I'm from Italy and I had a J1 visa for the US for a year and a half. Now it's expired (I'm in the grace period) but I want to stay longer in California to travel a little bit, because this year I did this trainee-ship and I didn't have the possibility to visit all places that I wanted to.
The question is: Can I go to Canada and come back to the US with an ESTA? I'm not subject to the two years rule to go back to Italy? Is it risky after a J1? Do they believe me? How can convince them that I want to travel a little?
Is it easier to do this via Canada than Mexico? My lawyer said yes but I want to be sure.