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Visiting the USA and extending my trip

Visiting the USA and extending my trip

Old Jul 7th 2005, 11:01 am
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Default Visiting the USA and extending my trip

I wonder if anyone can offer some advice or tips on my current situation, albeit on the technicalities, not so much the personal side of things..!

I am looking to visit my girlfriend in Colorado and stay with her, whilst she finalises her divorce, which has been on-going for some time.

She separated from her husband, filed for divorce and is waiting for the procedures to take their course. In the interim I will be staying with her in an apartment that she has rented so we can decide on what we do next..

I understand that I can only stay in the USA for 3 months at any one time, however I need to know if it is possible to extend my stay beyond 3 months and if so, on what grounds and how? If I have to leave, how long do I have to leave for before I can return?

We have known each other for many years although I appreciate this may not be relevant.

Our long term plans are to be able to live together, get married, kids etc...

Of course the best laid plans are not always that easy to achieve, so I would really appreciate any advice on how the system works and if there is an easier way to realise our dreams!?

Thank you in advance for any help offered.
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Old Jul 7th 2005, 11:36 am
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Default Re: Visiting the USA and extending my trip

Originally Posted by richst31
I wonder if anyone can offer some advice or tips on my current situation, albeit on the technicalities, not so much the personal side of things..!

I am looking to visit my girlfriend in Colorado and stay with her, whilst she finalises her divorce, which has been on-going for some time.

She separated from her husband, filed for divorce and is waiting for the procedures to take their course. In the interim I will be staying with her in an apartment that she has rented so we can decide on what we do next..

I understand that I can only stay in the USA for 3 months at any one time, however I need to know if it is possible to extend my stay beyond 3 months and if so, on what grounds and how? If I have to leave, how long do I have to leave for before I can return?

We have known each other for many years although I appreciate this may not be relevant.

Our long term plans are to be able to live together, get married, kids etc...

Of course the best laid plans are not always that easy to achieve, so I would really appreciate any advice on how the system works and if there is an easier way to realise our dreams!?

Thank you in advance for any help offered.
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Old Jul 7th 2005, 11:38 am
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Default Re: Visiting the USA and extending my trip

Originally Posted by richst31
I understand that I can only stay in the USA for 3 months at any one time, however I need to know if it is possible to extend my stay beyond 3 months and if so, on what grounds and how? If I have to leave, how long do I have to leave for before I can return?
I'm guessing you will be using the VWP? In which case your maximum period of stay in the States is 90 days, no more and no less. There is no way to extend this unless you have extenuating circumstances, e.g. you're on life support in a hospital or similar.
It is advisable not to spend any more time in the country than out of it in any given year and if you attempt too many long term entries then you may find yourself being turned around at your POE, (Point of Entry) and put on the next plane back home again.

If you are planning on a long term relationship with your girlfriend then you will need to acquire a visa in order to stay on the right side of the immigration law at all times.

None of these visas will be realised while she is still married to another man and, as such, will take time to get. This is something you need to be aware of and plan for now, if this is the route that you decide to take.

Read this from the USCIS site and also this - information for both fiance(e)s and spouses and also this, a guide to both, (well, technically three) visas.

So, I have the marriage visas covered, no doubt someone more knowledgeable will come along and give you the guff about work visas soon enough...
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Old Jul 7th 2005, 1:00 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the USA and extending my trip

Others have pointed out that under the VWP you cannot extend your stay pass 90 days. Note that is not 3 months but 90 days. Please plan your departure to be at least one day before that 90th day. Why? Because if there is any problem that causes your plane not to depart the US on the 90th day, then you are in overstay regardless of the fact that it was not your fault. Being in overstay even by one hour would mean that you cannot use the VWP again.

Since the UK is a participant in the VWP it would be difficult for you to obtain a B-2 tourist visa from the US Consulate in London. This would be because you obviously do not have strong enough ties in the UK to show that you would be returning. That on top of the fact that you have a USC girlfriend with whom you will be living is a definite reason why you would be denied the B-1. The probability of your remaining in the US to marry and adjust status based on that marriage is too strong.

Of course it is hoped that you do not go the way of hundreds of thousands of others and remain in the US illegally once your VWP time allotment is up. While many things are forgiven of spouses of USC, any overstay of more than 179 days means a ten year ban from re-entering the US if you are found and removed. It also means you will be unable to use the I-131's advance parole during your wait for adjustment of status after marriage because the ban kicks in asa you leave the US.

It is lovely to be in love but for those people who are foreigners to the US, love can be difficult when immigration is a factor in the love triangle.

Best wishes

Rete
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Old Jul 7th 2005, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the USA and extending my trip

Thanks for your reply Rete, I really appreciate it.

Since you seem knowledgible on the subject and whilst I agree love with a foreigner can be a tricky one, can you guide me on the best way to deal with this? I see someone else has given me details of forms etc that I can fill in and lodge, however is this the way to go?

When we decide to marry, how easy is it to process the forms etc?

I did not mention it before but there may also be a chance she is pregnant, how would this affect matters, if at all?

I know what you might be thinking... how difficult did we want to make this for ourselves... but, sometimes you can't always plan these things and can only deal with the situation as it presents itself..

Thank you for all assistance and advice given!
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Old Jul 7th 2005, 9:33 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the USA and extending my trip

Isn't it possible to fly to Canada or Mexico for a day or two and then re enter on a new VW after 90 days?. Of course, you'd still have to answer questions and prove ties back to the U.K.
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Old Jul 7th 2005, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the USA and extending my trip

Originally Posted by Pimpbot
Isn't it possible to fly to Canada or Mexico for a day or two and then re enter on a new VW after 90 days?. Of course, you'd still have to answer questions and prove ties back to the U.K.
Yes you can - or even just go back to the UK - before moving out here I was in the states 5 times last year and was never questioned once. On the VWP you don't have to mention your USC citizen - visiting friends should do it.
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Old Jul 7th 2005, 11:06 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the USA and extending my trip

Originally Posted by Pimpbot
Isn't it possible to fly to Canada or Mexico for a day or two and then re enter on a new VW after 90 days?. Of course, you'd still have to answer questions and prove ties back to the U.K.
Not according to Rete and Crg14624 who seem to know what they're talking about: http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=310890
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Old Jul 7th 2005, 11:29 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the USA and extending my trip

Originally Posted by richst31
When we decide to marry, how easy is it to process the forms etc?

I did not mention it before but there may also be a chance she is pregnant, how would this affect matters, if at all?
Pregnancy has absolutely no effect whatsoever on the process.

The ease of processing the forms depends on whether you fill them in correctly and whether you provide everything that is asked for.
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Old Jul 8th 2005, 12:19 am
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Default Re: Visiting the USA and extending my trip

You are really on the wrong board, the Marriage one would be best bet. But,

If you want to move to the US, then for most people in your position you are looking at coming as a Fiancee or a Spouse. So assuming that:

www.visajourney.com has a good FAQ.

Your other half has to file for you, in your case it would go to Nebraska which is one of the slower offices. Say 9 months start to finish, they have speeded up a bit.

Of course none of this can happen until she is free to marry.

Coming in on a VWP still requires you to show non immigrant intent, job, property , whatever requiring your return. US officials have a hard time comprehending 90 day hols, some have been lucky anyway, some have not.

Baby is actually a minus in that it would suggest immigrant intent to the officer at the port of entry.
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Old Jul 8th 2005, 2:59 am
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Default Re: Visiting the USA and extending my trip

Originally Posted by ladyofthelake
Not according to Rete and Crg14624 who seem to know what they're talking about: http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=310890

Thats worth knowing - have some friends who may be in similar position and we thought that it would work!
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Old Jul 8th 2005, 1:05 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the USA and extending my trip

Originally Posted by Pimpbot
Isn't it possible to fly to Canada or Mexico for a day or two and then re enter on a new VW after 90 days?. Of course, you'd still have to answer questions and prove ties back to the U.K.
I may be mistakem, but as I recall from a couple of years ago when we were in the same boat, you can not fly to Canada or MX to extend, however if you drive it is extended, assuming of course, they let you back into the US.

Or, you could do like we did...my (now) wife came in on VWP 6 times for 90 days, each time returning to her home country for 2-4 weeks in between. Then again on her 7th, she was denied entry.....
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