I have a British passport and live in the UK. I was visiting Canada a few weeks ago and crossed the border (by car) to the US and got a 90 day visa.

I am now back in the UK but the visa is still in my passport (it wasn't removed at the border).

On the ESTA application website it says one is not eligible to apply for an ESTA if they are currently in possession of a visitor's visa.

Will I be okay if fly there with my current visa?

EDIT: I should mention, I have a visitor's visa, but this new trip will be for work purposes

  • Does your visa allow re-entries other than across the Canada land-border? If yes, you are good. If no, it is not valid and you need an ESTA. – Aganju Mar 9 '17 at 12:22
  • I believe the visa I have allows for multiple entries – Prash Mar 9 '17 at 12:42
  • By work, do you mean business? BIG difference, as you need totally different papers for work – Crazydre Mar 9 '17 at 13:16
  • @Crazydre yes I mean for business! – Prash Mar 9 '17 at 14:28

What you got at the border is NOT a visa.

You were admitted at a land border crossing point as a Visa Waiver Program traveler, in WT status. To document this status you got an admission stamp in your passport and possibly also a paper I-94W form -- but neither of these is a visa. Visas are issued by embassies/consulates in advance of traveling, not by border crossing points.

Your WT status terminated automatically when you left the US, but it is possible that your departure has not been recorded in the CBP systems, especially if you left by land without handing back your I-94W. To check whether your departure has been recorded, go to https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/ and search for yourself by name, passport number and DOB.

In any case, having been admitted in WT status does not disqualify you for applying for an ESTA.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    If you're sure I'm mistaken and what you have is actually a visa, please update the question with a photo/scan of the visa, with personal info blacked out. – hmakholm left over Monica Mar 9 '17 at 13:16
  • Thank you for the information. From that link, I can see that my departure from the US was not recorded -- will this cause an issue for me re-entering? – Prash Mar 9 '17 at 14:32
  • @Prash: There is a somewhat clunky process for sending proof that you have left the US by post to some address, so it will not look like you overstayed. However, if your next trip will be completed within the original 90-day admission period, I think I would just leave the the old I-94W in your passport and point it out to the border officer when you land, asking what is the right thing to do. Then the worst thing that could realistically happen is that you're re-admitted just until the original leave-by date. (You'll still need to apply for an ESTA before flying, of course). – hmakholm left over Monica Mar 9 '17 at 14:52
  • 1
    Alternatively, the official recommendation is to travel with documentation that you were actually present outside the US after your unrecorded departure. Non-US passport stamps from after you left, boarding cards, or relevant receipts/bills/payslips from your life in the UK will be useful. – hmakholm left over Monica Mar 9 '17 at 15:30
  • 1
    @DavidRicherby: It doesn't do that either, but I was responding to the OP's apparent fears that he couldn't apply for ESTA while having an apparently-open I-94W. – hmakholm left over Monica Mar 9 '17 at 22:36

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.