I travelled to the USA in 2008 alone on the Visa Waiver Program from the UK. Whilst there, I met someone who I thought was the one. He is a USA citizen. We got married and I was going to apply for the spouse visa. His mom sent his birth certificate, which we needed, but it had a different name than the person I had married. He had changed his name, but not through any legal channels.

This meant I could not apply for the spouse visa as there was nothing linking the 2 names. At this point I had overstayed around 165 days, so I booked flights home to England so I didn't overstay more than 180 days. I was 12 weeks pregnant when I came home.

I went to the US embassy in London around 2 months after I came back for an interview for a visit visa, which was declined as I didn't have enough strong enough ties to the UK.

The relationship broke down within a year, but we have never divorced. We rarely have contact.

I now have 3 children and I want to take them to Disney World, Florida for a 2-week holiday. Do I just apply for a B2 visa? Will my children use the Visa Waiver Program? I read I had to take the documents from my previous visit to the US Embassy but I no longer have them. Will it be seen as a problem that my 'husband' lives in the USA? I have no plans on meeting up with him as he hasn't shown any interest in our son in all these years. It is 15 years since I left the USA.

I have a rented house which I have been in for 14 years, a job in banking I have been in for 15 months, a car, my 3 children in school, and I am a carer for my Mam. I also have 2 dogs. I am financially stable and secure.

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    Maybe someone will have something useful to say, but this strikes me as the sort of situation for which you may want to seek the advice of a lawyer.
    – ajd
    Commented Apr 28 at 22:07
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    I’d take the children to Disneyland Paris, TBH. A lot easier without the stress of US immigration
    – Traveller
    Commented Apr 28 at 22:10
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    @SaranshSharma In the question, the OP wrote "...At this point I had overstayed around 165 days..." Seems very clear to me that they admitted they overstayed. Commented Apr 29 at 1:41
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    Can you confirm that one of your three children was fathered by your US husband? Do they have American citizenship? Commented Apr 29 at 5:56
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    @Chieron: VWP status is only for 90 days.
    – user102008
    Commented Apr 29 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


Since you have previously had a visa denied, and this is a visit for tourism, your only option is to apply for a B2 visa. Assuming they're UK citizens, your children can travel on the VWP though.

I would strongly recommend legally divorcing your former US partner first though, otherwise it will look like you are moving to be with him.

I would second @Traveller's recommendation to go to Disneyland Paris instead though, it would be far easier.

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    "Since you have previously had a visa denied, and this is a visit for tourism, your only option is to apply for a B2 visa." There is no rule that having a visa denied means they can never use the VWP again. On the other hand, the fact that they overstayed VWP means that they can never use VWP again.
    – user102008
    Commented Apr 29 at 15:46
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    @user102008 To use VWP, OP would have to apply for ESTA, and one of the ESTA questions is whether they have ever been denied a visa previously. Answering "yes" to that, as OP would have to do, virtually guarantees that the ESTA will also be denied. Commented Apr 29 at 20:59
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    There's no official rule saying that answering Yes to that question definitely leads to ESTA denial. All we have are people's anecdotal reports of denials.
    – user102008
    Commented Apr 29 at 21:44
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    @user102008 Official rule or not, given the history here I would be astonished if the OP applies for ESTA and is approved. But hey, if she wants to spend $21 for a lottery ticket, go ahead! Commented Apr 30 at 5:23
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    Well, the OP will definitely not be approved for ESTA, because there is an official law (8 USC 1187(a)(7)) that says the OP cannot be allowed to use VWP, but it's not because of a visa denial; it's because of overstaying VWP.
    – user102008
    Commented Apr 30 at 15:07

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