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I am currently on a camping road trip in the USA (B2 visa) and would like to spend the winter months in Mexico to escape the cold.

However, during my potential stay in Mexico, my current admission would expire (early February). Therefore I wonder if I am allowed to re-enter the USA next spring (e.g. in March) and get a new admission.

Unfortunately I am only able to find information regarding short trips to Mexico/Canada (which is up to 30 days). In contrast, I'd like to stay in Mexico for approx 6-7 weeks. Does anyone have any experiences with B2 and re-entering the US or knows where to find reliable information on that topic?

  • Is it a multiple entry visa? If so, then I'm not really sure what you're concerned about? – Michael Hampton Oct 24 '18 at 18:59
  • It is a multiple entry visa. My concern is that most offical US websites say that the 180 day period that I am allowed to stay is not reset when I do no leave North America (incl. Mexico and Canada). If it does not get reset, then I would exceed my allowed time. – piet Oct 24 '18 at 19:15
  • Really? Where did you find this? I've never seen that before. – Michael Hampton Oct 24 '18 at 19:23
  • @MichaelHampton See, for example, the first paragraph of [Travel to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean ](nz.usembassy.gov/visas/travel-to-canada-mexico-or-the-caribbean) – Patricia Shanahan Oct 24 '18 at 21:26
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    Given the total time you are spending in North America, regardless of the formal rules, you may be asked for proof that you intend to only visit, not live there. – Patricia Shanahan Oct 24 '18 at 21:27
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You will not be able to find a definitive answer on whether you will be allowed back into the US, as it will depend on the exact circumstances, and the feeling of the immigration officer when you re-enter.

As your existing I-94 will expire whilst you are in Mexico, your re-entry will be treated as a new trip to the US. The amount of time you spent in Mexico will not be counted against your previous entry to the US - although it's likely you'll be asked to show proof of when you did leave the US so they can consider how long you were in the US on your previous entry.

The issue thus becomes one of re-entering the US after a previous extended stay. Based on what you've described, you'll have been in the US for at least 4.5 months, out for country for around 1.5 months, and are now looking to re-enter the US.

There is no formalized rule for how long you must stay out of the US between trips, however the border staff will want to have some indication that you are actually a bona fide tourist, and not "living" in the US. The general guideline they use for determining this is that you must spend as much time out of the US as you spent in it. Given you have spent much more time in the US than outside of it, it is very likely you will have issues when trying to re-enter.

If you are able to show plans to leave the US after a period of time (eg, airline tickets departing a month or so after you enter the US) then you will likely be admitted without issue. If instead you have no plans to leave, and thus the CBP staff believe you are attempting to reside in the US, then you may find that you are admitted with only a short stay allowed (ie, not the full 180 days you are expecting), or even not admitted at all.

However as I said above, this is all conjecture based on the vague facts you've provided. It's possible you'll be admitted for another 6 months without issue - however I would not consider that likely given what you've described.

  • Thanks for your answer. I think this pretty much answers my question, or more specifically supports my interpretation of the legal situation. – piet Oct 28 '18 at 13:25

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