I'm a Spanish citizen who just finished his studies in Germany. Soon I'll be moving back to Spain, but I'm planning to spend some time in the US during this and next year visiting friends and applying to some universities.

My idea was to fly to the US in September with the Visa Waiver Program and stay less than 90 days, then go back to Spain for about 2 months and apply for a B2 Visa, and then stay again in the US for 5 to 6 months.

I spent 3 weeks in the states last March, and a month on August 2013. I'm worried about not being let in when I arrive in September because I was there not too long before, and/or not getting the Visa because of the same reason.

I'm not planning to do any kind of paid work and have never had problems with immigration or done anything illegal while in the US.

Should my plan work?

1 Answer 1


Please keep in mind that it's impossible for anyone other than US Immigrations/CBP to give a definitive decision on questions like this, however...

For your initial entry I would not expect any issues. You have only had 2 relatively short trips to the US over the past >1 year - well within what is allowed, and well within the general rule of thumb that you need to spend more time out of the country than in it. I would not expect you to have any problems in this case.

However when it comes to B2 applications things can be very different. By applying for a B2 visa you are admitting that you are looking to stay in the US for > 3 months. Add that to the time you will have already spent there this year ("less than 90 days" - you haven't said exactly how long) and the fact that you'll have only been out of the country for ~2 months, and there is a real possibility that the consulate staff will be hesitant to issue you a visa for another 3-6 month entry.

As I said above, nobody can say with any certainly what will or will not be allowed - however attempting to say in the US for around 8 months in a 10 month period is probably excessive by most standards, and there is a real chance you will not be allowed to do so.

  • By "less than 90 days", I meant almost 90 days, so you guessed right. Would you recommend applying directly for a B2? Or maybe staying a little longer in Spain and then going back to the US for less than 3 months? Could I still travel with the Visa Waiver Program if my B2 Visa application didn't get accepted? Thanks
    – Carlos
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 21:53
  • Simple answer, nobody knows! B2 visas for people from VWP countries are harder to get as they immediately imply that you're staying longer that 3 months. If your visa application is denied, then you can NOT use the VWP ever again...
    – Doc
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 0:34
  • +1 for mentioning that it's impossible to tell. @Carlos I would highly recommend you against doing something like this. As Doc said, the risks are far too high and I don't think you don't want to have your visa denied even once. Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 4:24
  • Thanks a lot for the information. There is also a long distance relationship involved, so I can't afford not being able to travel under the VWP. If I decide to take another 90 day trip to the US after going back to Spain, should 4 months be enough time in Europe in order to make clear I'm not living in the states?
    – Carlos
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 7:08

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