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I am a U.K citizen travelling the US within a three month time frame. When completing my application for the VWP when does the ninety day period begin? From the moment I get confirmation? Or just soon as I enter the country?

  • To find out more about the 90 day period look up 'Visa Waiver program' which is what allows you to enter the country. ESTA is just permission to get on a plane. – DJClayworth Mar 22 '16 at 19:36
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Your 90 days period begins as you enter the country. Note that the immigration officer has the possibility to grant you less than 90 days if she/he feels that this is appropriate. So make sure that you mention during your interview that you need the full 90 days, and be prepared to show proof that you have the financial means to support you during your stay. They are more likely to ask for that when it come to longer stays.

The VWP ESTA is valid for two years and it only needs to be valid for entering the country, not for the complete duration of your stay.

  • According to this field manual (shusterman.com/pdf/cbpinspectorsfieldmanual.pdf) "All VWP admissions are for 90 days unless the applicant’s passport is valid for a lesser period" – phoog Mar 22 '16 at 19:58
  • @phoog - That is interesting. As far as I know, the border agents have some leeway in how they lay out the rules. I think that I read about the possibility of getting less than 90 days of stay multiple times on this site, for example here: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/45412/… - But it is possible that either that information is outdated, or the field manual you linked to is - its foreword is from 2008. – DCTLib Mar 23 '16 at 15:13

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