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Regarding ESTA

I visited the USA October 2022, staying for 79 days (returned January 2023).

6 months later in July 2023, I would like to return to USA for 64 days. Visiting my boyfriend, family, travelling going on a vacation cruise and also various day trips/sight seeing.

Do you think this will be okay with regards to the ESTA/re-entering USA. I understand the ESTA is up to 90 days per visit, but no more than 180 per calendar year. Is the calendar year calculated Jan-Dec, or from when you last entered the USA until 365 days later?

I have a return flight booked, live in an owned house and have a job at home in UK.

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    A calender year is usually from 1st January to 31st December. Forbes manages to disagree, but if they are right why does CBP use the term 'calendar year' and not '365-day period'? However 79 + 64 = 143 days when the limit is 180, so why are you concerned? Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 15:10
  • Thanks for your reply! As I am coming back 6 months later and staying for 64 days. Just wanted to check that was 'enough time' in-between visits. wondered how they calculated the 180 days from jan-dec or from last entry too . Do you think if I added an extra week on (making it 71 days. Total 151 days) that would be too close to the limit or not make much difference ? Also as long as I say I'm doing touristy things that should be ok right?
    – mokoko
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 15:22
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    I don't get how you make 151 days "close to" 180. What matters is that you don't stay more than 180 days in total, and no matter how the "calendar" year is calculated, you won't be. Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 15:29
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    Does this answer your question? 180 day rule ESTA & B Visa
    – Midavalo
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 16:16
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    AFAIK there is no 180 day per calendar year limit. The VWP allows 90 day visits, and entry approval can be up to the CBP officer's discretion (if they think you're trying to live in the US based on your travel history etc), but there's no rule on 180 days that I'm aware of
    – Midavalo
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 16:20

1 Answer 1

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There is no 180 days per year limit.

On an ESTA, you can stay up to 90 days per visit.

Now, there is also a less clearly defined rule that you must not use repeated or successive visits to live in the US, so you can’t go to the US for 90 days, leave the US for a few days, then go back to the US for 90 more days, rinse, and repeat.

The unofficial rule of thumb is that you should stay out of the country about as much as you stayed in. In effect, that means you indeed can’t stay more than half of the time in the US, but it’s not a hard and fast rule, it’s up to the appreciation of the CBP officer on each visit.

So there’s no calendar year, no sliding window, just make sure your successive stays in the US don’t amount to living there.

Given the time spent outside of the US between your two visits, this shouldn’t be an issue. Yes, the fact that you have long stays in the US and that you have a boyfriend in the US probably raise a few timid reddish flags, but the length between the visits and your situation in the UK are very much in your favour, so I wouldn’t worry too much.

The one issue which you may be questioned about is how you can afford to spend so much time on holiday, though. Make sure you don’t need to work, even remotely, while you are in the US.

As an aside, if you were to spend more than half of your time in the US, on top of immigration-related issues, you would have issues with taxes, as you would become a tax resident in the US. But you are quite far from that at this time.

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  • Are you not allowed to work remote UK company job then whilst abroad? I have enough money for vacation anyway. but thanks for your post that was very informative I appreciate your reply! :)
    – mokoko
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 21:29
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    No, you’re not allowed to work while on an ESTA. You are allowed to do “business” (which mostly involves meeting colleagues, partners, suppliers or clients), but not work, even if remotely for non-US entity. That would bring you in the realm of “living in the US”.
    – jcaron
    Commented Apr 14, 2023 at 22:15

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