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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

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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