I go to México in some time, and my fly tickets first I go from Peru to the US, because of that I require a visa to enter US.

In my country I can apply for VWP, but I'm a little scared of getting denied, while I'm in México it is possible that I would make a short tourism travel to US but in the ESTA form there is the following question.

Indicate whether your travel to the US is occurring in transit to another country by selecting yes or no. Answering this question is required to complete your application.

If I choose yes, definitely I can not enter US?

What scare me a little is, if I select no and then my request is denied, getting the visa would be a little complicated.

1 Answer 1


TL;DR: Don't worry, and if you're transiting, choose "yes" for transit.

Unlike most countries, the US does not have a concept of "sterile transit": everybody who flies to the US must enter the US. It thus doesn't matter if you choose "yes" or "no" for transit, you will still have to queue up for Immigration entry. (Obviously, because you are in transit, you should tell the truth and choose "yes".) Once you have passed through, you are in fully in the US, and it's up to you if you board your next flight or go sightseeing.

Also, because ESTAs are weird, you're asked for lots of details about your first trip, but nothing at all about later trips. So first entry in transit and second entry as a regular tourist is also OK. If you want to be 100% safe, though, you can edit your ESTA to update your address in the US even after it has been issued.

Last but not least, in general, if you're eligible for ESTA, your home country is already prequalified. They are thus almost never denied unless you're on a terrorist watchlist or say "yes" to the questions about committing genocide/having Ebola/etc, and even if the ESTA is denied, you can still apply in person for a regular visa. Of course you may still be denied entry to the US on arrival, but this is really unlikely if you have an immediate onward ticket.

  • gone are the days of TWOV and sneaking out of the airport! :)
    – Fattie
    Aug 31, 2015 at 3:09
  • @JoeBlow TWOV ?
    – blackbird
    Nov 9, 2015 at 14:04
  • @blackbird57 "Transit without visa"
    – Calchas
    Nov 9, 2015 at 14:42
  • TWO is old-school
    – Fattie
    Nov 9, 2015 at 17:22
  • you can edit your ESTA to update your address in the US even after it has been issued. Not if you selected Transit: Yes when you apply, as later on if you try to update it you can only change the email address and nothing else. Jul 29, 2018 at 1:19

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