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Visiting girlfriend for 3 month. How to answer the immigration officer's questions.

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Hey all, long time read, first time poster.

So, I'm from the UK and in August (I'm trying to prepare early) I'll be seeing my SO for the second time in Los Angeles.

Last time, I went through immigration in Calgary where I had a connection before heading on to LA, and since we stayed in a B&B and it was only for 10 days, I just said I was on vacation and that was that; only the standard questions.

I'm a little nervous, because this time I'm going to stay for as long as the ESTA Visa waiver will allow (85-90 days) and because the stay is so long, I'm just going to be honest (tell them I'm here to see my girlfriend, rather than say "seeing friends" or anything like that.)

What should I expect to be asked?

Keep in mind, I'll have these at my disposal:

I'm going to get my supervisor at work to write me a letter, saying that I'll be returning sometime in November.

I'll have my return ticket with me.

I'll have at least $700 on me, and I'll have a copy of my bank statement with my savings. If asked how I can afford my trip, I'll show them I have at least £700-900 I can withdraw if needs be.

If you guys think it will be necessary, I'll have my girlfriend write me a letter with her contact information, how long I'll be staying and her home address (where I'll be staying.)

Unfortunately, I still live at home, so other than the letter from my supervisor and my return ticket, I have no other proof of ties to England. I pay no bills or rent, and I have no contractual ties such as a lease. Will these be enough?

Other than that, I'll just answer their questions honestly. (We're not planning on marriage yet, I've known her since October but I met her for the first time in February etc, I can take 3 months off because I'm on a zero-hours contract. etc. etc.) Or would it be better to say this is the amount of leave I was allowed to have? A zero hours contract is permanent; which may cause suspicion.

I'm probably overblowing this, I just get nervous. From everything I've read here, the fearsomeness of immigration officers is vastly overblown on the internet, but are there any bases that I haven't yet covered? Thanks in advanced.

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It's a tricky one. Unfortunately, so many people enter the US on tourist visas and VWP and then overstay or adjust status, they really ruin it for the rest of us. :ranting:

Honestly, if I was a CBP officer I would feel that you have more ties to the US, with your girlfriend living there, than you do to the UK. The two major things being that you have no rental/mortgage agreement for a home in the UK and the zero hours contract. I would bring a letter from your employer stating you are expecting to return back to work in November but not mention anything about a zero contract.

Money wise, I'm not sure that would be enough for a three month vacation from a CBP officer's point of view. Maybe bringing a creditcard may help with that?!

Also yeah, have your girlfriend write a letter saying how long you'll visit her and that your staying with her. Can't hurt, right?!

I think it can go either way so just bring as much evidence as you can and hope for the best. Sorry, I know that's not what you wanna hear but being realistic and honest here. :(


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Also yeah, have your girlfriend write a letter saying how long you'll visit her and that your staying with her. Can't hurt, right?!

I think it can go either way so just bring as much evidence as you can and hope for the best. Sorry, I know that's not what you wanna hear but being realistic and honest here. :(

Actually it can hurt. Invitation letters are never a good idea and often complicate situations further

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Go read the Yes You Can Visit Thread in the K1 Forum - lots of advice and experiences there, especially Western Europe.

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/67796-yes-you-can-visit/

You dont have to read the whole thing - start at page 60 or so and you get all the convo since like November or so - so most recent.

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Most probably you will only be asked are you there on business or pleasure, and for how long. After saying 3 months they will surely ask where you are staying. Nothing wrong with saying girlfriend.

They were fine about it when I came in on my B2, although my stay was for 3 weeks.

They will most likely ask where you work, just state where. If they ask how come you have 3 months off say its unpaid leave. If they ask how you are going to support yourself, say you have x amount of cash as well as credit cards (I always carry about 3 different cards on me).

Definitely bring the letter from your supervisor, with a specific return date, 'sometime in Novemeber' just sounds less trusting. You could also bring a couple of payslips. Dont offer to show any documents unless they ask. Be honest with answers but don't volunteer any imformation (such as zero hour contract)

Don't bother getting a letter from your girlfriend, that means nothing. Have her address ans phone number to hand. If things do get messy and you go into secondary then they will probably want to speak to her to verify what you said.

99% of the time things will be fine, but always good to be prepared!

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Ten dollars a day?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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IMHO the truth always sounds better than the best concocted plans. You should be able to tell the CBP you're coming to visit your girlfriend and evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay. In addition you should be able to present a plausible explanation as to how you get to take a 3-month break from your work - it doesn't matter to us here but bear in mind such long absences are unheard of and virtually none-existent in the US. My only suggestion is that you don't book your ticket to the very 89th day of your planned stay - give it some slack and go with 80 days or so.

If you feel things are not going well, you may outright tell the officer you have no plans to marry your girlfriend just yet and you can also add that you know that entering the US with a non-immigrant visa or VWP with the intent to marry and stay would be considered fraud. Offer to sign a statement to that effect if you really think you'll be sent back home. Nobody can guarantee any outcome but you're better off living with the consequences of telling the truth than putting up with the consequences of lying to a US immigration officer.

Good luck!

Hey all, long time read, first time poster.

So, I'm from the UK and in August (I'm trying to prepare early) I'll be seeing my SO for the second time in Los Angeles.

Last time, I went through immigration in Calgary where I had a connection before heading on to LA, and since we stayed in a B&B and it was only for 10 days, I just said I was on vacation and that was that; only the standard questions.

I'm a little nervous, because this time I'm going to stay for as long as the ESTA Visa waiver will allow (85-90 days) and because the stay is so long, I'm just going to be honest (tell them I'm here to see my girlfriend, rather than say "seeing friends" or anything like that.)

What should I expect to be asked?

Keep in mind, I'll have these at my disposal:

I'm going to get my supervisor at work to write me a letter, saying that I'll be returning sometime in November.

I'll have my return ticket with me.

I'll have at least $700 on me, and I'll have a copy of my bank statement with my savings. If asked how I can afford my trip, I'll show them I have at least £700-900 I can withdraw if needs be.

If you guys think it will be necessary, I'll have my girlfriend write me a letter with her contact information, how long I'll be staying and her home address (where I'll be staying.)

Unfortunately, I still live at home, so other than the letter from my supervisor and my return ticket, I have no other proof of ties to England. I pay no bills or rent, and I have no contractual ties such as a lease. Will these be enough?

Other than that, I'll just answer their questions honestly. (We're not planning on marriage yet, I've known her since October but I met her for the first time in February etc, I can take 3 months off because I'm on a zero-hours contract. etc. etc.) Or would it be better to say this is the amount of leave I was allowed to have? A zero hours contract is permanent; which may cause suspicion.

I'm probably overblowing this, I just get nervous. From everything I've read here, the fearsomeness of immigration officers is vastly overblown on the internet, but are there any bases that I haven't yet covered? Thanks in advanced.


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Start saving.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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A couple of credit cards would be better and just have cash on you as well.

Okay, a credit card is easy enough to get, so I'll get one soon. Otherwise, with is there anything else I could do? Or is this all I can do given my situation?


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Most probably you will only be asked are you there on business or pleasure, and for how long. After saying 3 months they will surely ask where you are staying. Nothing wrong with saying girlfriend.

They were fine about it when I came in on my B2, although my stay was for 3 weeks.

They will most likely ask where you work, just state where. If they ask how come you have 3 months off say its unpaid leave. If they ask how you are going to support yourself, say you have x amount of cash as well as credit cards (I always carry about 3 different cards on me).

Definitely bring the letter from your supervisor, with a specific return date, 'sometime in Novemeber' just sounds less trusting. You could also bring a couple of payslips. Dont offer to show any documents unless they ask. Be honest with answers but don't volunteer any imformation (such as zero hour contract)

Don't bother getting a letter from your girlfriend, that means nothing. Have her address ans phone number to hand. If things do get messy and you go into secondary then they will probably want to speak to her to verify what you said.

99% of the time things will be fine, but always good to be prepared!

I must say, from everything I've read, it does seem to be that in most case - as you say, 99% - things will be okay, but best to be prepared. Someone pointed out to me, because they could see I was worried. The reason the horror stories skew so high is because people only talk about immigration when they have a bad experience. There's really no need to write about things going well, except on message boards like this.

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$700 cash + £700 debit doesn't seem enough for a 3 month trip, that might be your biggest problem. Some CBP/DHS officers can care less about debit cards and credit cards. Forget about the letter from your girlfriend, I don't think that will help but make sure you have her number and address, they might give her a call. By the way the CBP/DHS officers in Canada are much nicer than the ones in the USA, and I'm speaking from experience. Be polite, answer only the questions you are asked with short and precise answers, don't start blabbing around. Other than that I think you will be good.

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As others have said most people have n o trouble and you hear from the ones that do.

From a practical perspective I do not see how you can go on holiday with so little money, maybe 2 weeks in Benidorm but 3 months on the US?

You main problem if they do decide to quiz you is they are likely to think you will be working to support yourself.

Edited by Boiler

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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