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Getting married with the ESTA visa waiver program

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Hello, I´m new in this forum and I´m posting here because a few users on spaniards.es recommended it.

I have a couple of questions regarding marriage and changing the status while Im under ESTA visa waiver program.

I am spanish and my girlfriend is from the US, she is american, I have travelled to see her a couple of times now and we are so in love, but we decided to get married since we want to be together and its really hard to find h2b visa sponsors. The thing is that the k-1 visa takes around 8 months to a year so I was wondering how to make it work to get married with the ESTA and be able to stay with her.  
 A) First, I want to know how to avoid problems after getting married, I have read here this " f your fiance/fiancee came to the US on a tourist visa with the intent of immigration and marriage, and you are not yet married, then he/she should return to his/her home abroad, and the K-1 visa should be filed (using an I-129f) instead of the I-130 to avoid a denial, deportation, or even being banned from re-entry to the US. "  so I was wondering how can I prove that those werent my intentions, when we get married, how can I avoid denial or deportation? 

B)What is the cost of the whole process? (I dont need the travelling permit, all I want is to get married, get he work permit and the green card) 

C)How long does it take to get the work permit? 

D)Do we need to celebrate the wedding in order to avoid problems, or can we wait to have an actual good ceremony in a year and just sign the papers and have a small celebration with her parents now?

E)I read your partner has to prove their income is 125% above poverty level, could her parents sponsor us for that since we are going to stay and live with them?

F)Can somebody let me know how to do this, the steps I need to take and some advices towards it?

Thank you so much to everyone who takes their time to read this thread, I apologize if I made some grammar mistakes but Im in a rush at the moment because Im pretty stressed out about this whole situation.

Have a great weekend guys!

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Cr1 is longer but a bit cheaper, if you are looking for speed and marrying in the US then K1 is your only option, she could start that now.


In the meantime you can continue to visit on the VWP.

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You can't enter the country with the esta/ visa waiver with the intention to stay and adjust. That's fraud.


You already stated that's your intention, would you lie saying it wasn't? When entering, try telling the cop officer you're coming to get married and apply for a green card. 

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Just now, makaveli95 said:

How come some people get married with the ESTA and just say it was "a spur of the moment" even if they were with their significant other for several time?

Because sometimes it genuinely happens 

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