Entered US Aug. 27th 2016 and today is the 90 day mark. I will leave the US in time but will be in Canada for 12 hrs into the 91st day. How will this affect my ESTA status and future plans for I-129F visa?

  • When does your flight depart the US? And what is the date on your admittance stamp in your passport? – Michael Hampton Nov 21 '16 at 1:12
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    OK, I'm having a bit of difficulty understanding what you want to know. If you leave the US on time, what is it you're concerned about being in Canada for? – Michael Hampton Nov 21 '16 at 1:26
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    Not unless you return immediately to the US and attempt to enter again. – Michael Hampton Nov 21 '16 at 1:34
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    @Quantum88: By that logic, if you were to fly to Canada and stay there for 40 years, you'd have outstayed in the US by 40 years. That's obviously not how it works. :) If you were to visit Canada for a week in the middle of your US stay, that week would have counted towards your 90 days. But that's not what happened. – Lightness Races in Orbit Nov 21 '16 at 10:51
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    But honestly, for a 90 day trip, I recommend planning to leave on day 88 just in case something like this happens. Because if your plan was grounded for bad weather on day 90 and no planes were getting out until day 91, you're gonna have a bad time. – corsiKa Nov 21 '16 at 17:18

Although stays in Canada famously do not reset the Visa Waiver Program 90 day clock*, that does not mean that stays in Canada after you have exited the US for the last time in a trip are added to your stay. US CBP does not care how long you stay in Canada. The clock does not reset when you make a short Canada visit and return to the US solely because they do not want people to do a 'visa run' to Canada for a few days and then claim a new 90 day period of time in the US.

As long as you leave the US within the time limit you will be fine for this trip, your next VWP visit, and any visas you decide to apply for.

*For the record, ESTA is nothing to do with the 90 day rule. The rule is about the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which is what allows you to visit the US without a visa. ESTA is simply a form that gives you permission to get on a plane to the US, although many people wrongly use 'ESTA" when they mean the VWP.

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    Perfect explanation. These rules are about tripping up people who try to make visa runs, not tripping up people who are trying to go home. – Michael Hampton Nov 21 '16 at 1:48
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    Correct answer, however to be safe it would be worth keeping your boarding passes for the flight to Canada and the collecting flight to Japan, just in case there is any issue in the future as to when you left the US. Odds are you'll never need them, but it's better to be safe than sorry... – Doc Nov 21 '16 at 4:21
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    @doc you mean “connecting”? – JDługosz Nov 21 '16 at 8:08
  • If the purpose is to prevent gaming the system by shortly crossing the border to a neighbouring country, then it seems silly to base the rule on which country rather than for how long you leave the country. By the way your answer does not detail exactly how that rule would apply. For example if you travel from USA through Canada to Germany and through Canada back to USA they might never know that you were in fact in Germany rather than in Canada. – kasperd Nov 21 '16 at 22:15
  • @kasperd The 90 day rule has been discussed extensively elsewhere on this site. If you have questions about how it operates, please look at questions tagged 'vwp' and if those don't answer it, ask a separate question. – DJClayworth Nov 21 '16 at 22:44

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