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I'd like to go to California.

The problem is that: last time, I got into the US with a 3 months tourist permit(I didn't even need to apply for it, since I'm Italian) and I overstayed 4 years in California.; that's why I can't get another tourist visa, or can I? I left the US IN March 2005, almost 12 years ago. I wasn't kicked out and I didn't try to re-enter till now.

I'm an EU citizen.

1) I want to come back, as a tourist (probably just 3-4 weeks) and this time I have to obey all laws, I would never try to overstay. I don't know if this is a difficult situation. Now that the Ban should be well over expired could I easily come back as a tourist for up to 90 days, as before I ever came to the US (with the VWP)?
In the meantime, during these 12 years, I never tried to come to the US, my OLD passport expired, so I made a new one which has got different codes/numbers on it (apart from my generalities). Can I easily obtain an ESTA and use the VWP?

I just want to avoid the ordeal of having to apply for b2 visas or those kind of things (and perhaps don't even get it).

2)If I enter the US from Mexico with my passport, riding one of your buses, will I be simply asked to fill out paper-work at the boarder? or will they require me an ESTA? or any type of visa?(given the fact that I overstayed in the past.

I don't want to do anything illegal, but at the same time I want to avoid the stress, time and money waste that may come by not doing the best option. I don't want to overstay, I just want to enter with ease, I just want to avoid the ordeal of having to apply for any visa (and perhaps don't even get it).

Thanks

marked as duplicate by JonathanReez, Ali Awan, Karlson usa Nov 22 '16 at 13:56

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    Unfortunately it looks like the answer is that you will need to apply for a visa. Your prior overstay makes you ineligible for the VWP, but not for the issuance of a regular visa. Good luck. – Robert Columbia Nov 22 '16 at 13:46
  • I wouldn't try riding in to the US on a bus without a visa, unless you wanted to spend those three weeks in immigration detention. – Michael Hampton Nov 22 '16 at 16:04
  • "I wasn't kicked out..." ciao, do you mean they didn't notice you overstayed?? You just left with no fuss? – Fattie Nov 22 '16 at 16:18
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    @JoeBlow: Who didn't notice? There is no "they" to "notice". The US has no exit checks. – user102008 Nov 22 '16 at 21:53
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    @Fattie, one can leave with no fuss, but the government realizes you overstayed when you do. It happens all the time. Every once in a while we get a question on this site when someone left on time via a land border and their exit wasn't properly recorded. Here, obviously, the OP won't have the secondary evidence of departure (other stamps, visas, spending records) that we recommended for those cases. – Andrew Lazarus Apr 3 '18 at 22:22