First of all, if similar question already exists, I apologize - please provide a link to the other question.

Situation: I have been living in US for over 10 years (green card holder). My girlfriend came to US in June for 2.5 weeks via ESTA. This was her first visit to US; we went on a roadtrip, had tons of fun and tons of pictures together. Now, she's planning on coming back to US at the end of September again but for a longer stay (90 days). Maybe even longer, if we get along together, getting married and working on her immigration status.


1) With her being in the states for 2.5 weeks and then coming back to states in ~3 months for 90 days, would this cause any issues? I know there's no specific time that one needs to spend outside of US and it a lot depends on the officer at the airport. But do you see any issue with this time frame?

2) If asked, what should she state as the purpose of the visit? I know lying is not recommended, and we won't do that, but should she say that she's coming to see her boyfriend? I heard that it's not a good idea to say that you're coming to see bf/gf since then there might be an intention for staying in US.

  • 3
    "(90 days). Maybe even longer" - not without a visa. You can't extend your stay past 90 days under the VWP so afaik the only way to stay over 90 days would be to get a visa beforehand.
    – brhans
    Jul 27, 2016 at 19:40
  • Related read
    – blackbird
    Jul 27, 2016 at 19:46
  • By "even longer" I mean that we would get married during that 90 day period and start working on paperwork. I know that the paperwork will take longer than 90 days and thus she would have to stay over the allowed time.
    – deiviuxs
    Jul 27, 2016 at 19:56
  • 2
    @Karlson there is an exception to the prohibition on adjusting status out of VWP, but it applies only to family members of US citizens. The wife of a green card holder would not be eligible. They could get married while she was in the US, but she'd still have to leave.
    – phoog
    Jul 27, 2016 at 20:02
  • 2
    There will be problems if when arriving she can't give a departure date. Also, read this: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/66243/…
    – CMaster
    Jul 27, 2016 at 20:10

1 Answer 1


Your gf probably won't be asked very much on her next entry to the US, since she'll almost certainly be using an Automated Passport Control kiosk to clear immigration. On her next visit she should look for these kiosks.

But, in case she does get pulled aside and asked questions, we need to discuss the things you have heard which are actually very bad advice.

It is not a good idea to try to hide the fact that you are coming to visit a boyfriend or girlfriend. Immigration officers are well trained in spotting people who are trying to conceal something, and it's most likely she'll eventually be caught out. She will then be refused entry (or possibly allowed to withdraw application for entry) not because of coming to visit someone in a romantic relationship, which is perfectly fine, but because the officer doubts her true intentions because she was hiding it!

To be completely clear: It is perfectly OK to come to the US to visit a boyfriend or girlfriend. Like everyone else, though, you must be able to demonstrate that you have reason to leave the country. This may be a bit more difficult but if you and she have stable lives, it should be easy enough.

  • And that's what I was thinking as well. At the end of the day, telling the truth is the best. When she came to visit me in June we were not officially bf and gf yet, so she did not say that she's coming to US to see a bf. Now..it's a different story, especially since she's going to stay in US longer. What would be "good reasons" for proving official that she will be leaving US besides showing the plane ticket back to US?
    – deiviuxs
    Jul 27, 2016 at 20:19
  • "since she'll almost certainly be using an Automated Passport Control kiosk to clear immigration." - Depends. Not all airports are equipped with them.
    – Karlson
    Jul 27, 2016 at 20:22
  • @Karlson Not all airports have them, but at this point the vast majority of international arrivals have access to them. So it's a good bet. Jul 27, 2016 at 20:23
  • What exactly is an "Automated Passport Control kiosk"?
    – deiviuxs
    Jul 27, 2016 at 20:37

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