I will be visiting the US for a scientific conference and plan to spend 5 days on the US Virgin Islands, flying to St Thomas STT airport from Atlanta. I'll then take a ferry to the British Virgin Islands and spend 6 days. I'll take a ferry back to the US Virgin Islands to fly to Frankfurt, Germany from St. Thomas STT Airport.

As a German citizen, is this possible? If yes, what sort of US visa would I need (multi-entry)? My trip will be in January 2019, well ahead any Brexit considerations.

  • 5
    What's the total length of your stay in North America (including US, USVI, UKVI)? If it's less than 90 days, you should be able to do this under the Visa Waiver Program. – Nate Eldredge Sep 18 at 14:42
up vote 14 down vote accepted

Attending a scientific conference is an activity permitted under the Visa Waiver Program, which you as a German citizen are entitled to use. This includes presenting at a conference, assuming you are not being paid directly for doing so. Tourism is also a permitted activity so you can do either or both on any visit.

If the combined total of your stays in the US and your visits to the US and British Virgin islands are less than 90 days then you can use the VWP for the entire trip.

You need to apply for an ESTA. Then you fly to the US, are admitted there, and a record of your VWP admission is created. When you return to US territory after your visit the Caribbean they will find the record of your previous admission and readmit you. You would need to leave the US within 90 days of your previous admission.

Things would be different if you were driving into the US initially. There are some rare cases where VWP nationals are unable to use the VWP, such as visiting a banned country or having a criminal record. You will discover this when you apply for the ESTA if it applies to you, so do it early if there is any chance it might.

  • thanks! So this would allow me to leave the US (and enter the British virgin islands) and reenter the US to get my flight directly? Asking because both tourism and attending the scientific conference are reasons for me travelling... – SAFEX Sep 18 at 15:28
  • 1
    Edited to say "yes". – DJClayworth Sep 18 at 15:36

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

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