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My daughter and I have ESTAs for USA, but for our upcoming trip I'd like to stay 5 months, I have previously held a B1-B2 visa, can I apply for a B1-B2 visa now if my ESTA is still valid (*until Oct 2014)?

Also - I had a an arrest in USA five years ago.... no charges (dismissed) - but I wonder how this will affect an application for the B1-B2 visa?

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Yes, you can apply for a B1/B2 visa (or for that matter, any other visa) whilst you hold an ESTA. In general this would not be required as a ESTA/VWP gives you basically the same status as a B1/B2, however the reason you've stated is one of the few differences - VWP is only valid for 3 months, whilst a B1/B2 can allow you to stay longer (normally up to 6 months).

Given that your ESTA was approved despite your arrest, and given that you were not convicted, it is unlikely it will have any impact on your Visa application - however you will need to provide details of the arrest, and it is possible that your application will be delayed as a result. I would suggest taking as much evidence of your record as possible, especially documents showing the dismissal of the charges.

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