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I'm a UK citizen travelling to the US for tourism in October 2018 and I will be there for 8 days from the 16th October 2018; from there I will be onward travelling to Mexico City for a further 7 days before returning home.

I know I will need an ESTA and VWP in order to visit, but how do I write on the application that I will be travelling to Mexico and then, after my time in Mexico, straight back to my Port of Origin without connecting through the US (The plane may go over US Airspace, however, I don't know the flightpath)

  • What exactly is your concern? This isn't an unusual scenario. The ESTA application doesn't even ask about your itinerary. – Johns-305 May 15 '18 at 13:40
  • @Johns-305 - My concern is that I don't know what to put. Am I transitting? Am I staying in the US? Do I need to provide onward documentation? – Raisus May 15 '18 at 13:41
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    @Raisus I didn't notice you're staying for 8 days. Fill it out as a regular visitor – Crazydre May 15 '18 at 13:44
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    8 days is not at al 'in-transit'. Just answer the questions as asked. Your address in the US is wherever you are staying for those 8 days. – Johns-305 May 15 '18 at 13:44
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You just fill out the ESTA form like a regular visitor, indicating where you will be staying for those 8 days.

how do I write on the application that I will be travelling to Mexico and then, after my time in Mexico, straight back to my Port of Origin without connecting through the US?

You don't; the form does not ask about that.

You should not need anything but your passport at the US airport - but print out a confirmation of your flight from Mexico back home just in case (due to WHTI regulations)

  • OP will be in the US for 8 days. Not exactly in-transit. – Johns-305 May 15 '18 at 13:41
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(The plane [from Mexico to the UK] may go over US Airspace, however, I don't know the flightpath)

This is irrelevant: you don't need a visa or any other documentation to fly over a country without landing. If there was an emergency and your plane had to land, they'll save your life first and make arrangements to deal with any immigration issues second.

Am I transitting?

No. Transit means entering a country for the sole purpose of getting to another country, e.g., by taking a connecting flight. Your purpose for entering the US is to be a tourist there and, when you've finished doing that, you're going to go be a tourist in Mexico.

Am I staying in the US?

Yes.

Do I need to provide onward documentation?

You need to convince the immigration officer that you'll leave the US. It's a good idea to have a print-out of your itinerary but you might not be asked for it. I reckon I've been asked about 10-20% of the times that I've flown to the US; actually, one time I didn't have a print-out so I fired up my laptop and showed them the actual email. The thing about onward travel is that anyone could buy a return ticket and not show up for the return flight so the fact that you have onward travel doesn't actually prove much to the immigration officer.

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    While not the OPs situation, the US no fly list can apply to people who are simply flying over US airspace. (According to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_Fly_List and I am sure I have heard it elsewhere as well) – Peter M May 15 '18 at 21:38
  • Thanks for your response. It was just confusing me on the ESTA/VWP form and I know I want to be 100% safe. – Raisus May 16 '18 at 8:07
  • @Raisus No problem -- we're here to help! – David Richerby May 16 '18 at 8:37

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