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hiphoplollipop

Unable to travel on ESTA, nervous to apply for Tourist Visa, later K1 (merged)

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I'll try to keep this as simple as possible, it could get a bit confusing!

I spent April - July in America (NYC, New Jersey, Philadelphia, DC) due to taking a sabbatical from work and using savings. I travelled on an ESTA, since you are allowed to be in the US for 90 days

I returned to the UK

My sabbatical from work was valid until October, so I wished to return to the US, again using savings

I flew to Dublin airport a week after returning from the US, to then fly on to JFK

I was stopped by Immigration in Dublin, and asked questions/bags searched/interviewed

The officer requested to go through my phone where he saw evidence that I babysat my best friends child (I was staying with her family and only interested in helping out). However there was a text from her saying "I'll pay you $15 an hour" and me saying that is not necessary.

Of course by this point, it looks to the officer like I had completely violated the terms of the ESTA and was swiftly denied entry to the US and told I cannot travel on an ESTA again

The officer was friendly, and very helpful in the advice he gave me. He told me I must go to the embassy in London and apply for a Tourist Visa and that the thing I really need to prove is that my life is in the UK, and I have reason to return

In some ways I'm very confident that I would be granted a Tourist Visa - I have been in the same job for 6 years, I have extensive savings with my bank, and own a property here.

However, I am PETRIFIED of what happened at Dublin airport leading to me getting denied or even banned from visiting the US.

I have been visiting the US since I was a teenager, and once a year since 2008 since my best friend (who is a US citizen) lives there and I have always visited, and I am godmother to her daughter.

I'm thinking I should leave a bit of time before going to the embassy, but then others say just go now, you have good intentions etc.

Does anyone have experience with this or advice? A friend has put me in contact with a lawyer but that could end up costing a lot and I'm not completely sure if its necessary? I'm not sure if I'd need to apply for a waiver for the ESTA issue before doing anything else.

I must also say that I have been engaged to a US citizen since June 2014 and plan to marry as soon as we can, but we both had a lot going on with our jobs so it all got quite delayed. So at some point I will need to apply for a K-1 or Spouse visa, but I should probably seek help in the correct forum regarding this (?).

Thank you so much for reading this, and I look forward to hearing what people think is my best option.

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I'll try to keep this as simple as possible, it could get a bit confusing!

I spent April - July in America (NYC, New Jersey, Philadelphia, DC) due to taking a sabbatical from work and using savings. I travelled on an ESTA, since you are allowed to be in the US for 90 days

I returned to the UK

My sabbatical from work was valid until October, so I wished to return to the US, again using savings

I flew to Dublin airport a week after returning from the US, to then fly on to JFK

I was stopped by Immigration in Dublin, and asked questions/bags searched/interviewed

The officer requested to go through my phone where he saw evidence that I babysat my best friends child (I was staying with her family and only interested in helping out). However there was a text from her saying "I'll pay you $15 an hour" and me saying that is not necessary.

Of course by this point, it looks to the officer like I had completely violated the terms of the ESTA and was swiftly denied entry to the US and told I cannot travel on an ESTA again

The officer was friendly, and very helpful in the advice he gave me. He told me I must go to the embassy in London and apply for a Tourist Visa or have my fiance apply for a K-1/Spouse visa.

In some ways I'm very confident that I would be granted a Tourist Visa, and we have extensive evidence of our relationship dating back to June 2014 for the K-1. I have been in the same job for 6 years, I have extensive savings with my bank, and own a property here.

However, I am PETRIFIED of what happened at Dublin airport leading to me getting denied a tourist, K-1 or spouse visa or even banned from visiting the US.

I have been visiting the US since I was a teenager, and once a year since 2008 since my best friend (who is a US citizen) lives there and I have always visited, and I am godmother to her daughter.

I'm thinking I should leave a bit of time before going to the embassy, but then others say just go now, you have good intentions etc.

Does anyone have experience with this or advice? A friend has put me in contact with a lawyer but that could end up costing a lot and I'm not completely sure if its necessary? I'm not sure if I'd need to apply for a waiver for the ESTA issue before doing anything else.

I just don't want to do this wrong, and I'm not sure if I'm overthinking and panicking unnecessarily.

Thank you so much for reading this, and I look forward to hearing what people think is my best option.

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Just to clarify that you are engaged and your fiance is in New York? Quite a bit of info to digest in that post :)

I don't know whether your denial would show up on records, probably would. But it sounds strange especially if you refused the money as you're not getting paid. Sounds harsh to me.

In any case K1's are taking anything from 8-10 months at the moment as you'll be at TSC so you should probably apply for the K1 anyway. I don't think you should get denied if you were babysitting for a friend.

Not going to help in the mean time in travelling over as you would need ESTA/tourist visa to go until K1 is approved. Some others may know better here. Just all sounded a bit harsh to me.

Edited by rob999

K1 Timeline

November 21st 2013 - First Met

November 18th 2014 - I-129f Submitted

November 24th 2014 - NOA 1

May 22nd 2015 - NOA 2 - no RFE!

June 4th 2015 - Case Sent to NVC

June 6th 2015 - NVC receives case

June 15th 2015 - Case Sent to Embassy

June 16th 2015 - Phoned NVC and finally got case number (tried 12th June and had not been assigned)

June 16th 2015 - Medical booked

June 21st 2015 - Sent Packet "3" - DS 160 and readiness

June 25th 2015 - Embassy sends letter in receipt of receiving case

June 30th 2015 - Medical

July 28th 2015 - Interview - Approved!

August 3rd 2015 - Email request to collect from courier office (Went straight from "Ready" to "Issued" did not see AP in CEAC)

August 4th 2015 - Collected packet from Chancery Lane Courier Office

August 7th 2015 - Arrived in Houston and end of K1 journey :)

Adjustment of Status Timeline

August 10th 2015 - Applied for SSN, obtained SSN number next day

August 15th 2015 - SSN card arrived

August 20th 2015 - Married! :)

August 24th 2015 - sent packet to USCIS via FedEx [AOS, AP & EAD]

August 26th 2015 - packet received at USCIS

August 28th 2015 - NOA 1 for all three applications

September 15th 2015 - RFE - request 1040A, W2's was not enough

September 24th 2015 - Biometrics completed

September 28th 2015 - RFE response received by USCIS

October 27th 2015 - EAD approved

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Yes, sorry! :)

My fiance lives in New York and I am based in London.

Sorry I pressed send to quickly! had to edit my post. Defiantly would suggest applying for K1 asap, it takes so long anyway.


K1 Timeline

November 21st 2013 - First Met

November 18th 2014 - I-129f Submitted

November 24th 2014 - NOA 1

May 22nd 2015 - NOA 2 - no RFE!

June 4th 2015 - Case Sent to NVC

June 6th 2015 - NVC receives case

June 15th 2015 - Case Sent to Embassy

June 16th 2015 - Phoned NVC and finally got case number (tried 12th June and had not been assigned)

June 16th 2015 - Medical booked

June 21st 2015 - Sent Packet "3" - DS 160 and readiness

June 25th 2015 - Embassy sends letter in receipt of receiving case

June 30th 2015 - Medical

July 28th 2015 - Interview - Approved!

August 3rd 2015 - Email request to collect from courier office (Went straight from "Ready" to "Issued" did not see AP in CEAC)

August 4th 2015 - Collected packet from Chancery Lane Courier Office

August 7th 2015 - Arrived in Houston and end of K1 journey :)

Adjustment of Status Timeline

August 10th 2015 - Applied for SSN, obtained SSN number next day

August 15th 2015 - SSN card arrived

August 20th 2015 - Married! :)

August 24th 2015 - sent packet to USCIS via FedEx [AOS, AP & EAD]

August 26th 2015 - packet received at USCIS

August 28th 2015 - NOA 1 for all three applications

September 15th 2015 - RFE - request 1040A, W2's was not enough

September 24th 2015 - Biometrics completed

September 28th 2015 - RFE response received by USCIS

October 27th 2015 - EAD approved

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Yes thats what I thought, just to do it straight away. But worried it would get denied for the reason that I'm not allowed to travel on an ESTA anymore.

What if my fiance and I got married in the UK? Does that speed anything up or does the spouse visa take just as long?

Edited by hiphoplollipop

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Yes thats what I thought, just to do it straight away. But worried it would get denied for the reason that I'm not allowed to travel on an ESTA anymore

Nich-Nick might be able to help more here. But I would think this would come up in the interview (if it did) where you would have chance to explain, definitely keep a screenshot of the text messages that caused this issue and keep somewhere safe,especially the one showing your reply in turning down the money in case needed.

Whilst your K1 is processing in USCIS (well actually more like in a pile gathering dust for months) you can crack on with the UK embassy to sort out the ESTA or get a tourist visa. Sounds like you have to schedule an appointment with the embassy. If you did that they that'll then be sorted for the interview.

Though wait for someone more knowledgeable than I on this. I just wanted to say apply for K1 soon as it takes aggggeeeesss!


K1 Timeline

November 21st 2013 - First Met

November 18th 2014 - I-129f Submitted

November 24th 2014 - NOA 1

May 22nd 2015 - NOA 2 - no RFE!

June 4th 2015 - Case Sent to NVC

June 6th 2015 - NVC receives case

June 15th 2015 - Case Sent to Embassy

June 16th 2015 - Phoned NVC and finally got case number (tried 12th June and had not been assigned)

June 16th 2015 - Medical booked

June 21st 2015 - Sent Packet "3" - DS 160 and readiness

June 25th 2015 - Embassy sends letter in receipt of receiving case

June 30th 2015 - Medical

July 28th 2015 - Interview - Approved!

August 3rd 2015 - Email request to collect from courier office (Went straight from "Ready" to "Issued" did not see AP in CEAC)

August 4th 2015 - Collected packet from Chancery Lane Courier Office

August 7th 2015 - Arrived in Houston and end of K1 journey :)

Adjustment of Status Timeline

August 10th 2015 - Applied for SSN, obtained SSN number next day

August 15th 2015 - SSN card arrived

August 20th 2015 - Married! :)

August 24th 2015 - sent packet to USCIS via FedEx [AOS, AP & EAD]

August 26th 2015 - packet received at USCIS

August 28th 2015 - NOA 1 for all three applications

September 15th 2015 - RFE - request 1040A, W2's was not enough

September 24th 2015 - Biometrics completed

September 28th 2015 - RFE response received by USCIS

October 27th 2015 - EAD approved

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Did you sign anything or did they write anything in your passport at Dublin? If not, you are not banned, you were just refused entry.

You can apply for a tourist visa, but having been refused entry so recently, after having spent the full 90 days (or close) in the USA, your chances of approval are not that great. Still, all they can say is no and you loose your application fee.

The later K1 will not be affected by a tourist visa refusal.


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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Did you sign anything or did they write anything in your passport at Dublin? If not, you are not banned, you were just refused entry.

You can apply for a tourist visa, but having been refused entry so recently, after having spent the full 90 days (or close) in the USA, your chances of approval are not that great. Still, all they can say is no and you loose your application fee.

The later K1 will not be affected by a tourist visa refusal.

Thanks so much for your advice.

I signed a statement and they stamped my passport with 'refused entry'.

You're right, worst thing they can say is no. I just really want to be able to see my fiance between now and when the K-1 would (hopefully) get approved, I'm hoping in October or November to visit.

How about the lawyer? Is he really necessary for my situation? I don't think lawyers speed anything up...

Edited by hiphoplollipop

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I don't think a lawyer is needed, they can;t make the embassy give you a tourist visa.


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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Ok so you made a mistake trying to go back so soon, general rule is spend as long outside of the USA as you did in, so you should wait at least 3 months.

Also the whole babysitting thing is a big no no, dont make the mistake again of leaving messages talking about it! It can be considered as working, paid or unpaid.

Anyway there is no reason to to be afraid of applying for B2. Wait a few months, if you try ESTA again it will most likely be denied as you will answer yes to being denied entry. You then just apply online for a tourist visa and go in for the interview. Make sure to bring proof of ties to your home country, plenty of topics already on here about what good ties are.

None of this will effect your K1 application.

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Being denied entry your VWP days are over. Your chances of a B anytime soon are extremely small so if the K1 route is the one to go for.

What will happen at the Consulate is difficult to say,they may smack you with a misrep charge requiring a waiver but no way of knowing in advance.

I aßume going through Dublin pre clearance you knew you were on a sticky wicket. Never sure if this is a good ploy.


“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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I would say chances that you, as a UK citizen obtaining a tourist visa are slim to none.

However, I just wanted to correct something about K1 visas and the length of processing time at TSC.

As of late March, all K1 visas are being sent to the California Service Center (CSC), instead of TSC. At CSC you can expect fast processing. Therefore a wait you'd have to endure (240+ days at TSC) would not apply to you. You could probably expect processing, if your case is not complex,within a few months. And then a month or two with the consular process. It is unknown how long cases will continue to be sent to CSC, so there is an advantage to filing now.

You will probably have to explain why you were refused, and may have to fill out a waiver.


K-1 - AOS & ROC Timeline  - Immigration and the Health Exchange Price of Love in the UK Thinking of Returning to UK?

 

First met: 12/31/04 - Engaged: 9/24/09
Filed I-129F: 10/4/14 - Packet received: 10/7/14
NOA 1 email + ARN assigned: 10/10/14 (hard copy 10/17/14)
Touched on website (fixed?): 12/9/14 - Poked USCIS: 4/1/15
NOA 2 email: 5/4/15 (hard copy 5/11/15)
Sent to NVC: 5/8/15 - NVC received + #'s assigned: 5/15/15 (estimated)
NVC sent: 5/19/15 - London received/ready: 5/26/15
Packet 3: 5/28/15 - Medical: 6/16/15
Poked London 7/1/15 - Packet 4: 7/2/15
Interview: 7/30/15 - Approved!
AP + Issued 8/3/15 - Visa in hand (depot): 8/6/15
POE: 8/27/15

Wedding: 9/30/15

Filed I-485, I-131, I-765: 11/7/15

Packet received: 11/9/15

NOA 1 txt/email: 11/15/15 - NOA 1 hardcopy: 11/19/15

Bio: 12/9/15

EAD + AP approved: 1/25/16 - EAD received: 2/1/16

RFE for USCIS inability to read vax instructions: 5/21/16 (no e-notification & not sent from local office!)

RFE response sent: 6/7/16 - RFE response received 6/9/16

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Green Card received: 6/18/16

USCIS 120 day reminder notice: 2/22/18

Filed I-751: 5/2/18 - Packet received: 5/4/18

NOA 1:  5/29/18 (12 mo) 8/13/18 (18 mo)  - Bio: 6/27/18

 

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Being denied entry your VWP days are over. Your chances of a B anytime soon are extremely small so if the K1 route is the one to go for.

What will happen at the Consulate is difficult to say,they may smack you with a misrep charge requiring a waiver but no way of knowing in advance.

I aßume going through Dublin pre clearance you knew you were on a sticky wicket. Never sure if this is a good ploy.

Yes, I don't think there is any way of knowing if I'll need a waiver in advance.

I flew via Dublin as it was the cheapest ticket - the officer there did explain that they're more strict in Dublin as so many Irish people try to move to the US.

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I would say chances that you, as a UK citizen obtaining a tourist visa are slim to none.

However, I just wanted to correct something about K1 visas and the length of processing time at TSC.

As of late March, all K1 visas are being sent to the California Service Center (CSC), instead of TSC. At CSC you can expect fast processing. Therefore a wait you'd have to endure (240+ days at TSC) would not apply to you. You could probably expect processing, if your case is not complex,within a few months. And then a month or two with the consular process. It is unknown how long cases will continue to be sent to CSC, so there is an advantage to filing now.

You will probably have to explain why you were refused, and may have to fill out a waiver.

Thank you, this is good to know.

I just want to do everything right.

I keep having terrible thoughts about getting refused a K-1 visa because I got refused entry a few weeks ago.

I don't think I'm going to enlist the help of an expensive lawyer. My fiance and I are a bit worried about filling the forms out incorrectly and causing a delay, but I think that's just a nervous worry of ours! Seems like most people on this forum have done it themselves and not had any problems.

Edited by hiphoplollipop

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