If I am visiting the US travelling on the VWP and decide to extend my stay (but still within the 90 day limit) is this ok?

I had a return flight booked when I entered the US as I was only planning to stay a week but now I'm thinking of booking a different return flight a couple of weeks later. I'm worried because I told the border control person when my return flight was, will it be a problem that I come back later than I originally stated?

I am not planning to overstay the 90 days. I just want to know if it's okay for me to change my travel plans and that it won't impact any future travel or visas to the US.

Thank you

  • 1
    Sorry but I don't think you've read my question properly. I am not wanting to extend my stay beyond 90 days
    – Brian
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 9:03
  • You can stay until the date stamped in your passport. Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 13:09

2 Answers 2


It seems that what you mean by the phrase "extend my stay" is different from what most people interpret it as, so let's be specific.

When you enter the US on the Visa Waiver Program, you will be admitted for 90 days, unless your passport expires sooner than 90 days (in which case you will only be admitted until your passport expiration date). Even if your purpose is to only visit for a week, you will still be admitted for 90 days, because that is the standard procedure. (I am not sure whether it's possible for the officer to admit for a lesser time based only on discretion; there was some information that seemed to suggest they can't.) The date that you are admitted for will be on your I-94 (usually electronic I-94), and also usually written below your entry stamp.

When people say "extend my stay", they usually mean extend the amount of time one was admitted for (which for VWP is 90 days). Someone who is in the US on the Visa Waiver Program cannot apply for Extension of Status, though in extraordinary situations (e.g. natural disasters) it is possible to apply for something called "Satisfactory Departure", which will allow you to stay a given time longer without counting as having overstayed VWP.

If what you mean is that you changed your travel plans so that you are staying a different amount of time than what you told the officer, but it is all within the amount of time you were admitted for (e.g. for VWP, 90 days), then you are free to do that without notifying anyone or applying for anything.


Yes you can stay unless the IO specifically noted a shorter duration for you. Immigration understands that travel plans change and if the change is reasonable you will have no problem even if your conversation with him was recorded.

Years ago I visited the USA and when getting the visa told the consular I would spend three weeks. I ended up spending five months which was within the six months I was allowed.

However next time I went for a visa I was refused because I stayed way more than I said I would last time. Your case is not egregious like mine.

  • 2
    There will also be a date in OP's passport stamp telling them the day they have to leave by. 89 days from the landing date usually(landing day counts as day 1) unless the IO specifies a shorter date.
    – BritishSam
    Commented Aug 31, 2018 at 10:10

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