We Got Married On The Visa Waiver Program, Will I Have Problems Adjusting My Status?
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is designed to allow citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less.
This makes it easier for citizens of these countries to visit the United States without having to get approved for a tourist visa. Not everyone is eligible for the Visa Waiver Program and it depends on the country of citizenship or nationality.
What Happens If I Get Married While Visiting On The Visa Waiver Program?
There is only a problem when you use the VWP to visit the United States with the real intention to marry and adjust your status.
This is illegal and can get you in a lot of trouble with the USCIS. It can also get you banned from the United States for up to 10 years if you are caught.
However, if you genuinely visited the United States on the VWP with the intention of going back to your home country after the visit, you will be able to overcome any scrutiny from the USCIS.
The important thing is that your intentions were not to illegally immigrate to the United States.
Many people decide to visit the United States as a tourist, meet someone and fall in love and then elope. This is perfectly legit and you will be able to adjust your status and live in the United States permanently.
However, you will not be able to leave the U.S. until you adjust your status which can take several months. If you were planning on going back home to take care of your affairs, you will need to wait or figure out a way to handle your bills, job, school from the U.S.
Will It Be Harder To Get A Green Card If I Married On The VWP?
Your case will definitely be scrutinized more than someone who had applied for a petition and then got approved for a visa while they waited in their home country.
The USCIS is looking for suspicious illegal immigration that utilized the Visa Waiver Program to avoid the legal immigration process.
Documents That Show Your Ties To Your Home Country:
- Mortgage or rent
- Bank statements
- School tuition paid
- Utility bills
- Car insurance
Of course these documents are no guarantee that you will be approved to adjust your status and get a green card but it shows that you planned on going back home.
If on the other hand, you have no documents showing anything current or have sold your home, closed bank accounts, canceled utilities and insurance this is a huge red flag that you planned on moving to the U.S. with the intention of staying.
Ayan is the founder of the Migrant Academy community, the My Path To Citizenship Blog and Podcast.
After successfully navigating the hurdles of US immigration. She now dedicates her time to helping other couples achieve their goals of starting their new life together in the US.