive option, and will create a bit of a tax issue (but not an insoluble one), there is nothing to stop you applying for a spouse visa and using it as a visitors visa, especially if you are planning to buy a vacation home and visit frequently.
How easy/difficult would this process be given the circumstances?

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I'm pretty surprised that they scrutinise things that much, I would have thought my large financial investments here would have made it pretty obvious I intend to stay in the UK for the long run?

​​​​​​
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Old May 5th 2020, 12:48 pm
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Default Re: Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long po

I would have thought my large financial investments here would have made it pretty obvious I intend to stay in the UK for the long run?​​​​​​
Nope. With the advent of the internet and ecommerce you could liquidate them all from the US if you chose to try and adjust status.

As far as immigration are concerned, you are pretty much number one on the risk list with a USC wife and multiple previous visa denials.

How easy/difficult would this process be given the circumstances?
Same process as anyone else applying for a CR1 visa.
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Old May 5th 2020, 1:00 pm
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Default Re: Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long po

Originally Posted by Adam2020 View Post
How easy/difficult would this process be given the circumstances?

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I'm pretty surprised that they scrutinise things that much, I would have thought my large financial investments here would have made it pretty obvious I intend to stay in the UK for the long run? ...​​​​​​
It might be obvious to you, but when the US is the #1 target destination for emigrants from around the world, and as you yourself have already proved, there is pretty much nothing you can do to persuade US immigration that you aren't a significant over-stay risk. As Noorah said above, you have actually compounded the problem by marrying a US Citizen.
Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
Nope. With the advent of the internet and ecommerce you could liquidate them all from the US if you chose to try and adjust status.

As far as immigration are concerned, you are pretty much number one on the risk list with a USC wife and multiple previous visa denials. .....
This.
How easy/difficult would this process be given the circumstances? .....​​​​​​
.....Same process as anyone else applying for a CR1 visa.
Yup, this too. It'll be very easy If you have assets sufficient to meet the "assets basis", as it sounds as if you do. Get a letter/ valuation from an estate agent, some research into jobs/ businesses, and some copies of listings of (holiday) homes you are interested in, to help "prove" your intent to domicile (as a side observation, generally the London consulate doesn't seem that interested in the "intent to domicile" question), and you'll be good to go! And your CR-1/IR-1 will be good for ten years and you can come and go from the US as often as you please, no questions asked, stay as long as you like, as often as you like, and with zero over-stay risk, ever.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 5th 2020 at 1:08 pm.
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Old May 5th 2020, 1:09 pm
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Default Re: Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long po

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
It might be obvious to you, but when the US is the #1 target destination for emigrants from around the world, and as you yourself have already proved, there is pretty much nothing you can do to persuade US immigration that you aren't a significant over-stay risk. As Noorah said above, you have actually compounded the problem by marrying a US Citizen.

This.

Yup, this too. It'll be very easy If you have assets sufficient to meet the "assets basis", as it sounds as if you do. Get a letter/ valuation from an estate agent, some research into jobs/ businesses, and some copies of listings of (holiday) homes you are interested in, to help "prove" your intent to domicile (as a side observation, generally the London consulate doesn't seem that interested in the "intent to domicile" question), and you'll be good to go! And your CR-1/IR-1 will be good for ten years and you can come and go from the US as often as you please, no questions asked, stay as long as you like, as often as you like, and with zero over-stay risk, ever.
Are you here referring to UK assets or USA assets?

Its pretty crazy I always considered us quite fortunate in England didn't know people go through such extreme lengths to fool immigration Lol I couldn't have been more wrong
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Old May 5th 2020, 1:10 pm
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Default Re: Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long po

In addition to what all the other posters have advised, in looking at the timeframe, it appears that the OP has applied twice within five years, and pretty close to the time that the offenses took place. He needs to get a lot more distance between himself and these events before even thinking about trying again. Plus, he talks about spending lots of money on house and business, but still lives with his parents -- that doesn't give an appearance of settled ties.
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Old May 5th 2020, 1:19 pm
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Default Re: Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long po

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
In addition to what all the other posters have advised, in looking at the timeframe, it appears that the OP has applied twice within five years, and pretty close to the time that the offenses took place. He needs to get a lot more distance between himself and these events before even thinking about trying again. Plus, he talks about spending lots of money on house and business, but still lives with his parents -- that doesn't give an appearance of settled ties.
To clarify that, I live with my mum only as my dad is no longer around. Living with parents is just a generic term
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Old May 5th 2020, 1:22 pm
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Default Re: Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long po

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
In addition to what all the other posters have advised, in looking at the timeframe, it appears that the OP has applied twice within five years, and pretty close to the time that the offenses took place. He needs to get a lot more distance between himself and these events before even thinking about trying again. Plus, he talks about spending lots of money on house and business, but still lives with his parents -- that doesn't give an appearance of settled ties.
In terms of arrest I appreciate that probably complicates things, but during any of my interviews, it was only discussed for about 20seconds max, and the last guy did say quite clearly 'I'm not too concerned about your arrests nothing major here and nothing constituting moral turpitude'
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Old May 5th 2020, 1:23 pm
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Default Re: Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long po

Originally Posted by Adam2020 View Post
Are you here referring to UK assets or USA assets? ....
"Your" assets. So long as they can be liquidated and have a marketable cash value they can be used no matter where in the word they are (but perhaps not in Iran, Cuba, or North Korea ) ..... so cash in the bank, investments including shares and units trusts, etc, an ISA, value of your vehicle(s), fair net value of your home/ real estate (I would mark your home/ real estate down 10% from whatever the likely sale price would be, and deduct the fees you would incur to sell, and obviously the mortgage). And remember nobody is coming along behind you to check if you did actually sell. And even if you did move to the US you would be entirely within your rights to retain your home in the UK anyway.
... Its pretty crazy I always considered us quite fortunate in England didn't know people go through such extreme lengths to fool immigration Lol I couldn't have been more wrong
To be blunt, you are correct, but with one important difference. Historically the US doesn't have much of a problem with British citizens overstaying in the US, which is precisely why the ESTA/ VWP exists - you answer a few questions, get your plane ticket, hop on a plane and bingo, you're on holiday in the US. That is how it works for a large majority of British citizens, but you messed up, in a way you never imagined, by getting yourself arrested and putting yourself outside the scope of ESTA. Once you, in your situation, have to tread the visitor visa path, all bets are off, and if I was betting, I would almost always bet against a British citizen of less than retirement age, being granted a B-1/B-2 visitor visa.
Originally Posted by Adam2020 View Post
In terms of arrest I appreciate that probably complicates things, but during any of my interviews, it was only discussed for about 20seconds max, and the last guy did say quite clearly 'I'm not too concerned about your arrests nothing major here and nothing constituting moral turpitude'
It's not the arrest directly, but that the arrest put you outside the ESTA process that is the problem.
Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
In addition to what all the other posters have advised, in looking at the timeframe, it appears that the OP has applied twice within five years, and pretty close to the time that the offenses took place. He needs to get a lot more distance between himself and these events before even thinking about trying again. Plus, he talks about spending lots of money on house and business, but still lives with his parents -- that doesn't give an appearance of settled ties.
All this is why I said just bite the bullet and go for a CR-1/IR-1 and use your resulting green card for visits.

Last edited by Pulaski; May 5th 2020 at 2:48 pm.
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Old May 5th 2020, 1:34 pm
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Default Re: Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long po

All excellent advice above so should definitely be noted. I would add that from my point of view another issue you have other than your criminal history and your thought that your 'wealth' should be enough to show that you are visa worthy (only mentioned because you continually refer to your money and the wealth of your father who you work for), your heritage could well be a large part of the reason why you are being denied a tourist visa.

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Old May 5th 2020, 1:46 pm
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Default Re: Tourist visa elegibility after marrying USA citizen - advice needed (long po

Originally Posted by Adam2020 View Post
To clarify that, I live with my mum only as my dad is no longer around. Living with parents is just a generic term
Then lesson number one: when dealing with immigration authorities, words count. The good folks on this forum see a lot of anomalies in what you have said, so just think how the US authorities are going to pick your story apart.
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