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Funny situation here:

I'm going to attend a conference in the US at the end of September to which I intend to travel using the VWP (Aussie citizen). In parallel, I initiated the process to obtain a J1 visa. It is (very) unlikely that I'll be able to get an appointment at the US Consulate General for my J1 visa and get my passport back in time to attend the conference, so I'm going to take the safe option to schedule an appointment once I return from the conference.

My question is:

Can I legally fly to the US for 5 a day visit (conference) as a tourist then fly back to Australia to get my J1 visa added onto my passport and travel back to the US straightaway? Or do I have to remain out of the US for a certain amount of time before travelling back? I don't expect to remain in Australia for longer than the time it'll take my passport to be sent back to me, which I understand is on the order of 10 working days.

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    Are you flying your own plane? You can't fly into the US in your own plane on the VWP (unless the plane's owner signs up for the airline side of the VWP). – Michael Hampton Aug 28 at 17:15
  • @MichaelHampton Look mate, as much as I'd want to, the cost of flying your own plane from Australia to the US is so ridiculously prohibitive that it would even dwarf that of a first class airline ticket. Very good tip nonetheless. I'll definitely bear that in mind if I fly privately from the US to Canada for a steak and chips, and back again. – VH-NZZ Aug 29 at 0:00
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Yes why not? Many people do that regularly. There is no problem whatsoever in that plan.

If you had a J1 visa which was going to start its validity after your first trip you could even have gone to Canada for a moment and entered back on the new visa.

There is no such requirement where you have to stay out a specific number of days before reentering on another visa.

Good read: https://iss.washington.edu/procedures/change-status/

See Option 1

  • Admittedly, the current political climate and US immigration laws seem to warrant more Whys than Why nots. Thanks for making that clear though. Unfortunately I will not have the J1 on my first visit yet. That's why I'll be flying back to Oz and soon thereafter back again to the US. – VH-NZZ Aug 28 at 6:02
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    You’re still good. There’s nothing wrong with your plan. – Hanky Panky Aug 28 at 6:05
  • Heaps of fun. Cheers mate. – VH-NZZ Aug 28 at 6:57
  • Thanks! see the update. – Hanky Panky Aug 28 at 8:03
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    Good read, much obliged. – VH-NZZ Aug 28 at 10:10

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