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How risky is it to visit my spouse on an ESTA?

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  • How risky is it to visit my spouse on an ESTA?

    To cut a long story short, my American wife and I married last September in the US. Our intention was for me to fly back to the UK and file an I-130 petition. Unfortunately, shortly after my return my wife lost her job as the store she worked in closed down. She now doesn't meet the financial requirements yet to file (lawyer advises us to meet the requirement, even with an I-130). She is currently at a vocational college / trade school and will be graduating in June or July. I myself have never been to a graduation before (UK high schools don't do the cap and gown or ceremony) and, of course, it's my wife who's graduating!

    My question is how risky is it to enter the US for 2-3 weeks on an ESTA, with the intention of seeing my spouse, in which we haven't made any filings yet? Would they ask why we haven't filed? What would they ask exactly?

    -I have visited the US 10 times on an ESTA (to see partner) in 4 years for no longer than four weeks, mostly 2-3 weeks. Thus I have never overstayed.
    -Every time I have been truthful about my intentions (the last visit we just decided to have a court wedding out of the blue). I have had no issues with customs whatsoever.
    -I always visit with E-ticket print outs to prove return, I'm in employment and must return to work etc.

  • #2
    If CBP asks, you tell them the truth. Simple as that. Don't volunteer any more information than they ask. That leads to more questions.
    Though, even if, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Nothing about you being married screams "intent" especially with your wife's situation the way it is.

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