Articles Posted in Visa Waiver Program

Welcome back to the Immigration Lawyer Blog, where we discuss all things immigration. In this video, we bring Polish citizens an exciting new update regarding the Visa Waiver Program.

What’s happening?

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced the addition of Poland, as a country eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program.

What is the Visa Waiver Program?

The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens or nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business purposes without having to apply for a tourist visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad. The period of time that a traveler may remain in the United States under the Visa Waiver Program is 90 days or less.

How does it work?

Citizens of countries participating in the Visa Waiver program may travel to the United States without a visa by using their passports and an approved ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) form that can be completed on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website in a matter of minutes.

Poland Joins Visa Waiver Program 

Beginning November 11, 2019, Polish citizens may travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. This means that as a Polish citizen or national, you will not need to apply for a visa in order to enter the United States as a tourist or for select business purposes.

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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick explains the potential problems that may arise when an immigrant who has overstayed the Visa Waiver Program later applies for adjustment of status based on their marriage to a US citizen.

In this case study, we discuss a real situation involving a client who initially came to the United States on the visa waiver program. Per the terms of the Visa Waiver Program, a foreign national may only remain in the United States for a period of 90 days or less.

Our client had remained in the United States unlawfully for a long period of time. During the period of time he remained in the United States unlawfully, he met and married a U.S. Citizen and began a life with his American spouse in the United States. The couple filed an application for adjustment of status after the marriage, thinking that they would be approved without a problem. Unfortunately this application was denied, and a subsequent motion to re-open the case was also denied. In San Diego county and other immigration field offices, immigration officers began to aggressively deny adjustment of status applications for immigrants who had overstayed the visa waiver program, even if the application was based on marriage to a U.S. Citizen spouse. The client then decided to re-file his application for permanent residence after the denial. After filing, the Border Patrol apprehended him and began the process of deporting him from the United States. Understandably this was a very difficult situation for the client and his American spouse to go through. At this point, the client retained our office to begin prosecutorial discretion to cancel his removal from the United States and to re-file his application for adjustment of status to permanent residence, based on his marriage to his American spouse.

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In this video, Attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. discusses one of your frequently asked questions: I entered the United States on the visa waiver program 2 years ago. My stay has now expired. Recently, I married a US Citizen. Can I get my Green Card inside the US?

Overview: 

This question comes to us from a follower in Kansas City. He says: I am an Italian national that entered the United States on the visa waiver program 2 years ago. My visa waiver has now expired. I married a US Citizen recently. Can I get my green card within the United States?

Firstly, the visa waiver program grants foreign nationals from eligible countries, the ability to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa. Once a foreign national overstays this 90-day period, however, that individual loses most of their rights including their right to apply for permanent residency (green card).

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