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I have a friend from a European country, who is traveling around the world, and he wants to stay in the US for 4 months. He entered on the VWP, which only allows 3 months.

Does he have any options available to extend his stay to 4 months, without flying back to Europe and re-entering? Right now, it looks like his only option is to just stay the 4 months and deal with the repercussions.

  • Details may matter. Are you asking about continuously staying in the US for 4 months? – Karlson Aug 29 '14 at 0:59
  • @Karlson Not necessarily a continuous stay, but staying in North America for 4 months, with the trip beginning and ending in the US. – user19718 Aug 29 '14 at 1:07
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No, it's not possible to extend the stay.

Q: What if I enter on the Visa Waiver Program and then decide I want to stay longer than the 90 days?

A: You cannot extend the time on the Visa Waiver Program. The 90 days also includes any time spent in Canada, Mexico and adjacent Islands. Therefore you cannot cross the border into these areas and then return for another 90 days. You can however ask for re-entry on the Visa Waiver Program if you have left the continent.

However, you don't necessarily need to go to Europe. Central America, eg. Costa Rica, is also outside the VWP area and will probably be cheaper than flying back to Europe.

Your friend could have applied for a tourist visa, but if he's already entered it's too late. They can still go to eg. Canada and try their luck applying there; if they get it, it will override the previous VWP limit.

  • He actually can apply for a tourist visa from Canada? I was under the impression it had to be done from your home country – user19718 Aug 29 '14 at 1:06
  • The US "advises" applying in your home country, mostly because it's easier to demonstrate ties, find documentation etc, but (unlike some countries) it's not an absolute requirement. – jpatokal Aug 29 '14 at 2:05

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