I had an old friend come to visit me in USA. He is retired and 65 years old. He came over on ESTA, but now would like to stay on longer. How can he stay here without having to travel all the way back to Germany and returning again?

  • There are instructions here, but I didn't go into details. They say "If your ESTA has expired, you must reapply for a brand new authorization by submitting a new application. Current authorizations can not be extended." help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1197/kw/EXTEND%20MY%20ESTA/… – Kuba Jan 18 '17 at 21:22
  • If he wants to come in the future for up to six months, he can apply for a B-2 visa. – phoog Jan 19 '17 at 4:46

Note that the ESTA is not a visa, it is merely an authorisation to travel to the USA by air or sea and request entry under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

He can't apply for an extension of status because he entered on the VWP.

He could try leaving the USA, coming back and requesting another entry under the VWP but he runs the risk of being denied entry. There is no hard and fast rule on time in VS time out but the VWP is "intended for short occasional visits". If you do use this tactic it is probablly advisable to go to somewhere other than the countries that have special rules regarding re-entry (Canada, Mexico, some islands).

He could leave the USA and apply for a visa but visas take time and again there is no guarantee he will get it.

All in all if you want to spend more time together your best option is probablly to take a holiday together somewhere other than the USA.

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