This summer I will be in the US on a J-1 visa program, and will be there for a few weeks after the program ends (as I have a 30 day window to leave). I then plan to be in Canada for a few days, and spend the next 23 days in the US, before returning to the UK. Would I be able to come back in on an ESTA?

If not, what are my options?

I am a British citizen, studying as an undergraduate in the UK at present.

  • Does your visa show the 2-year exclusion? Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 19:55
  • Are you planning to re-enter by land or by air? (You don't need an ESTA to enter by land.)
    – user4188
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 1:24
  • I will be re-entering by air, and my visa does not show the 2 year exclusion. Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 2:00

1 Answer 1


The two-year rule means that you have to be physically present outside the US for a minimum total of two years before you can obtain H, L or K Status, or become a permanent resident, be it by means of a visa obtained at an embassy or change of status through the USCIS.

It does not prevent you from entering the US as a visitor under the VWP. In other words, although you are apparently not subject to the 2-year rule, even if you were you would be able to visit.

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