i saw and analyses deeply this FAQ at Leaving USA to Central America and coming back to reset a 90 day VWP? and i have one more doubt about the 90 days rule of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) just to be completly clear (i know that this is a very FAQ but i still have my concerns) and i hope that someone can help me.

I'm from Chile and I'm Medical Doctor. I want to travel from Santiago de Chile to the US for 5 weeks then i want to go to Costa Rica for 4 weeks more and then return to the US for 8 weeks more.

I have my VWP active untill November 2016 and my concern is the situacion when i want to go back to the US because my ticket home to Chile will be more than 90 days, actually will be like 120 days!!! (counting from my first arrival to the US).

When i will go back to the US from Costa Rica, will my VWP reset?

I know that there is nothing that can insurance 100% that the CBP officer in the airport will give me the pass for my re-entry to the US but how can i lower the risk that he or she deny it? For example, my ticket home to Chile? My ticket itinerary and travels in Central America? My current contract as a Medical Doctor in Chile? Something more that can be useful?

In the worst case (that i don't hope it at all!) what are the consecuenques of being a VWP breaker? besides of, eventually, being deported...

Thanks so much in advance!

  • 1
    I wonder how did it go? I´m mightbe in a similar situation and don´t know how to solve it.
    – Robert
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 22:44

1 Answer 1


Firstly, you don't have a VWP for 2 years, you have an ESTA. That is what is valid for 2 years. The VWP is the 90 day visa-waiver you get as you enter.

Will it reset if you go to Costa Rica? Yes, yes it will.

As seen in many questions on the site, if you leave to go to Canada or Mexico, it does not reset. The 90 days keep on ticking.

However, if you travel further afield - Central America, UK or otherwise, then it resets.

The official list of the countries where it DOES NOT reset, is available in this question. Costa Rica is not on this list.

As mentioned before, however, you still need to convince the border guard that you aren't just doing a 'visa run', and you achieve this by showing your itinerary, evidence of your flight out of the US, and if you want to be extra certain, evidence of your life back at home, to prove you're merely visiting, not intending to stay.

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