New Visa Waiver Requirements, effective January 12, 2009
Replies: 321 - Last Post: Jan 11, 2013 5:11 AM Last Post By: katija
Jun 5, 2011 6:13 AM
195The onward ticket to Costa Rica is your proof of departure within 90 days.
You should be fine.
Jun 8, 2011 1:22 AM
196hi there,just a quick question...
i saw some of your comments and it looks like you know a lot,maybe you can help me sort this situation out.
came the first time to USA in January with a waiver visa and went back to Italy after ten day holiday.
Went back to USA in March and went back after 13 days stay.
then returned back in the end of March and my waiver visa will expire end of june,
i m undergoing some major things here,i maybe having the chance to get a visa soon and i don t really want to leave now,
do you think that if I go to santo domingo / costa rica for a short trip before my waiver expires, let s say for 4 days and then go back to Ameria might be a chance they grant me other time on the waiver visa,if i buy a valid airline ticket to go back home (italy) ?
thanks for the help!
Jun 8, 2011 1:58 AM
Jun 25, 2011 8:43 AM
198According to the Belgian website of Foreign Affairs, if I want to enter the US from Mexico or Canada (which I'll be doing in the near future when I'm bicycling from South to North America) I'll need to be able to prove I'm domiciled outside the US and I need to prove I have plans to go back home.
However, my plan is to find a boat in Alaska to cross the North Pacific to Japan or Russia. Proving I'm going back to Belgium won't be that easy without having airline tickets or anything.
Anybody with an idea if they're strict with that and if it's a reason to deny a person entry in the US?
Jun 25, 2011 10:31 AM
199Not sure you need a ticket or plans to return home - but having an unworkable plan to leave the US is a reason to deny entry
might give you some pointers. At very least you are going to need to know when that almost certainly mythical boat runs.
I assume you have your Russian visa?
Jun 25, 2011 10:38 AM
Jun 25, 2011 2:24 PM
Whether or not the official actually asks for the evidence is another story. I have seen repots where the visitor was not asked;I have seen a couple of reports where a visitor was denied entry.
A "signatory carrier" is an airline or ship that agrees that if you are not admitted under the waiver, the carrier will take you out of the US. Most signatory carriers are commercial airlines & cruise ships. A few are corporate entities, such as FedEX. Most private planes & boats are not signatory carriers.
Jun 25, 2011 2:29 PM
Jun 25, 2011 2:46 PM
Jul 2, 2011 8:15 AM
204Hi, need answers quickly as possible to my fairly straightforward questions... trawling the Net takes hours and comes up with vague and/or often out-of-date info. I know the Thorn Tree is very reliable.
I am a UK Citizen and I have an ESTA - had it 15 months now - and used it last year for 5 days and earlier this year for 88 days. I want to return shortly, for a long period...
1) Will I have problems returning so soon? And after a long visit? Is there suppossedly a good amount of time to wait between visits?
2) Will I get another 90 days?
2b) Is is true you that whilst you can re-enter multiple times on an ESTA, you can only spend a max 180 days within the country in 1 year?
3) If arriving overland from Canada, does ESTA apply and/or what is the procedure? Problems, length of time given, fees...? Need a lot of advice about this one, thanks
3b) Do you face big problems/total rejection if you go in and out of Canada twice or more on an ESTA or even without one, just being able to do so?
3c) Is there a good length of time to leave between visits between Canada and the US?
4) Don't read deeply into this one, it's not how it sounds! - but if you get married in the US under ESTA entry, is it possible to stay without still having to leave after the 90/however many days?
5) If you are ever denied entry at the border point, despite having a valid ESTA, does it then void your ESTA and any future eligibility?
6) If you apply for a B2 Visitor Visa and get rejected, does it void your ESTA and any further eligibility? I have thought about applying for a Visa, to be able to comfortably stay without worry for 4 or 5 months, but have heard so many horror stories about the process and ordinary people and those even in fantastic circumstances ie roots and financially still getting rejected...
6b) can you get a Multiple-Entry B2?
THANK YOU for any and all help :)
Jul 2, 2011 8:56 AM
205First, ESTA is not how you enter the US. ESTA is a pre-clearance program for people who wish to enter under the Visa Waiver Program. ESTA checks things like are you on a list of known bad guys or do you have a criminal record or were you ever denied entry into the US. Approval under ESTA gives you permission to show up in the US and ask to be admitted under the VWP. It does not guarantee entrance. That is always at the discretion of the border official.
ESTA pre-clearance is good for 2 years. However, if some sort of information becomes available to the US that indicates you should not be admitted, then you will be turned away, even though you have ESTA clearance.
Entry under the VWP is usually for 90 days or whenever your passport expires, whichever comes first. But a border official could grant less time. The 90 days CANNOT be extended.
Is is true you that whilst you can re-enter multiple times on an ESTA, you can only spend a max 180 days within the country in 1 year?
Is there a limit to the number of times I may travel to the United States visa free in any given period of time?
There is no limit to the number of times you may travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program in any given period. There is also no minimum period of time you are required to remain outside the U.S. before reapplying for admission. If you are a frequent traveler to the United States, it is advisable that you carry with you for presentation to U.S. immigrations evidence of your residence abroad to which you intend to return at the end of your visit together with evidence of funds sufficient for your support while in the United States. If the immigrations inspector is not convinced that you are a bona fide visitor for business or tourism, you may be denied entry.
Even if the US overlooks that, you would have to return to your country of residence & apply for a spousal visa.
There have been cases where the US government accepted that the wedding was a spur-of-the-moment thing, and that the non-citizen had no intention of getting married at the time he/she entered the US, but was overwhelmed by sudden love for a person met the night before at the Club Boom Boom.
Someone visiting a long-time friend/lover/fiance(e)/second cousin would probably have trouble making the "love at first sight" argument.
In any case, the noncitizen still has to go home and apply for a spousal visa.
If you apply for and are denied, a full B-2 visa, then if you try to enter the US under the Visa Wavier Program, you may be denied entry. The US says "A recent visa denial for any reason could result in denial of an authorization via ESTA, additional questioning at the port of entry, or denial of admission to the U.S."
B-2 visas are usually valid for multiple entry over 5 or 10 years.
For UK citizens, getting a full B-2 may not be that impossible. Don't forget, the grapevine is not a reliable source of information on the difficulty of the process. People who have horror stories tell everyone; people who have no porblems at all keep silent.
Jul 8, 2011 6:40 PM
206We are a Swiss family travelling in a U.S. vehicle. We spent nearly 90 days (on the visa waiver) in the U.S.A. starting in January of this year and then left to Mexico. After another three months we travelled back into the U.S.A. and were let in without any problems for another 90 days on another visa waiver. The personnel at the border was VERY nice, contrary to their reputation and very helpful and we didn't have to prove why we had left and why we came back, no airline onward journey tickets, no proof of funds, nothing. Just a nice smile, a lot of small talk and laughter and we were through (at the Nogales border).
Jul 9, 2011 9:39 AM
As I explained, I visited the US very briefly last year and had no trouble, and didn't expect any this year being still totally within all rules - a year since last brief visit, certainly enough time if that were to be an issue!, a return ticket, full ESTA eligibility, no criminal records, nothing wrong at all... When I arrived in the US earlier this year, we were the last flight in and I ended up the last person to go through. I am also female and aged between 21 and 29 and was on my own. The officer took one look at me and it was all downhill from there... He wanted to know how long I was staying and to see my flight details (at the time I was only even staying 8 weeks - I decided to stay longer, up to my limit, later in the stay). How could I take so much time off? - what did I do for a living? Did I know anyone in the country? I got asked this 3 TIMES and my honest answer was NO! Are you single? Where did you go last year? Are you going back there? Where was I going this time? How I was planning to get around? How much money did I have? That's not much... (I was on a budget - but I calculated it carefully before I left, and it proved accurate for me. So sucks to him). Let me see your debit card. How much is on there? How much is your overdraft? He typed a LOT of stuff into his computer during this interrogation - that's what this was. Apparently typing even more as I started to panic a little, realising how badly it was going, and knowing that panicking was not going to help! I then had to do the fingerprint scans and this took 3 attempts because by this time I was sweaty. Again - bad... He then typed more stuff into his computer, had a long hard think and studied me very carefully before finally stamping my passport and VERY begrudgingly handing it over. He then watched me closely as I walked away. So basically: it was the arrival from hell, for no good reason, and has left me so traumatised, I'm seriously terrified about how it could go next time - and why I have no many questions and want so much advice. And I'd like to hear from anyone else who's had a horrible experience too, and what their circumstances were. And of course, answers to the questions are still much appreciated. I returned to the UK at the turn of June, and am planning to return within next 2 months, staying for up to 90 days, starting with a few days in Vancouver and then overlanding to Seattle and heading onwards and potentially eastwards. I'm worried about being on the West Coast again, however briefly, even though my stay earlier this year was based in southern California and Nevada, and thinking about telling them I'm only staying 4 or 5 weeks - change my flight later, it might be worth the cost to do so just to get through the door. After the 90 days, I might then go back into Canada for a spell and then either return to the UK or try and return into the US - thus, how long to leave and any time limitations ie 180 days/year limit? But right now: I just want to get back into the States!! So advice much appreciated. Thanks for your time and help :)
Jul 9, 2011 9:50 AM
208Your problem might be "profiling. Yes, the immigration folks do profile. (I did a tour of a border crossing once for business & they explained this, although they were seriously vague on what the profiles look like..) And it's not just terrorists or drug smugglers. They also profile people who are likely to not have sufficient funds or who are likely to overstay--such as a young woman who might conceal that she is coming to the US to visit a fiancé.
As for funds, CBP says
Jul 9, 2011 9:58 AM
As I said, it's not just the US.
That second return to the US could be problematic though if you don't leave "North America."
Btw, paragraphs, please. It makes reading long posts easier.
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