6

I have seen this question being asked many many times but yet have not found a satisfying answer nor anyone with experience.

I have an F1 visa to study in the United States and I know I can only enter with that visa (status) maximum 30 days prior to the start date. However, I qualify for a Visa Waiver and would like to spend two months prior to my studies in the U.S. JUST traveling as a tourist. Can I leave to Mexico and re-enter on my F1 visa?

I know some people will say "you can only enter the U.S. on a Visa Waiver with a round-trip" but what if I BOOK a round trip and just don't take the trip back? I don't need to be lectured on the rules. I am simply asking if anyone has done it and what your experience with that was.

  • 1
    One option for those worried about the round-trip-ticket requirement is to fly to Canada or Mexico and enter by land. The requirement does not apply to visitors entering by land. – phoog Apr 6 '18 at 13:45
  • 2
    You absolutely don't need a round-trip ticket. You just need to show that you'll leave the US. They don't care if you're going back home or going to Timbuktu. – David Richerby Apr 6 '18 at 20:23
1

Buy a fully-refundable return (or onward) ticket and cancel it after entering the US.

Having entered the US under the VWP, it is perfectly fine to exit to Mexico and re-enter in F1 status.

Your main concern will be convincing the officer on your first entry that you will be a genuine tourist for the two months preceding your studies (have documents proving your plans as clearly as possible).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.