I am in the US with a J1 visa that was sponsored by a university to let me study there one semester. Once the semester ended, I applied for academic training, which added another semester to my J1. In a few days, I am entering the grace period and I would like to travel to the US this summer. I was wondering if I can apply now for the ESTA or if it is highly preferable to wait until I leave the US.

My J1 is not subject to the two-year home requirement.

1 Answer 1


A FAQ document about the ESTA is found at https://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/frequently-asked-questions-about-visa-waiver-program-vwp-and-electronic-system-travel from Customs and Border Protection.

I gleaned it thoroughly and I find no mention that you cannot apply for one while you are in the US. Indeed, if you need one, and were planning a short trip outside the US, you might need to apply for one while you were still in the US, as users are recommended to give 72 or more hours of notice to acquire one.

  • 2
    Even after reading three dictionaries' definitions of glean, I am left with the impression that it is not quite the right word here.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 14:14
  • @phoog "Collected gradually and bit by bit" gets at my meaning, but I can substitute a different verb ("perused"?) if you like. Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 16:42
  • Hm. If you indeed examined the document thoroughly then perused seems rather too casual. But after looking at one of those dictionaries again, I see that I've misunderstood the meaning of peruse for quite a long time now. Maybe gleaned is correct after all.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 16:44
  • @phoog Might be a good question to go ask at English.SE :) Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 16:46

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