Chile is now added to a U.S. program that allows foreigners from certain countries to visit the U.S. without a visa, simply by showing a valid passport at a U.S. port of entry. The Visa Waiver Program allows foreigners to go online and complete an ESTA form before travel. If approved, simply book a flight.
The VWP (Visa Waiver Program) allows foreigners to remain in the US for up to 90 days at a time. Since the VWP grants easy access to the U.S., it cannot generally be converted to other visas, such as student or work visas. Here is a list of countries that participate in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program.
Countries that participate in the VWP (as at Mar 2014)
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- Republic of Malta
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
Some foreigners are already in the U.S. on the VWP and want to marry US citizens. After marriage, they want to remain in the US and apply for a green card based on marriage. This tact is risky business since it violates the easy access privileges granted by to foreigners under the VWP. Sometimes the risks can be manageable while at other times, the foreigner can be accused of fraud.
It comes down to whether the foreigner entered innocently as a visitor or with ulterior motives to remain in the U.S., and also whether the immigration officer reviewing the green card application is friendly or strict. There are plenty of both friendly and strict officers at immigration agencies and border checks, so be careful. Misusing the VWP for anything other than a simple visit to the US can result in a permanent bar from the US based on fraud.
Here is a good review of the ins and outs of marrying in the U.S. while on the VWP
If you have a foreign fiancee or spouse and are interested in possible marriage and immigration to the US, I encourage you to contact me for further assistance.