11

My wife is in the US on the VWP, and will be leaving the country by bus into Mexico after having arrived by air. I've taken this bus route multiple times, but have no memory of ever stopping on the US side of the border to get an exit stamp - but as a US citizen, I don't need one.

I know that when leaving the country by air, no exit stamp is necessary, because the air carrier communicates their passenger list to the US immigration service.

Is the same thing done on buses?

I can't imagine it is, as lax as the security/ID procedures are on buses.

If not, what must my wife do to ensure that her exit from the US is registered?

Or will her entry stamp into Mexico be enough to prove that she left the US if/when immigration ever asks her about it?

  • 1
    There's no exit immigration in the US. I went LA to Tijuana two weeks ago, and the only border check is the Mexico side. And yes, a stamp shows she entered another country. – Mark Mayo Jul 5 '15 at 20:38
  • @MichaelHampton: Yes, she arrived by air. Question updated with that detail. – Flimzy Jul 5 '15 at 20:43
  • 2
    When she arrived, did she declare to the CBP officer that she would leave by bus? If so, she would have gotten a paper I-94 form, and things are easy. If not, then it gets more complicated. – Michael Hampton Jul 5 '15 at 20:46
  • 2
    @pnuts There has been loads of sign of him, and of his new other-half, you just had to find yourself in the same city as them... ;-) – Gagravarr Jul 5 '15 at 21:04
  • 1
    @MichaelHampton: No. AFAIK, she wasn't asked how or when she would be leaving. – Flimzy Jul 5 '15 at 22:21
9

CBP provide the following advice for visa waiver nationals who enter on electronic I-94 forms and exit by land.

Also, some land border departures may not be recorded in CBP systems. Land border departures on the Southern Border are not always documented. A departure will be recorded if you depart via land and re-enter the United States prior to the expiration date stamped in your passport. If you are not a resident of Canada or Mexico and you receive an electronic I-94 and depart via land, but do not re-enter the United States prior to the expiration date stamped on your passport, you may want to travel with evidence of your departure into Canada or Mexico. Evidence of departure can include, but is not limited to, foreign entry stamps in a passport, transportation tickets, pay stubs and/or other receipts.

If the anomaly can be easily explained, and the visitor is low risk, CBP will correct the record when the visitor is next admitted. The Mexican entry stamp will be useful in proving exit. Alternatively proof of onward travel out of North America should be sufficient.

In my personal experience of exiting into Canada on foot I got a more thorough questioning than usual when re-entering the USA but CBP seemed satisfied within a minute or two that I was not a bad guy.

The quoted text is from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/history.html, where your current I-94 status and history can also be checked. You may have to log in with your passport and click on the FAQ tab to see the text I quoted.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.