I left the US on 9/1 while on OPT (I only planned on working for 8 months since I got accepted to a Canadian MA program). I am originally from Germany and I was in the US for 6 years before that (never left the country). There is a conference I would like to attend in Boston (I did my undergrad in NY) in November, and I can show that I am a student in Canada, I have an apartment, etc.

Do you think there will be any issues at the border (land crossing)? I know it all depends on the officer, but just wanted to get some opinions. Thank you!

  • @Fattie OPT is "optional professional training," which allows some students to remain in the US for a short time while working in a field related to their studies. The F-1 visa is one of the student visas in the US.
    – phoog
    Oct 8, 2018 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


You are a German citizen, lawfully living in Canada whilst attending a university course. Assuming you never overstayed your visa in the US, I am pretty sure you can enter USA on the Visa Waiver Program as a German Citizen. Since you are entering by land, you will have to fill in the I-94W form, and cannot apply for an ESTA for this trip:

If you are a citizen of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), and you enter the U.S. by land from Mexico or Canada, you are only required to complete the paper I-94W form at the land border crossing. ESTA is currently required for air and cruise ship travel only.

Bring all the supporting information you can use to demonstrate that you are lawfully residing in canada and are genuinely travelling to the US for the sole purpose of attending the conference. This includes, and is not limited to:

  • proof of studies in Canada
  • proof of accommodation both in Canada and US for the duration of your visit
  • proof of funds
  • proof of onward travel
  • proof that you are attending the conference

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