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I am a German citizen and I will be travelling with my wife (U.S. citizen) from Brussels (BRU) to the US. We both live together in Germany. I have an approved ESTA application. We got married in the US and have an American marriage certificate that we will obviously bring along. According to the website of the US embassy in Germany, this should be fine:

Q: Who is exempt from under P.P. 10143?

A: The following persons are exempt from P.P. 10143 and do not need an NIE (please note you still must have a valid visa or ESTA):

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs)
  • ...

Other family member relationships do not qualify for blanket exceptions at this time. Travelers in the categories above should contact the air carrier for questions about boarding requirements (including required documentation to prove your relationship).

The Lufthansa website states that to proof marriage, one needs a marriage certificate ideally in English. So this seems to be also fine (this is a code shared flight with United).

However, it seems some people on here had trouble entering the US this way:

It seems the situation on this is evolving a little bit over time and differ between airlines and country one is travelling from. Does anyone has recent experience with this? I am going to leave this friday, so it would be difficult to apply for a B1/2 visa.

Update: Called the airline and they told me ESTA + marriage certificate is all I need and there won't be a problem. I am going to update when I actually made the trip.

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So it turned out to be fairly simple. The ESTA application and the marriage certificate were enough. Our marriage certificate was checked when we checked in at the airport. They didn't ask for it at customs in the US (I suppose the custom agent took our word for it even though we don't share a last name). It all seemed fairly routine for United Airlines. It's definitely not necessary to get a B1/2 visa. Since I traveled together with my spouse, I am not quite sure how one proofs being married to a US citizen when travelling alone.

Generally, I would recommend to contact the airline to find out what they need to let you travel.

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