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I'm going on an internship in the USA this Summer. I already received my J-1 Visa but I was wondering if I still have to apply for ESTA. Is this the case?

  • No. You can only have one status in the USA. With J-1 you don't need ESTA. Don't get confused. – user 56513 Jun 5 at 18:00
  • If you have a passport that makes you eligible for the visa waiver program, you should present it to the immigration officer open to the page with your J-1 visa. Otherwise you might be mistakenly admitted under the VWP (even if you haven't applied for ESTA). – phoog Jun 5 at 21:16
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Visa holders do not need to apply for ESTA to travel to the US for the purpose of their visa.

If you intend to travel to the US for a different purpose than the one permitted by your visa, i.e. you want to go on a holiday but not start your exchange program, then you need to apply for ESTA to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. (But if you do that, as I understand it, you have to exit and re-enter the US to change to J-1 status.)

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