American visiting the US with German husband

41 posts in this topic

Hello,

 

I am an American married to a German citizen, and I am registered to live here and just received a 3-year residence/work permit.

 

My husband and I want to go to the US in the fall to visit some places and spend time with my mom for her 75th birthday. I heard that it is sometimes difficult for non-US citizens to enter the US if married to an American, because it can be suspected that they will try to stay and adjust their status, so it's possible they deny the foreigner entry.

 

Do you know what proof we would need of "strong ties" to Germany so that he will be allowed to visit the US without a problem? Also is there a maximum time generally allowed/recommended, which is less than the 90-day visa waiver legally allows?

 

Or can you suggest who we could contact to find out this information?

 

Thanks very much,

Danielle

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I have never heard of this before. I have many friends, German and British alike who are married to Americans, they had no problems whatsoever when they completed their ESTA/visa waiver. Your husband needs to apply for an ESTA and state the reason he is visiting e.g visiting relatives.

 

If you have any questions you could contact your local American embassy, I really have never heard of it though.

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Thanks Anna, that is great to hear! I guess I happened to hear some bad experiences. Maybe this is more relevant for people from non-first-world countries.

 

The friends you knew, were they usually visiting for just a couple weeks or did they ever stay a couple months?

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My husband just goes through the foreigner immigration line and fills out whatever they give him on the plane. Never had a problem.

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Normally they stayed a few weeks or so. Normally you can stay for a couple of months (90 days I think, but am not sure). They print the date you have to leave by in the passport. I guess you can ask the local American embassy if you want to stay for longer. They should be able to help

 

Nowadays though you have to fill out the ESTA visa waiver online. It is really quick and simple, costs a few dollars as well though.

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Danielle,

 

I'm an American married to a German and we've dealt extensively with the entry process.

 

I think what you might have heard refers to a situation like a single man coming over to the US to visit, rather than a married couple traveling together. My husband and I met in Germany through a friend while I was visiting. A few months later he wanted to visit me in the U.S. and this is when this type of situation came into play. It was considered risky and he was told there was a chance he could be denied entry. He ended up going to the US Embassy in Berlin and obtaining a B1/B2 visa rather than go through the visa waiver program. There he provided them with proof of his ties to Germany and that type of thing. He did not encounter any problems that trip and all went according to plan.

 

Years later when we traveled to the U.S. together as a married couple (we lived in Germany at the time, so we were like you guys)we never encountered any extra scrutiny. We did as fraufruit mentioned and he went through his respective non-resident line without issue. He was usually questioned on how long we planned to stay and what we were doing, but nothing further.

 

We never stayed longer than a few weeks; however, I doubt that a longer stay would have been an issue. You are both already married so he's entitled to live in the U.S. and change his status if he wants.

 

Now that we live over here he travels with his greencard and we can stand in the same line :-)

 

I don't think there will be any issues for you guys and I think the ESTA/visa-waiver program will work just fine.

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Married to a German and never had a problem. Now, getting the green card would be a different story. Maybe not after reading Lisschen's post.

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I'm a US citizen and my wife is German, we live in Berlin and were married in the US. She never had any issues coming to visit me before we were married, and we just returned from the US after our first trip back together with no issues whatsoever. We went through the non US citizen line together when we arrived in the US. I'm not sure who was happier to speak to an American: me or the customs officer!

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Thank you everyone for such encouraging responses. :)

 

 

 

Years later when we traveled to the U.S. together as a married couple (we lived in Germany at the time, so we were like you guys)we never encountered any extra scrutiny. We did as fraufruit mentioned and he went through his respective non-resident line without issue. He was usually questioned on how long we planned to stay and what we were doing, but nothing further.

 

We never stayed longer than a few weeks; however, I doubt that a longer stay would have been an issue. You are both already married so he's entitled to live in the U.S. and change his status if he wants.

 

Now that we live over here he travels with his greencard and we can stand in the same line :-)

 

I don't think there will be any issues for you guys and I think the ESTA/visa-waiver program will work just fine.

 

Lischen, I'm glad to hear that you didn't have any problems with your husband visiting the US with you. The concern I hear is that someone might come into the US on a visa waiver and then apply for a change in status once they're in, which apparently is visa fraud because it's cheating and not going through the marriage visa process. But it sounds like people from Germany aren't having this problem so much.

 

I'd love to hear about your green card process because we eventually plan to do this, but not for a couple/few years. Did you do the marriage visa?

 

 

Married to a German and never had a problem. Now, getting the green card would be a different story. Maybe not after reading Lisschen's post.

 

Rob: That's really good to hear.

 

 

I'm a US citizen and my wife is German, we live in Berlin and were married in the US. She never had any issues coming to visit me before we were married, and we just returned from the US after our first trip back together with no issues whatsoever. We went through the non US citizen line together when we arrived in the US. I'm not sure who was happier to speak to an American: me or the customs officer!

 

Rick: That's a cute story about the customs officer. And it's a good idea to go through the noncitizen line together—I hadn't thought of that. My husband visited me several times before we were married, and he always got in but twice was pulled aside for extra questions. I'm really glad to hear there were no issues for your wife!

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I'd love to hear about your green card process because we eventually plan to do this, but not for a couple/few years. Did you do the marriage visa?

 

Danielle,

 

No, we actually didn't. It's been quite some time since we went through the process so things might have changed; however, he was able to enter the U.S. with his visitor visa (B1/B2) that he had obtained to first come and visit me three years earlier. He never realized at the time he got it how helpful it would become later. :-) It is my understanding that coming over on the visa-waiver program and then filing to change status is not the right way to do things, and I'm really not sure that would even work.

 

After he arrived on the B1/B2, which I do have to admit is technically not correct either as it means he entered as a visitor knowing full well he intended to stay, we filed the I-485 to change status. Again, I'm not up to date on the current rules, but going through the marriage visa process is surely the best way if it works for your situation. For us, we did not have the time or ability to do the process that way.

 

I don't want to get too far off topic so PM me if you'd like any more specifics. :-) We are in the process of moving back to Germany (only 2 weeks now!) and one of the things that's hard to accept is that he will have to give up the greencard that we worked so hard to get.

 

Good luck with your trip!

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My German spouse enters the US on the ESTA/visa-waiver program each time we travel there and never has any trouble. We go between 1 and 3 times a year for visits of varying duration. We always go together to the US citizen line at immigration. Much shorter, yet they can still do all the photography and (eyeball? and) finger-print scanning there as needed. We hand over our passports together (my US, his German) to the agent there and nobody has ever said we were in the wrong place. Beats waiting in those other queues!

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If you're worried, you can always take proof of employment in Germany. But, chances are very low that your husband will be hassled entering the US with you. Of course it all depends on the person admitting you. Sometimes they can have massive branches up their you know what. If they don't like the look of you or your husband, they could ask more probing questions.

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Addition to my post #4-

 

As it turns out, Himself and I are flying to the U.S. tomorrow. He had to update his ESTA thingy for $14. They are only good for 2 yrs. I had no idea that he even needed this.

 

He showed me the website today. It says that the reason for the ETSA is to promote tourism? Huh :huh:

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Dsarason,

 

Your spouse is allowed to live and work in the US, simply by being married to a US citizen. So it really does not matter if they do it outside of the country, or inside of the country. I do not think you will have any problems. I am not sure what else you want to hear, but most of the posts have been very helpful to your situation. Stop worrying and just go.

 

If you aren't planning on living in the US anytime soon, I also would not recommend getting a Green Card for him because that would mean he would then have to file US taxes, and could be subjected to pay taxes.

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There seems to be a lot of misinformation here. I just went through the whole immigration process with my German spouse. Your spouse can come and go to the US on the visa waiver as long as the total duration does not exceed the three month limit in a calendar year.

The issue is that the CBP agent has the ultimate decision. If the agent believes there is a risk of the person entering under a fraudulent reason, they can be turned away and possibly banned for ten years. This could happen but is extremely unlikely. If you are nervous, you can have your spouse bring in a copy of their vacation notice that they plan to return to work-of highlight the return trip date and the previous entries and exits.

 

I would definitely advise against entering under false pretenses and filing an adjustment of status. These are investigated and can ban your spouse for ten years.

 

If your spouse does plan on immigrating, i would recommend filing through the direct consular filing in Frankfurt as the turn around time is about three months.

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My husband and I want to go to the US in the fall to visit some places and spend time with my mom for her 75th birthday.

All I get is that he wants to visit.

 

No big deal.

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