ESTA visit during the pandemic, affecting future reentry.

I entered the USA from the UK on my ESTA visa using the spousal exemption from the President Proclamation due to COVID 19. Because of the expense of testing, and the length of quarantine either side of my trip from the UK, I stayed for the full 90 days, especially due to not knowing the next time I would see my Husband due to the restricted travel “to make the most of it”. I then returned home for 80 days and then returned again to the US under the same circumstances for 80 more days to cover my 30th Birthday, thanks giving and Christmas etc as it was our first since being married and normally we are working away on ships.

I honestly, genuinely, did not know that I’d be causing issues for future travel by staying 90 days and then 80 quite close together, as I read the rules extensively and as you all know, they clearly say for multiple visits of up to 90 days, no set time needed in between as long as not intending to live there.

I’m not in any way trying to move to America, once the pandemic is over we will live in the UK as I am extremely close with my family and my husband is a dual US/EU citizen. We never even applied for any US fiancĂ© or spouse visa as it felt unnecessary (oh how I wish I had it now for this specific situation.) I currently live with my parents as they own a big house so I don’t have any rent to show as proof. I work as a seafarer and have a C1/D Visa, my Husband works there too, hence the amount of time I have off between contracts and the no need to own a home. We usually travel between contracts. I have over $100,000 in my UK bank account due to saving up for over 10 years when working away on the ship. I am currently working for the NHS whilst I wait for cruising to resume again and have been receiving payment continuously so could show that as a tie to home. I also booked the time off so could show the rota. I also have a stay in a hotel booked in the UK for August due to my best friends’s Wedding that I could show as another intent to leave. I also purchased health insurance to cover my trip which shows I intend to leave on the date I stated.

I am desperate to go back to America to see my Husband again and his sick father, my husband does not feel comfortable leaving the country while his Dad is so sick and travel remains so fragile, so it falls on me to make the trip again.

The dates so far fall over two different years - 90 days from July to sept in 2020, then nov - feb 9 2021. I would now have been out of the states for at least 143 days since I last left if I go back in July 2021. I want to go just for three weeks this time. But I absolutely do not want to put my ESTA at risk. I’m so, so confused as to whether I would be walking in to trouble.

As far as all the official wording on the ESTA rules, I’m not doing anything wrong. But according to many Internet threads, I’m high risk of being denied entry. I honestly never knew that by staying 90 days last year and then the other long stay, it might mean I can’t go again. I checked before and it clearly states there is no limit. But being the anxious person that I am, I have now researched so much that I learned a lot that I wish I’d known sooner, but also discovered horror stories. Any advice would be hugely appreciated please.

submitted by /u/GrffGrl219
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