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ChrisL101

ESTA Marriage taboo?

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Hi everyone,

 

                    I am sure this question has been asked far too much and so I apologise in advance I'm just still so confused/concerned. I am a UK citizen and I am planning on marrying my US fiancé. Our plan though is to get her a UK Spouse visa and live in the UK. My concern is our lawyer has suggested that I enter the US on an ESTA to marry her. I believe it is perfectly legal to marry on an ESTA with the intent on leaving the country. I'll only be there for around 4 weeks anyway before I have to return to the UK to work. My worry is that theoretically speaking in 5 years time after we have been living in the UK with her Visa what if we decide that we want to move to the US. Can I legally apply for a US Green Card a couple of years down the line from the UK even though I got married on an ESTA? Another worry is what if our UK visa application gets denied and as a plan B we decide to move to the US? Will I have a problem applying for a US Green Card from the UK since I got married on an ESTA?

 

My questions broken down are; 

 

1. Is it legal to marry on an ESTA with the intent of leaving the US?
2. Is it legal to marry on an ESTA then leave and apply for a US Green Card outside of the country?

3. If I get married on an ESTA with the intent on leaving. After living with my wife in the UK for a few years can we then still legally apply for my Green Card?

4. If I marry on an ESTA then leave the country but our UK Visa application gets denied can I legally apply for a Green Card straight away from the UK?

 

Thanks again for answering what Im sure are common questions.

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All 4 answers are yes. What do you need a lawyer for? 


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Agreed - Yes to all. No issue as long as you leave.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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Just now, ChrisL101 said:

Amazing quick answers. Here's one more quick question. Why then is it so frowned upon to marry on an ESTA?

No idea who frowns upon it. I'm assuming people are referring to marrying on ESTA then staying.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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Ive heard somewhere that if you enter the country with the intent of getting married on an ESTA it could effect your Green Card application? Because there's evidence that we have been engaged for 8 months. Even though we do plan to have a very small wedding it wouldn't be 'spontanious'

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11 minutes ago, ChrisL101 said:

Ive heard somewhere that if you enter the country with the intent of getting married on an ESTA it could effect your Green Card application? Because there's evidence that we have been engaged for 8 months. Even though we do plan to have a very small wedding it wouldn't be 'spontanious'

That is not correct. That is the whole point of a destination wedding. You plan a wedding in another place, sometimes even another country. It happens all of the time in the US and countries that don’t require too much red tape in getting married in them. A destination wedding is a perfect reason to be using ESTA. Both parties could be from another country entering the US to marry. Or from two different countries, or, with one US citizen as is this case.


07-17-2009 I-129F sent

07-22-2009 NOA1 date

07-24-2009 check cleared

07-30-2009 NOA1 received via snail mail

10-14-2009 NOA2 (we were around #187 on Igor's List)

12-30-2009 Interview in Madrid!

02-01-2010 Visa in Hand - finally!

03-08-2010 POE Orlando, FL

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1 hour ago, ChrisL101 said:

Ive heard somewhere that if you enter the country with the intent of getting married on an ESTA it could effect your Green Card application? Because there's evidence that we have been engaged for 8 months. Even though we do plan to have a very small wedding it wouldn't be 'spontanious'

The problem is if you enter on ESTA with intent to remain in the US. There is no problem just getting married on one.

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Posted (edited)

No issue whatsoever. The ‘taboo’ is entering on an Esta with the intent to immigrate (regardless of getting married even). 

I married on an Esta too, left the US and my husband filed for me.

 

During the process I was able to visit the US on my Esta numerous times and I was even able to apply for a new Esta when it was about to expire with a pending spousal visa application.

 

Hope this helps 👍🏻

Edited by Daphne K

 

USNLhome.jpeg

 

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I’m from the U.K. and married on a VWP visit. No issue at all. The US embassy in London even answers this question on their website.

 

My husband’s spousal visa for the UK was denied and I subsequently applied for an immigrant visa for the US and here I am, preparing to apply for citizenship in 2 months.

 

By the way, you won’t be applying for a green card, you will be applying for an immigrant visa if you do decide to move here later on. The green card is then granted once you arrive here with said immigrant visa. 


 

 

 

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10 hours ago, ChrisL101 said:

Hi everyone,

 

                    I am sure this question has been asked far too much and so I apologise in advance I'm just still so confused/concerned. I am a UK citizen and I am planning on marrying my US fiancé. Our plan though is to get her a UK Spouse visa and live in the UK. My concern is our lawyer has suggested that I enter the US on an ESTA to marry her. I believe it is perfectly legal to marry on an ESTA with the intent on leaving the country. I'll only be there for around 4 weeks anyway before I have to return to the UK to work. My worry is that theoretically speaking in 5 years time after we have been living in the UK with her Visa what if we decide that we want to move to the US. Can I legally apply for a US Green Card a couple of years down the line from the UK even though I got married on an ESTA? Another worry is what if our UK visa application gets denied and as a plan B we decide to move to the US? Will I have a problem applying for a US Green Card from the UK since I got married on an ESTA?

 

My questions broken down are; 

 

1. Is it legal to marry on an ESTA with the intent of leaving the US? Yep
2. Is it legal to marry on an ESTA then leave and apply for a US Green Card outside of the country? Yep

3. If I get married on an ESTA with the intent on leaving. After living with my wife in the UK for a few years can we then still legally apply for my Green Card? Yep but always keep the affidavit of support requirement in front of you

4. If I marry on an ESTA then leave the country but our UK Visa application gets denied can I legally apply for a Green Card straight away from the UK? She has to file a petition for you in the US as she did not get to meet the residence requirement for filing DCF

 

Thanks again for answering what Im sure are common questions.

Answers above

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11 hours ago, ChrisL101 said:

Hi everyone,

 

                    I am sure this question has been asked far too much and so I apologise in advance I'm just still so confused/concerned. I am a UK citizen and I am planning on marrying my US fiancé. Our plan though is to get her a UK Spouse visa and live in the UK. My concern is our lawyer has suggested that I enter the US on an ESTA to marry her. I believe it is perfectly legal to marry on an ESTA with the intent on leaving the country. I'll only be there for around 4 weeks anyway before I have to return to the UK to work. My worry is that theoretically speaking in 5 years time after we have been living in the UK with her Visa what if we decide that we want to move to the US. Can I legally apply for a US Green Card a couple of years down the line from the UK even though I got married on an ESTA? Another worry is what if our UK visa application gets denied and as a plan B we decide to move to the US? Will I have a problem applying for a US Green Card from the UK since I got married on an ESTA?

 

My questions broken down are; 

 

1. Is it legal to marry on an ESTA with the intent of leaving the US?
2. Is it legal to marry on an ESTA then leave and apply for a US Green Card outside of the country?

3. If I get married on an ESTA with the intent on leaving. After living with my wife in the UK for a few years can we then still legally apply for my Green Card?

4. If I marry on an ESTA then leave the country but our UK Visa application gets denied can I legally apply for a Green Card straight away from the UK?

 

Thanks again for answering what Im sure are common questions.

Yes, yes, yes, yes 

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10 hours ago, ChrisL101 said:

Amazing quick answers. Here's one more quick question. Why then is it so frowned upon to marry on an ESTA?

It’s not   People do it all the time !! Just leave before your period of authorised stay is over ! 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, ChrisL101 said:

Amazing quick answers. Here's one more quick question. Why then is it so frowned upon to marry on an ESTA?

unfortunately everyone one who has replied to your questions so far has omitted one essential requirement for marrying while visiting ..  all the vjers who have given you such good , wise and sound advice need an invite to the wedding !! I love destination weddings!! 🤪
Edited by Lil bear

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