I would appreciate any advice regarding US reentry after traveling around Mexico for two years. Here is the situation:

  • I am from New Zealand.
  • I obtained a 10 year US multi-entry visa. I did not use my Visa Waiver Program as I wanted to stay in Mexico for more than 90 days.
  • I transited through US and was given a B-2 visa to do so. I flew out of the US the same day I arrived (did not even leave the airport).
  • The date on my B-2 visa has now expired, but I am not sure if this is relevant.
  • I have stayed in Mexico for two years on an FMM (I am aware of my situation regarding this).

I am now planning a trip to the US for a few days but I am concerned I will be considered an overstayer by the US as I did not leave Mexico.

Does this rule only apply on the Visa Waiver Program?

I am concerned I will be forced to return to my home country because I want to return to Mexico after my visit (I will be applying for full residence shortly).

I have tried to do everything right by US Customs but I am worried I have inadvertently broken the confusing rules.

  • I would be going under B2 again. Presumably a new one as my old one expired, even though my 10-year port entry visa is still valid.
    – Spyda
    Nov 23 '16 at 0:43
  • Could you clarify the question? Are you worried about Mexico not resetting the VWP clock or worried about the US noticing that you overstayed in Mexico? Nov 23 '16 at 8:42
  • I am not worried about Mexico or the US thinking I overstayed in Mexico. All I am concerned about is if US customs will think I overstayed in the US because I was in Mexico.
    – Spyda
    Nov 23 '16 at 23:39
  • Did you get an entry stamp from Mexico two years ago? Seems like that'd be the only proof you need that you weren't in the US all that time.
    – Carl
    Dec 18 '16 at 19:28

The only relevance of Mexico to the visa waiver program is that, if you enter the US on VWP, you can't make a short trip to Mexico to start a new 90-day period on VWP. So, for example, if you spend three weeks in the US, followed by a week in Mexico, followed by another three week in the US, the US will treat this as if you spent all seven weeks in the US. In particular, you can't spend 90 days in the US, go to Mexico for a couple of days and then come back to the US on VWP for another 90 days. Canada and the Caribbean are treated the same way, for what it's worth.

You haven't made a short trip to Mexico, so all of this is irrelevant to you. The US isn't going to think that you spent two years in Mexico just to get around US rules about visit duration.

  • My concern would be will the US border guards figure out he has overstayed in Mexico and if-so will they consider that his overstay in Mexico makes him an unacceptable risk of overstaying in the USA too. Nov 23 '16 at 1:38
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    @PeterGreen that would require the US guard to figure somehow out OP has not left Mexico during that time. Chances are extremely low as Mexico doesn't have an exit stamp and I've never seen a US guard going over the stamps anyways.
    – chx
    Nov 23 '16 at 1:41
  • @chx, Mexico does track exits, stamp or not, and I would still worry a bit about what happens when leaving Mexico with a long-expired FMM. If Mexico knows about the overstay of a third-country national then I'm not positive you can count on the US being unaware of it, though whether the US would care or not is a different question.
    – Dennis
    Nov 23 '16 at 16:17
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    Just to clarify: I am not worried about Mexico or the US thinking I overstayed in Mexico. All I am concerned about is if US customs will think I overstayed in the US because I was in Mexico.
    – Spyda
    Nov 23 '16 at 23:48

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