I was wondering whether anyone could provide any advice on re-entering the US on a tourist visa (via the Visa Waiver Program/ ESTA) after the expiration of an E3D visa?

My E3D visa expires on the 6th December. I left the US on 1st October to return to Sydney for an extended visit home, and my return flight back to the US is booked for 22nd December.

I was planning on applying for a new E3D while in Sydney. However there have been significant delays with my husband’s employer (we are still waiting for a new LCA to come through – ahhhh!). Which means that although my husband will be able to get his new visa in time, I am left with a very small window in which to get my new visa before my flight on 22nd December (in Sydney currently the processing time is 10 days).

For various reasons, I would REALLY like to avoid changing my return flight to the US on the 22nd December if I can avoid it, so am trying to establish a potential plan B.

Does anyone know whether it would be possible to return to the US on a tourist visa? I would be able to show immigration:

  • A booked onward flight (return ticket from NY to Bahamas in late January 2015)
  • My husband's new visa
  • My visa application
  • Appointment confirmation at the US consulate in the Bahamas where I would process my visa
  • You know, entering on VWP gives you a duration of stay of at most 90 days. If you truly intend to visit the U.S. briefly for less than 90 days, then entering on VWP is appropriate.
    – user102008
    Nov 25, 2014 at 23:34
  • 2
    Also, nitpick: ESTA is not a "visa". "Tourist visa" refers to a B2 visa and is very different. Don't confuse the two.
    – user102008
    Nov 25, 2014 at 23:35

1 Answer 1


I see no reason why you should not be able to use ESTA - you have to however fulfill their terms, such as not change status, not work, leave the country, etc. Since you're not planning to work during your US visit and you're going to leave to Bahamas, ESTA should work for you.

The only thing you may look into is when your visa is granted. AFAIK, you cannot use ESTA if you already have another visa (not just in your passport, but also in USCIS system), so this could become a problem.

Have you contacted the embassy?

  • An expired visa in the passport will not cause any problems for a VWP entry. Nov 30, 2015 at 20:03

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