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I'm a European J-1 visa holder. My spouse has a J-2 dependent visa. We recently had a child, born outside the U.S. We want to bring him to the U.S. very soon.

We could get him a J-2 visa, but that will take a while (we're kind of in a hurry). So we're thinking that we could get our child an ESTA, then my spouse could travel to the U.S. with him, and stay for less than 90 days. After that, we would all return back to our home country.

What worries me is that it may look strange or suspicious if my spouse enters on a J-2 visa together with a baby who's on ESTA.

Has anyone done this?

Thanks!

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  • My guess is is that if you say at the border that you are planning to do this because you didn't want to wait for the visa, and you can convince them that you're going to take the baby out of the US within 90 days, you'll probably be fine. It's a reasonable explanation and there's not much to suspect. Also consider that you could take the baby to a consulate in Mexico to get a visa there -- many of the Mexican consulates report that next-day appointments are available for J visas: travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/…
    – phoog
    Jan 18 at 22:35

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