We are on our Honeymoon for 6 months. We spent two months in South America and then came to the states. Our 90 days is nearly up and after it is; we are planning on spending the last three weeks of our honeymoon in Vancouver Canada.

The problem is that our flights home go back through America.

So we have spent 90 days in the states under the Visa Waiver Program. Then three weeks in Canada; and we will have to come back through America to get home. Our problem is that America seems to count going to Canada as part of the 90 days:

From the CBP website:

When traveling to the U.S. with the approved ESTA, you may only stay for up to 90 days at a time - and there should be a reasonable amount of time between visits so that the CBP Officer does not think you are trying to live here. There is no set requirement for how long you must wait between visits.

We only want to come back to the States for 1 day in transit to get our flight home but are worried that the border patrol won't let us back in because we have only been to Canada and not back to our country of residence.

Do you think this is a possibility? Will they let us back in if it is just to fly home?

We have tried to change our flights to avoid coming back through the States but have been unable to do so.

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    Those are indeed the rules, there is no exception for transit. There are already several questions about that on this site. If you can't change your plans (shorten the trip, go to some place outside of North America and the Caribbean in-between or avoid transiting through the US on the way back), I think the only option left would be to apply for a visa. – Relaxed Apr 12 '14 at 20:52
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    where are you trying to get back to? – Kate Gregory Apr 13 '14 at 0:19
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    I think this is going to be a problem. Can I suggest talking to the US CBP? – DJClayworth Apr 14 '14 at 2:50
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    Here is one and this is relevant too. – Relaxed Apr 14 '14 at 7:53
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    @user12946 have you returned to the UK yet? what was the outcome? – EdmundYeung99 May 9 '14 at 11:45

The government documentation covers your explicit scenario. You can come back in if the CBP officer believes you are not just trying to reset your visa. Having a flight booked for one day's time should be sufficient.

If you go to Canada and Mexico or the Caribbean, and while you are there, your initial 90-day period of entry expires, but you need to come back in to the U.S. to fly home, you may encounter a problem. The terms of the VWP are very clear - it is only to be used for occasional, short visits to the U.S. If the CBP Officer thinks you are trying to "reset" the clock by making a short trip out of the U.S. and re-entering for another 90-day period, you can be denied entry. (If that happens, you will have to obtain a visa for any future travel to the U.S.) In order to be re-admitted to the U.S. shortly after a previous admission expired, you will have to convince a CBP Officer that you are not trying to "game" the system.


In theory it is possible! I spent exactly 90 days in the US with a ESTA visa waiver (also coming from South America), then I traveled for about 3 weeks in Canada and entered the US with a flight ticket that left 2 weeks later from NYC - there was no problem at all coming back into the country, just make sure you have your tickets ready to show at the border crossing. Canada and the US are NOT considered as one country by the US immigration. Of course, it is always up to the officer in charge to let you in or not, but as I said, I didn't have any problems at all.

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    You got lucky. Officially Canada IS counted against your time in the US under the VWP if you go US->Canada->US. By the letter of the law, you should NOT have been allowed re-enter the US. – Doc Apr 16 '14 at 2:17
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    I am not sure you are 100% right on this. What happens is that if you leave the US WITHIN your 90 days, Canada or Mexico count as part of the VWP and they subtract those days from your total of 90 days. BUT, if you leave AFTER those 90 days, in theory you can get another 90 days in the US, if the officer wants to give them to you. So in the case of the couple mentioned above, they are quite likely to get a second 90 days ... – TinaTravelgirl Apr 19 '14 at 1:36
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    I don't know why this has been downvoted; it is entirely correct. Despite the 90-day clock you can be readmitted to the US, provided - according to the US government - "you will have to convince a CBP Officer that you are not trying to "game" the system." – Michael Hampton May 24 '14 at 4:22

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