Author Topic: Advice required for a US citizen with a UK spouse  (Read 308 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline originalsmoothie

  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: May 2017
  • Liked: 0
Advice required for a US citizen with a UK spouse
« on: May 10, 2017, 05:17:56 PM »
Hi there,
My name is Paul. I am the UK spouse. My US wife, Cynthia, and I are currently touring Europe in our motorhome. In two or three years, we are going to the US so that I can walk the Pacific Crest Trail. The hike will take me six months. After that, we want to spend some time exploring the US together.

I'm hoping someone on here has a UK spouse too and can answer my question. Because I'm married to Cynthia, can I stay in the US long term, or am I still limited to a maximum of six months before good old Donald kicks me out?

Can anyone here help me, or at least point me in the right direction?

Thanks,

Paul

Offline ksand24

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 16607
  • Joined: Jan 2007
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 1140
Re: Advice required for a US citizen with a UK spouse
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2017, 05:38:54 PM »
I'm hoping someone on here has a UK spouse too and can answer my question. Because I'm married to Cynthia, can I stay in the US long term, or am I still limited to a maximum of six months before good old Donald kicks me out?

Can anyone here help me, or at least point me in the right direction?

Visitors to the US on the ESTA (visa waiver program) only get up to 90 days at a time in the US, not 6 months. The only way you can have 6 months is if you apply for and are issued a B2 visitor visa... however, you can only get one if you are not eligible for the ESTA.

Just being married to a US citizen doesn't get you any benefits when visiting the US - you still only get 90 days.

In order to actually move to the US and live there long-term, you would need to apply for a US spousal visa from the US Embassy in London. Your wife would need to meet a minimum income requirement (that she earns at least 125% above the poverty line), but a third-party co-sponsor (friend or family member in the US) can help out.

A US spousal visa takes anywhere from about 6-10 months to be processed and issued. First she would need to file a petition in the US to sponsor your visa, which takes usually about 3-5 months to be approved, and then you would need to attend a visa interview in London, and have a medical exam in London too (costs about £250 for the medical). Ideally, you want to start the application process about 10 months before you wish to move to the US.

Where do you both live now (when you aren't touring around Europe, where's your permanent base)? Are you living in the same country together, or doing long-distance?

Online larrabee

  • *
  • Posts: 4805
  • Joined: Sep 2010
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 1692
Re: Advice required for a US citizen with a UK spouse
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2017, 05:54:42 PM »
Hi there,
My name is Paul. I am the UK spouse. My US wife, Cynthia, and I are currently touring Europe in our motorhome. In two or three years, we are going to the US so that I can walk the Pacific Crest Trail. The hike will take me six months. After that, we want to spend some time exploring the US together.


Awesome!  ;D
March 29th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).

Offline originalsmoothie

  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: May 2017
  • Liked: 0
Re: Advice required for a US citizen with a UK spouse
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 06:53:25 PM »
Visitors to the US on the ESTA (visa waiver program) only get up to 90 days at a time in the US, not 6 months. The only way you can have 6 months is if you apply for and are issued a B2 visitor visa... however, you can only get one if you are not eligible for the ESTA.

Just being married to a US citizen doesn't get you any benefits when visiting the US - you still only get 90 days.

In order to actually move to the US and live there long-term, you would need to apply for a US spousal visa from the US Embassy in London. Your wife would need to meet a minimum income requirement (that she earns at least 125% above the poverty line), but a third-party co-sponsor (friend or family member in the US) can help out.

A US spousal visa takes anywhere from about 6-10 months to be processed and issued. First she would need to file a petition in the US to sponsor your visa, which takes usually about 3-5 months to be approved, and then you would need to attend a visa interview in London, and have a medical exam in London too (costs about £250 for the medical). Ideally, you want to start the application process about 10 months before you wish to move to the US.

Where do you both live now (when you aren't touring around Europe, where's your permanent base)? Are you living in the same country together, or doing long-distance?

Thanks for some very useful information. I am eligible for an ESTA, so are you saying that, unless I successfully apply for a US spousal visa, I can't stay in the US for longer than 90 days?

my wife's income is fine, so the spousal visa looks like the best, and possibly the only option. Do you know the costs involved?

We have a peculiar living situation. After investigating the costs of applying for a UK spousal visa, and realising that my nomadic lifestyle living on a narrowboat cruising the English canal network would probably cause problems with the application, we decided to leave the UK and travel full time in Europe. I can travel for as long as I want in Europe, and we know that a test case has decided that the spouse of an EU national has the same right to roam as the EU national. In theory, Cynthia has the same right to roam as me. However, we have yet to be quizzed by an border control agents regarding her length of stay in Europe with me so far.

Offline ksand24

  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 16607
  • Joined: Jan 2007
  • Gender: Female
  • Liked: 1140
Re: Advice required for a US citizen with a UK spouse
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 07:07:44 PM »
Thanks for some very useful information. I am eligible for an ESTA, so are you saying that, unless I successfully apply for a US spousal visa, I can't stay in the US for longer than 90 days?

Yes, that's correct.

It's a catch-22 situation with visitor visas/ESTA - if you apply for a visitor visa to get more than 90 days, it will be refused because you are eligible for ESTA. However, that refusal then makes you INELIGIBLE for ESTA after all because you have been refused a visa.

Therefore, you would have to apply a second time for a visitor visa, now based on the fact that you are no longer eligible for ESTA (and will never be able to enter on ESTA again)... all because you wanted to stay more than 90 days!

Quote
my wife's income is fine, so the spousal visa looks like the best, and possibly the only option. Do you know the costs involved?

That's her US income, correct?

I believe it's $565 for the visa petition, then $325 for the visa application fee, plus about $300 for the medical exam. Not sure if there are other costs involved or not though.

Quote
I can travel for as long as I want in Europe, and we know that a test case has decided that the spouse of an EU national has the same right to roam as the EU national. In theory, Cynthia has the same right to roam as me. However, we have yet to be quizzed by an border control agents regarding her length of stay in Europe with me so far.

Are you sure? I might be wrong but I thought you actually had to to be living and working in an EU country (exercising your EEA Treaty Rights) for her to be automatically allowed to be there with you. I thought that, as a US citizen, she's still restricted to the normal visitor rules in Europe.