I am a British citizen and engaged to an American. I have been twice denied a tourist visa to visit the US due to lack of ties to the U.K. The consequence of this is that I have now lost my ESTA and cannot visit the US at all without a visa. Therefore we are now looking into getting married and my fiancé coming to the UK with her daughter on a spouse visa. However if she is denied the visa, will she be able to visit for a month or so as a tourist? Or will she be denied completely as happened to me when trying to visit the US? If that happens we may never see one another!

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    @Guy Manners When you refer to a spouse visa, do you mean the Marriage Visitor visa (non-settlement) gov.uk/marriage-visa or a Family visa (settlement) gov.uk/uk-family-visa? If she is denied a visa (particularly the settlement version) then future visa-free entry would probably be in jeopardy, especially if she attempted to enter soon after a refusal.
    – Traveller
    Feb 11, 2019 at 14:20

1 Answer 1


This is pretty much an opinion based question however give it some thought for a minute. If a person is denied a spouse visa (whether settlement or marriage visitor), why would it be reasonable to issue her a visitors visa?

Wouldn’t the logical conclusion be that she’s going to overstay and try to change her status from within the UK? Nothing is impossible however the odds are slim at best unless the denial is on a technicality that can easily be fixed.

Your motivation now is to make sure the spouse visa (marriage visitor or settlement) is approved by putting in a solid application so that the fallback becomes moot. Even if it requires the services of an attorney, it would be money well spent.

  • @Guy Manners If you decide to stick with the visa-free entry visits, take care that your fiancée does not fall foul of the overly-frequent stays scenario travel.stackexchange.com/questions/43767/…
    – Traveller
    Feb 11, 2019 at 14:35
  • I should have mentioned that she has a daughter (15 years old) who will be accompanying her, should their application be successful. if not successful would the fact that my fiancé has a daughter not be a close enough tie to the U.S. to show she would not overstay a visit? Feb 12, 2019 at 21:29
  • @GuyManners Yes it is a strong tie, but don't forget a marriage visa has shown her first priority is UK, so although the daughter in USA is a tie it does not outweigh the desire to be with her husband. Get the marriage visa right so you don't have to hope. Feb 12, 2019 at 21:36

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