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advice please

advice please

Old Aug 9th 2004, 4:29 pm
  #1  
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Default advice please

okay, I just found this place today, and I'd like the benefit of the collective wisdom here, if you don't mind.

right, the situation is this, I met my girlfriend online last year, and I live in N. Ireland, and she is based in L.A. In Jan of this year, I went over under the VWP to visit her, initially for 3 weeks, but I ended up staying for the 90 day limit. I went back again for another 3 month stint a few weeks after I returned from the first trip.
Anyway, I've been back home in Ireland for the past few weeks, and I intend to go back to L.A. for another 3 month stint in early Sept.

Thing is I'm a bit clueless about visa's and the working situation over there as I ultimately want to be with her permanantly.
We intend to get married at some stage, and I'm just wondering how advantageous getting married would be to our current situation. I don't care where we live, as long as we're together, but would it be easier for her to move here, or I move there?

anyway, I'm just trying to get my head around the options open to us at the minute, and I would appreciate any advice.
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Old Aug 9th 2004, 4:46 pm
  #2  
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Default Re: advice please

It would be MUCH easier for her to move.

K1 seems to be the easiest way to the USA, Fiancee Visa, but you could be talking about 9 months or so in total.

You are by the sound of it pushing your luck on the Visa Waiver, sooner or later you are likely to get refused entry.

There is a specific Board on this site for Marriage based Visa's, also have a look at the FAQ on www.visajourney.com.

For her to go to N Ireland - http://www.britainusa.com/

I think you also qualify for the Green Card lottery, but I belive those chances are slim.
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Old Aug 9th 2004, 5:40 pm
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Default Re: advice please

Don't be surprised if you are refused entry on your next visit for abuse of the visa waiver ..9 mths in the US in any one year is really pushing it..especially on a visa waiver
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Old Aug 9th 2004, 6:04 pm
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Default Re: advice please

thanks for the info Boiler.

Why would they refuse entry? Is there a limit to how many days you can stay in the US in a year or what?
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Old Aug 9th 2004, 6:08 pm
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Default Re: advice please

Originally Posted by Lebowski
okay, I just found this place today, and I'd like the benefit of the collective wisdom here, if you don't mind.

right, the situation is this, I met my girlfriend online last year, and I live in N. Ireland, and she is based in L.A. In Jan of this year, I went over under the VWP to visit her, initially for 3 weeks, but I ended up staying for the 90 day limit. I went back again for another 3 month stint a few weeks after I returned from the first trip.
Anyway, I've been back home in Ireland for the past few weeks, and I intend to go back to L.A. for another 3 month stint in early Sept.

Thing is I'm a bit clueless about visa's and the working situation over there as I ultimately want to be with her permanantly.
We intend to get married at some stage, and I'm just wondering how advantageous getting married would be to our current situation. I don't care where we live, as long as we're together, but would it be easier for her to move here, or I move there?

anyway, I'm just trying to get my head around the options open to us at the minute, and I would appreciate any advice.
Boiler is giving you good advice. K-1 is the best way to go if you truly intend on being with this woman. It is generally easier to obtain a K-1 than a K-3, but requires you to get married within 3 months of approval. It is also true that you don't want to abuse the visa waiver because you could end up getting denied entry, which will cause you problems later.
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Old Aug 9th 2004, 6:31 pm
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Default Re: advice please

Originally Posted by Lebowski
thanks for the info Boiler.

Why would they refuse entry? Is there a limit to how many days you can stay in the US in a year or what?
The I-94VW was designed for people coming for a few weeks to go to Walt Disney World or for long weekend's to New York.
It wasn't designed for people who intended to live in the USA for upto 9 months of the year.

That's why.
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Old Aug 9th 2004, 6:38 pm
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Default Re: advice please

Originally Posted by Lebowski
thanks for the info Boiler.

Why would they refuse entry? Is there a limit to how many days you can stay in the US in a year or what?
Fair question, after a while you forget your initial disbelief at the US system.

Firstly US Immigration assume you have immigrant intent unless you can prove otherwise.

The Visa Waiver was introduced to allow citizens of some countries easier acces for holidays etc. I guess you realise that in US 2 weeks holdiday is considered the norm.

I believe the original idea was that they would stamp you for the duration of your stay up to 90 days but they seem to just give you up to 90 days no matter what if they let you in.

In your circumstances they will see when you get to Immigration that you have been going back and forward for the max and will start asking questions, possibly refer you to secondary immigration.

There is no way you can guarantee entry, all up to how lucky you are with Immigration. You can help your chances by making sure that you have evidence to show your need to return, from what you have said above that may be difficult. Job, Education are the obvious one.

If you do get bounce back it does not seem to make any difference to a subsequent K1 application, whatever you do do not stay more than 90 days.
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Old Aug 9th 2004, 6:42 pm
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Default Re: advice please

I used the VWP five times. Each time I went back to England for a week or two before flying back. On the fifth time, I was pulled aside and had my luggage and wallet searched. I had a US check book and Visa card inside which didn't look too good.

I was questioned for about 10 minutes before they let me through. It sounds bad but it was routine questions. We even had a laugh about my passport photo. They were polite and friendly and explained how suspicious it looked that I'd used the VWP so many times and suggested I get a visa for my next trip.

The next trip I took, I went to the US embassy in London before hand to get a Visa. That was a tough day too.

I've been lucky in my experience, but others may not be.

If you are seriously thinking about marriage, you guys need to talk about where you would like to live. It will be easier for your girlfriend/wife to go to the UK. However, if you decide to live in the US, you need to start filing your K1 now.

If you get refused entry on the VWP now before the K1, it will give you a headache further down the road as you will have to declare any denied entries on your forms. If you don't want to run the risk of never seeing this person again, keep it legal.

This is just my opinion based on my experience.
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Old Aug 10th 2004, 2:23 am
  #9  
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Default Re: advice please

If you are not sure you want to get married, don't rush it for the sake of coming to America.

You are in the fortunate position of coming from a country (N. Ireland) that can participate in the green card lottery. Why not try your hand at that?
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Old Aug 11th 2004, 6:10 pm
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Default Re: advice please

Originally Posted by ScousePete
If you are not sure you want to get married, don't rush it for the sake of coming to America.

You are in the fortunate position of coming from a country (N. Ireland) that can participate in the green card lottery. Why not try your hand at that?
odds are slim though. Around 4000 people in NI have a go each year less than 200 get visas.

I knew people in NI who had been at the visa lottery for years with no joy.

To Lebowski, Where in NI are you? Do you work if you can get so much time away? You will have difficulty getting a UK visa for her if you cant support her withpout recourse to public funds.
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Old Aug 12th 2004, 5:35 pm
  #11  
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Default Re: advice please

From my experience, just as long as you don't fly into Boston Logon airport, you'll at least be treated with politeness, Boston sucks, I had major problems getting in, and I had the visa, and my wife, finance at the time had troubles, wanting to know what she was doing back in America...
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Old Aug 12th 2004, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: advice please

Originally Posted by bobz
From my experience, just as long as you don't fly into Boston Logon airport, you'll at least be treated with politeness, Boston sucks, I had major problems getting in, and I had the visa, and my wife, finance at the time had troubles, wanting to know what she was doing back in America...
I think this all depends on the agent you get. When I used to fly into Atlanta, there was a guy I used to always get in line with. He'd always joke about me dating a Georgia girl and say if I was planning marriage to get the paperwork started as it takes time. He was friendly and always gave advice.

The last time I flew in, he wasn't on duty and I got another guy who scanned every page of my passport and then sent me to an office for further questioning.

It can be hard, but just try and be polite as possible, they are at least doing their job although sometimes they can appear cold.

Last edited by rincewind; Aug 12th 2004 at 7:01 pm.
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Old Aug 12th 2004, 5:54 pm
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Default Re: advice please

Originally Posted by rincewind
I think this all depends on the agent you get. When I used to fly into Atlanta, there was a guy I used to always get in line with. He'd always joke about me dating a Gerogia girl and say if I was planning marriage to get the paperwork started as it takes time. He was friendly and always gave advice.

The last time I flew in, he wasn't on duty and I got another guy who scanned every page of my passport and then sent me to an office for further questioning.

It can be hard, but just try and be polite as possible, they are at least doing their job although sometimes they can appear cold.

That's true.....but on every occasion I've been through Logon, they were rude and plain not very nice, and that's been the same for everyone I know that have been through Logon, I've known people to take a 5hr coach detour to fly in through New York or Montreal to get to Maine, just to avoid getting in through Logon...which is pretty bad....
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Old Aug 16th 2004, 1:32 pm
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Default Re: advice please

thanks for all the replies. I'm just trying to suss it all out at the minute.

A couple of people said it would be a lot easier for my girlfriend to move over to the UK, why is it so much easier?
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Old Aug 16th 2004, 3:36 pm
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Default Re: advice please

Originally Posted by Lebowski
thanks for all the replies. I'm just trying to suss it all out at the minute.

A couple of people said it would be a lot easier for my girlfriend to move over to the UK, why is it so much easier?
You don't have to write War and Peace when you complete the form for her Visa

A lot of people claim that a Visa for the UK is processed FAR more quickly.

A US visa requires a lot of forms, $$$ and patience.
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