I am German citizen and I am in USA for 9 month with student exchange visa. MY visa expires on 5/13/2015. College told me that I can be 30 days more in USA after visa expired. I bought ticket to fly from Toronto to Germany on 06/17/2014. I have 2 questions:

  1. If I leave USA my last permitted day ( 30 days after visa expired) on 06/13/2015 and stay in Canada until my flight ( 4 days) , do I can have any problems to get visa waiver entry in Canada as German tourist for 4 days on 6/13/2015?
  2. Can I leave USA after my student exchange visa expired, for example on 5/15/2015, go to Canada for one day and reentry back to USA as a tourist with 90 days visa waiver program?
  • A U.S. visa is only for entry to the U.S. The visa expiration date just means the last day on which you can enter with that visa. It has no relation to how long you can stay in the U.S.
    – user102008
    Apr 6, 2015 at 23:24

2 Answers 2

  1. That's perfectly legal. You have a flight out of Canada and you only stay 4 days. Can't see a problem. Except... be very careful on flying the last day of your allowed stay because if there's a problem with your flight to Toronto and you are rebooked on a flight on the next day then you will get an overstay and lose your VWP rights for life and will need to apply for a B1/B2 visa ongoing. There's no mercy here. Noone cares it's not your fault. Absolutely noone. Neither the airline nor the CBP. Of course, if you are going on land then it's all fine.

  2. Someone already asked this from the CBP https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20120315213348AA7hUir and here's the reply:

once your grace period has expired you are required to make a meaningful departure back to your home country. If you travel to a contiguous territory or adjacent island and try to reenter the US you could be denied entry

Pay attention to the word required and do not hang your hopes on "could".

Edit: in general, do not try to outsmart the CBP. No, you are not the first to think of it and if it's even slightly tricky then it's easier to presume it's forbidden. Even if you cooked up something truly convoluted that the CBP haven't seen yet (good luck) the immigration officer you meet can deny you entry just because (s)he doesn't like your convoluted trick without needing to give much of a reason to anyone and you have no appeal. The whole process is not in your favor.


If you need more than the 30 days grace period in the USA, you have another option. File for a change of status to tourist (form I-539). As long as you file at the last day, you will remain in status until the case is decided (which can take six months). You can also leave for Canada during that time, but you would not be able to return to the USA.

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