I've been searching and came across to a lot of very useful information already on the VWP and implications on staying longer than 90days under the VWP. I'm fully aware of the fact that you can stay for a maximum of 90days under the VWP, and I have read a lot about other experiences but I didn't came read any topics about my scenario which is as follows.

I'm currently staying under the VWP in the US and my return flight back home is scheduled on April 5th. As I am planning to stay another 3 months in the US I considered the following solution to stay for another while.

Potential scenario

If I would fly to Colombia by the end of March and come back to the US, lets say on April 2nd, before my scheduled home flight. My understanding is that in general, leaving the country to Colombia and coming back would count as a reentry, and if I get admitted in to the country under the VWP I would get another 90days. After the admission I will cancel or reschedule my flight home to a later date (within the new 90 days).

However, what I couldn't find is: - Do I get a new reentry, even though I reenter before my initial scheduled home flight? I would assume that my trip to Colombia counts as "leaving the country" for my first admission to the US? - If yes, can I change my initial flight afterwards without having any troubles? - Does anyone has any experiences with this and would you recommend to change my home bound flight before or after the reentry?

Hoping to hear some experiences from people who did this before. As mentioned, I did read a lot about this and I am aware of the risks, but I'm rather hoping to hear some experiences, especially suggestions about if and when to change my home bound flight would be very helpful.

Thx all!

  • 1
    I don't think this is a duplicate. The other question is about a short visit, followed by a departure longer than the duration of that visit, followed by a longer visit. This question is a definite case of somebody trying to game the 90-day limit by briefly leaving and returning. The question probably is a dupe of something, but I don't think that's the right question. Mar 1 '18 at 21:01

You left the US and now you're returning. This is, by definition, a second entry. It's very unlikely that you'll be given a second 90-day admission, unless the immigration officer is half-asleep.

Remember that the officer must assume that you're going to become an illegal immigrant unless you can convince them otherwise. When you return to the US only a few days after making a long visit, their immediate suspicion will be that you're trying to spend more time in the US than you're allowed to under VWP. The only way you can counter this suspicion will be to strenuously insist that the story you told when you first entered the US was true: you've always planned to leave on that flight on April 5th but, for whatever reason, you decided to spend a couple of days in Colombia before then. And, since you're so insistent that you'll leave on April 5th, they don't need to stamp you in for another 90 days, right? Until, say, April 7th should be fine, yes? Just in case something goes wrong and you miss your flight.

Alternatively, the immigration officer is half-asleep, you get your 90 daysand use them, and then, the next time you visit the US, and you get to face the music about "Oh, so last time we let you in, you were basically here for six months. What's with that?"

  • Do you have any evidence of anyone ever being given a reduced period of admission while trying something like this?
    – phoog
    Mar 2 '18 at 3:28
  • @phoog Now that you mention it, the cases I've heard of have been people trying to get into the UK. But I'd be very surprised if the US doesn't do something similar. Mar 2 '18 at 11:41
  • Well for one thing US immigration officers have, I believe, less discretion to grant reduced periods of admission, especially for VWP visitors.
    – phoog
    Mar 2 '18 at 13:05

As mentioned, I did read a lot about this and I am aware of the risks

You're clearly thinking this is doable at all. I'll tell you right now: forget it, it's doomed from the very outset.

What you want to do is a textbook visa run, and the US authorities don't tolerate that. On a single visit you're meant to spend no more than 3 months, and exiting for only a few days hardly counts as ending a visit in terms of intentions.

Think of it this way: how long do you intend to stay for at once? 6 months in your case, which is why you don't qualify for the VWP.

So get that flight back home on 5 April, and, after this 3-month visit, stay away from the US at least for another 3 months (not a formal requirement, but a good rule of thumb in practice).

If you really wish to spend half or even most of the year in the US, get a B visa from the US embassy. Bring solid proof that you can support yourself and that you have to return home, and have a good idea of what you wish to do.

With a B visa you can stay for up to a year (though usually subject to a 6-month extension)

  • Do you have any evidence of anyone ever being refused entry while trying something like this?
    – phoog
    Mar 2 '18 at 2:23
  • 1
    @phoog An acquaintance had visited for 2 months and wanted to visit for 2 weeks a month after (with a return ticket). She was held for 4 hours at SFO and it was only after calls to her school that she got in. And mind you, the officer she got in primary inspection was in a good mood, but nevertheless only barely agreed to let her in.
    – Crazydre
    Mar 2 '18 at 2:41
  • 1
    @phoog Does she stay for 3 months, exit to South America for a few days and then return to the US for another 3-month stay? This is what OP's seeking to do
    – Crazydre
    Mar 2 '18 at 5:46
  • 2
    @phoog Entering frequently is not the same thing as trying to make two three-month visits separated by only a couple of days. Mar 2 '18 at 11:43
  • 1
    @Coke, The assertion in bold is still way too strong. See, e.g., @brhans comment in this question. I also have an acquaintance who got a new VWP entry to the US after a couple of weeks in northern Canada by taking a 2 day side trip to Greenland (from Iqaluit, when there was a regular flight to Nuuk) for the purpose of extending her US stay.
    – Dennis
    Mar 2 '18 at 17:22

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