So, there is a school offering some courses I would like to attend in the US. This courses are non-accredited, the school is neither a university nor a college, each course is 3 hours per week and they last 10 weeks (less than 90 days).

Now, I know that I can use the Visa Waiver Program and take those courses with a visitor visa. However, I would like to take a few terms there. The gap between each term is 1-2 months, so after each term I'll leave the US and re-enter in a month or so. Would that be a problem if I did it for 1 to 1.5 years? Is there any chance the officers would reject me at the border the second or third time I try to enter?

  • Where are you a citizen/resident of? Where would you be returning to? How are you supporting yourself?
    – nkjt
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 21:53
  • My country of residence (Albania) is different from my country of citizenship (Greece). I would be returning to my country of residence. I'm being supported by my parents. Do this all matter? According to the US official website I can travel to take courses under 90 days. Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 21:55
  • Yes, because trips to Canada, for example, don't count towards VWP, and if you can't show how you're supporting yourself they will make the obvious assumption that you're working illegally in the US while 'studying'.
    – nkjt
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 21:56
  • @nkjt Canadian residents can use the VWP; the OP's place of residence is not particularly important. The citizenship is only important inasmuch as it needs to be of a country that enables participation in the VWP. The support question is, as you note, potentially very important.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 21:59
  • So showing proof that I'm supported by my parents should be okay? Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 22:03

1 Answer 1


You can't use the VWP and take the courses with a visitor visa, because if you are using the VWP, you don't have a visa at all. Conversely, if you have a visitor visa, you cannot use the VWP.

You say you'd like to use the VWP repeatedly for a period of one to 1.5 years, spending alternate periods of ten weeks in, and four to eight weeks out of, the United States. Since you'll be spending more time in the US than out, you run a significant risk that a border officer will think you're trying to live in the US and therefore deny entry.

You might be less likely to run afoul of border officers if you get a B-2 visa, since this allows an initial period of entry of six months by default, and you can ask for a longer period of up to one year.

  • 4
    +1 One warning though: if you apply for a B-2 visa and it is refused, you will likely be ineligible to use the VWP in the future and will need to apply for a US visa for future trips to the United States. This is an unfortunate risk involved in applying for a visa when you are a citizen of a VWP country. On the other hand, trying to spend more time in the US than outside could lead to significant issues too, and you'll also be unable to use the VWP in the future if you're refused entry under the VWP. Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 22:03
  • What would my chances be for B-2? Is there any particular criteria that would get me a refusal? I don't know if it is of any importance, but I got a refusal for a study permit in Canada. Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 22:05
  • @user3484582 I'm afraid I don't know your chances for a B-2; I don't know your personal circumstances, and I don't know much about how the US decides to refuse B-2 applications. An immigration lawyer ought to know these things. The refusal for a study permit in Canada might or might not be a bad sign for your B-2 application, depending on the reasons for the refusal.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 22:10

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