My son has a F1 visa in his UK passport, which is still valid. Due to circumstances, he is unable to continue his studies in the US and has returned home. However, he needs to return to the US for a different reason than his F1 was given. Can he apply for an ESTA with a current F1 visa still in his passport?

  • "he needs to return to the US". Could you clarify the purpose? It is related to F1, or just to meet frends? – Giacomo Catenazzi Feb 21 '19 at 11:47
  • Hi Giacomo, it's not related to F1. He's been invited to an NFL training camp – sue Feb 21 '19 at 11:49

If he has discontinued his program of study, then his student status will have been terminated and the F1 visa will no longer be valid for travel, even if it has not been physically stamped with a cancellation stamp.

That is no bar to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. You can continue to use the program, obtain an ESTA, and travel to the United States as a visitor.

But be aware that if he returns to the US as a visitor soon after discontinuing a program of study, the border officer may suspect that he is trying to live in the United States. He should take extra precautions to be able to document the purpose of his visit at the border and his intentions to return to the UK.

  • Thank you very much for your reply - very much appreciated. – sue Feb 22 '19 at 9:16

Yes, having a visa in his passport does not affect his ability to apply for an ESTA or to enter the US on the Visa Waiver Program.

  • Thank you very much for your reply. Very much appreciated. – sue Feb 22 '19 at 9:16

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