Tricky VWP question
Replies: 19 - Last Post: Dec 20, 2012 12:57 PM Last Post By: tiltedflipcurves
Dec 17, 2012 3:26 AM
Tricky VWP questionHi,
I know there are lots of questions asked about the Visa Waiver Programme but I'm in a slightly complicated situation so hope someone can help.
I have a 3 month trip planned to the US next summer for 88 days, but recently have decided I's also like to see some of Canada after my 3 months so was going to get a coach up to Toronto and travel around for about 6 weeks. My return flight is from New York to London, and so I'd like to push this back by about 6 weeks while travel in Canada, and then get a coach back NY and perhaps stay for a few days before flying back to London. However, I'm aware that the stamp in my passport from my initial arrival will state the original 90 days and so when I attempt to leave, customs might have an issue as it would look like I overstayed in the US for 6 weeks, when in fact I would have been in Canada.
Would my passport get stamped again when I cross the border from to the US to Canada? And would I be issued with a fresh 90 days under the WVP? Or would I have to do all my travelling within the 90 days, regardless of whether I was in Canada or New York? Might I be better off changing my return flight from NY-London to Toronto (or wherever)-London as this would avoid any questions at the airport?
Thanks in advance for any help!
Dec 17, 2012 4:04 AM
1Heading to Canada does not restart your visa waiver or provide you with a fresh 90 days in the US.
Change your flight to leave from Canada.
Dec 17, 2012 5:17 AM
Dec 17, 2012 6:21 AM
3One of the clearer official explanations is buried at the site for the U.S. embassy in Canberra, Australia. Specifically, "Please note, however, that under the VWP, time spent in Canada and Mexico and adjacent islands counts towards the maximum of 90 days stay allowed under the program."
Consider flying directly to Canada, without stopping in the U.S. (Literally. If your plane stops there, you are considered to have entered the U.S., and your permitted 90 days start counting down.) Do your Canadian travel, cross the border into the U.S. to start your 90-day VWP clock, and fly home from New York.
Dec 17, 2012 7:33 AM
Dec 17, 2012 10:17 AM
5Just to clarify/amplify what #4 said and explain how that relates to #s 1-2: Flying out from Canada after >90 days in North America would not be a problem for Canadian exit controls, because enforcing the US VWP isn't their job. But doing that would violate the US VWP, so you might well have a problem on future visits to or transits through the US. Or so I understand. That's not a position you want to be in, so you should either forgo the Canada add-on and get out of "North America" within 90 days, or move it to before you first touch down in the U.S., or punctuate your 130-or-so days with a trip out of "North America" somewhere near the middle, or get a visa.
Dec 17, 2012 10:24 AM
Dec 17, 2012 4:19 PM
7If your 88-day trip to the US isn't too planned (ie, non-refundable flights and/or accomm aren't yet booked), the simplest solution (as suggested above) is to do the Canadian trip first, and then spend 88 days in the US. It also depends on the seasons (and therefore climate) - and if reversing the order would mean you would be travelling in Canada too early, in terms of warmer weather.
If all of this is too complicated to change, then a tourist visa is your best remaining option. Just flying home from Canada doesn't resolve your VWP violation of time limits.
Dec 17, 2012 6:33 PM
Dec 17, 2012 11:54 PM
Dec 20, 2012 1:30 AM
10This has been so useful! My arrival date into NY can't be changed so I think what I'll do is delay my departure date and do all my US/Canada travelling within the 90 days allowed by ESTA, then go to Central America for a month or so, then go back to NY for a week and fly back out to London. Thanks for all the helpful replies!
Dec 20, 2012 2:47 AM
11Your re-entry to the US remains at the border official's discretion but I imagine you would be fine with that tkt to London in your hand.
Dec 20, 2012 4:30 AM
Dec 20, 2012 5:07 AM
13Ah I see, how confusing! Well for me anyway :)
Hopefully they won't mind too much at border control that my return back to London will be more like 110 days after my arrival if I'm punctuating my visit with a trip to Central America, and don't have a history of overstaying my welcome anywhere else I've been!
Dec 20, 2012 5:23 AM
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