Immigration Issues/Re-entering the US
I am finally getting married to my US citizen girlfriend - we have been together 7 years. I want to move permanently to the US next summer (2007), but want to visit her in the meantime (Christmas, Easter etc - I am a school teacher with long holidays and she is a doctor with very little holiday time). I have a job contract until summer 2007 in the UK (I am a British citizen). I am currently in the US for the summer on a tourist waiver visa, and am going home and back to work in 5 weeks.
We visited an immigration lawyer today who recommended that we get married during this visit, and apply for a spouse visa whilst I am back in the UK. I had no intention of doing this until we spoke to him, so didn't enter the country under false pretences - we planned to get married next summer, using a fiance visa. He strongly recommended doing it his way because it reduced time, expense and paperwork, but would I be able to re-enter the US on a visa waiver whilst waiting for my spouse visa to be processed? If I can, what sort of documentary evidence would help me through border control to convince them that I have no intention of staying beyond the limits of the visa waiver until I have the full spouse visa? Would they take a dim view of me entering on a visa waiver and getting married whilst here? Sorry for so many questions, but we are really worried about this and want to do it the right way.
What he didn't tell you are the ramifications of Visa Waiver violating conditions of the visa waiver. ANY violations of a visa waiver is an automatic removal, no hearing, nothing. There is NO adjustment of status with a VW as there is with other non-immigrant visas. Once you are removed from the US for violation of a VS (called an Order of Removal) it is the same as being deported. Reentry into the US is not possible for a minimum of 5 years.
As far as reducing time and expense...he's an attorney and is going to be paid quite well trying to get you out of the mess you got into following his recommendation.
The correct way...file for a K-1 visa (fiance). you will have 90 days to get married. Once you are married, your spouse will file the appropriate applications I-130 and a I-485 for adjusting your status. You can obtain the forms at your local CIS office. You do not need an attorney, just ask the CIS Information Officer the steps you need to take and what forms (they get paid by the US government to give you the same information an attorney will charge you for).