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MattFly19

How quickly could I go to the US?

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I need to go to the US pretty quickly, as my girlfriend is currently there and I need to see her. 

I'm from the UK, so am eligible for the waiver. Does this mean I could just get on a flight today? If no, what do I do? Any links would be so so so so useful.

 

Also, if I do need to apply - how long will it take?

 

Thanks

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If you're planning to just visit her then you can apply for a visa waiver (ESTA) and go as soon as you have that. I think they want you to apply at least 72 hours in advance of your US flight, but I'm sure people have applied last minute and gotten away with it. Apply here https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

 

If you're planning to go over and stay then it will take much longer. And you will need to marry or study or do something that makes you eligible for a visa. Having a girlfriend in the US won't be enough.


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53 minutes ago, LizM said:

If you're planning to just visit her then you can apply for a visa waiver (ESTA) and go as soon as you have that. I think they want you to apply at least 72 hours in advance of your US flight, but I'm sure people have applied last minute and gotten away with it. Apply here https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

 

If you're planning to go over and stay then it will take much longer. And you will need to marry or study or do something that makes you eligible for a visa. Having a girlfriend in the US won't be enough.

Thank you for your advice. I have made the application and already been accepted.

 

Now I read it's now down to the border agent when I get there for final approval. I've read stuff like, they check if you have enough money to last and stuff like that. Do I need to prepare for this? And if so, have you got any recommendations on what I could bring you make sure I do get approved at the airport?

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How long are you going for?


“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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You said you wanted to fly today, so you must know the date of your return flight?


“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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1 minute ago, MattFly19 said:

Couple of months maybe?

That won’t cut it. You need a return ticket to be able to board the plane. Do you not have a job you need to get back to? A vague plan like that to see a girlfriend at short notice is not the best way to start your interactions with CBP officers. They want to see concrete evidence you have a plan to return home after your holiday. 


 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I work remotely for myself. I know I need to buy a return ticket, but if I was to book a 2 month stay for example, what would be expected of me in regards to capital, etc?

 

Nothing is officially booked. I'm just getting my barings right before making the booking to ensure everything goes to plan.

 

 

Edited by MattFly19

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You can not work in the US on the VWP.


“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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2 minutes ago, Boiler said:

You can not work in the US on the VWP.

Noted. I wouldn't be :)

Fortunately, I'm back with my parents. So bills here are at a minimum. 

 

I've got about $4k in my bank to just go and enjoy myself. Furthermore, I'd be staying at her house so costs would be pretty low.  

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Posted (edited)

You cannot work, even remotely, whilst on the VWP. 

 

The longer the stay, especially for a first-timer with a vague plan of meeting someone, the higher the chance of refusal.

 

That said, you cannot concoct a story hoping that it’s what they want to hear. If you came here looking for tips on what to say to talk your way into the country you are going to be disappointed. You tell them the truth. Don’t invent a story that you think sounds better. They are trained to spot this behavior. 

Edited by JFH

 

 

 

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But I don't have dodgy intentions. I literally just want to see my girlfriend haha.

 

I just want to know what kind of length of time ~4k would get me. Would that be suitable in their eyes for a 2 month stay?

 

And if so

 

If 

 

"Hi, I'm wanting to stay for two months. Girlfriend lives here, have the money to support myself (with her address on my application)"

 

Is that really that vague? I have a Limited company back home, surely that shows I have to get home sooner or later? It's in my nature to panic, and be anxious, I hate flying - hence why I really, really do not want to get rejected. 

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Posted (edited)

I might add that I work for an airline. A ticket purchased at very short notice, someone of working age, traveling alone for a lengthy stay...don’t be surprised to see SSSS on your boarding pass. 

 

Short-notice trips are not unusual - funerals/death-bed visits, etc but these are usually short in nature. Lengthy trips by solo travelers are also not unusual, but these usually have a lot more pre-planning involved. Put the two together and our reaction is usually “who or what are you running away from?” 

 

So why the rush and why the need for such a lengthy stay?

 

You’re preaching to the choir here about wanting to see your girlfriend. Almost all of us did this long-distance for many years before immigrating. I can assure you I don’t love my husband any less than you love your girlfriend and we survived almost 5 years on two separate continents. Visiting here is a privilege. Don’t abuse it. 

Edited by JFH

 

 

 

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Yeah, we've been together for about three years now. She spends a lot of time in the UK ~6 months per year because most her family live here.

 

She's now starting college in a month or two, and I've just finished coding my application, so it seemed a perfect time to see her before she starts, and before the business fully launches too. 

 

Proving I am indeed the owner is not an issue, my name's everywhere all over the COMPANY HOUSE website, legal documents and so on. Should be noted that I have about ~$1k per month in passive income from an investment in another business too.

 

See this is where I'm a little confused. I have no bad intentions. And I do not want to lie either - I want to be honest - because I'm being genuine!  What would you suggest? A shorter stay? 

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