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I am a citizen and resident of Spain who is married to a US citizen. I am trying to travel to the States next week. I have an approved ESTA from one week ago and have already booked my flight. I would like to know what problems I could face and if I am going to be able to enter the US. I am planning on visiting my husband for probably one month. I know I am exempt from the general covid-19-related ban on visiting the US by Spanish residents. my esta got canceled!

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    Welcome to Travel.SE! What countries have you spent time in in the past 14 days? What is your citizenship? Knowing the answers to these questions will help people give you better answers. – Michael Seifert Aug 16 at 12:57
  • I am from spain and i have been in spain , sorry for the missing information – claudia preiss Aug 16 at 14:32
  • Do note that, even assuming you are exempt from the entry ban and can go to the US, you should still be prepared to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. – mlc Aug 17 at 21:04
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The US embassy in Spain has a page that you should read. It says in part:

If you have a valid visa or ESTA and believe, after reading the proclamation and the updated information in the FAQs, that you qualify for an exception, please send an email to MadridNIE@state.gov

Due to the large volume of inquiries, we will only respond to those who have imminent travel and who qualify for an exception. Please note travel for the primary purpose of tourism remains suspended.

A comment to a similar question suggests that if you try to travel without doing this your ESTA will be cancelled. (People are reporting on flyertalk that this is happening.) If that happens, you may be unable to use the VWP in the future.

Also note the last quoted sentence. You may need a more compelling reason to travel than "visiting my husband." You should definitely read the proclamation and give that some thought before writing to the given address.

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  • I am just visiting for a month, i would come back to spain in a military flight since my husband is in the military, it would be still a problem? – claudia preiss Aug 16 at 19:26
  • @claudiapreiss I suspect so. I haven't read the proclamation recently, but from the FAQ I linked to, it seems that you may need a reason to visit your husband that satisfies some qualifying criteria. You haven't yet stated a reason for visiting him, so there's no way to know whether the reason is sufficient. Your option depends on the reason for visiting your husband. – phoog Aug 16 at 19:31
  • okay so i need to talk to them first , before trying to travel? – claudia preiss Aug 16 at 19:35
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    @claudiapreiss please let us know what happens. You can post your own answer to this question. When is your flight? – phoog Aug 16 at 20:29
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    At the end of June I was on a flight from Schengen Area to US, there were several Euro area passport holders on the flight (so it is possible). At least one was asked (and showed) "the letter from the US Embassy" before boarding the flight. So contact the Embassy. HTH. – noob2 Aug 16 at 21:33
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As the spouse of a US citizen, you are exempt from the bans for people who have been in certain countries in the last 14 days (e.g. the one on the Schengen Area, which you would otherwise be subject to as you are in Spain). So you can enter the US by air if you would normally be able to.

Like any other foreigner entering the US as a visitor, you can still be denied entry due to immigrant intent. This is more so in your case since you are married to a US citizen living in the US, so there is a good chance you want to settle down in the US, and it would be very easy for you to just change your mind and decide to stay, and do Adjustment of Status to get a green card when in the US.

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  • It seems that it may be necessary to apply for the exception explicitly before attempting to travel to the US. – phoog Aug 16 at 18:33
  • how could i apply for exception? – claudia preiss Aug 16 at 19:20
  • @claudiapreiss that is explained in my answer. – phoog Aug 16 at 19:32

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