My son is currently in Canada on tourist visa, has his work visa approved while in Canada and wants to know how long he has to cross border and stay in USA for. Can he do in same day? He was previously in America on student visa for past 6 months and has now been in Canada for approx 2 months. He has asked me to contact embassy to find out but so confusing

  • He is Australian, has been approved for work visa for canada...previously on student visa working in summer camps in America for 6 months Oct 28 '14 at 1:14
  • yes..he states his J1 visa he had in USA has expired when he crossed into Canada onto visitor visa now in Canada...with his working holiday visa approved. But can't seem to find how long he has to stay in USA for? can he cross back on same day? Oct 28 '14 at 1:29
  • does it state anywhere amount time to stay> he realises he now has to apply for ESTA visa for USA..he will be driving from Toronto to POE? I guess Oct 28 '14 at 1:31
  • so apply for his ESTA before he leaves Canada online? best safest thing to do just in case? Oct 28 '14 at 1:31
  • @AlysonHorne Please edit your original post to include the supplementary information; comments are difficult to follow and can be deleted at any time.
    – choster
    Oct 28 '14 at 21:42

The only requirement is that you leave Canada and re-enter. I did this myself for a Permanent Residence visa and I literally crossed over the Rainbow Bridge to the US, and turned round and came straight back. It's not a problem. (The conversation with the US immigration official was interesting. "What is your purpose in coming to the US? "To leave." "How long do you expect to stay here?" "About five minutes".)

As pnuts pointed out, you will need to qualify for entry to the US for that brief time, but as Australian that shouldn't be a problem.

I think, in retrospect, I didn't even need to enter the US. I just needed to exit Canada.

  • thanks so much for your help... greatly appreciated...very new to the world of visas and travel!! Oct 28 '14 at 1:37
  • 1
    Lol great anecdote...
    – Fattie
    Oct 29 '14 at 17:01
  • This is a classical visa run for the sole purpose to activate a new visa Jul 21 '17 at 12:08
  • To make things quicker, you can walk on the bridge and make a u-turn immediately and go directly to Canadian customs. No need to go all the way to the US side and clear US customs.
    – Kodiak
    May 7 '19 at 12:11

I lived in Vancouver for a year, and friends/flatmates who had residence permits and visas had to do a similar thing to activate them. They didn't even have to go to the US - they merely 'exited' Canada at the Canadian border in BC, and then entered back in a minute later.

Last time, they literally did it after work. Drove to border, got it stamped etc, came back for dinner.

As a traveller though, I'd at least recommend going into the USA - saves interesting questions later for unusual travel. And why not make a day of it and go see something in the states, is my theory!

  • what, like a mall ?! ;-)
    – Fattie
    Oct 29 '14 at 17:01
  • Fill up the tank with cheap(er) gasoline? That's what everyone else is doing... Oct 29 '14 at 18:48
  • Seriously? Just from Vancouver, there's a great Mexican place just over the border, beaches, walks, new towns...
    – Mark Mayo
    Oct 29 '14 at 22:58

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