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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

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  • 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, 2017 at 12:22
  • I believe the visa I have allows for multiple entries
    – Prash
    Mar 9, 2017 at 12:42
  • By work, do you mean business? BIG difference, as you need totally different papers for work
    – Crazydre
    Mar 9, 2017 at 13:16
  • @Crazydre yes I mean for business!
    – Prash
    Mar 9, 2017 at 14:28

1 Answer 1

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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.

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  • 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. Mar 9, 2017 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, 2017 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). Mar 9, 2017 at 14:52
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    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. Mar 9, 2017 at 15:30
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    @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. Mar 9, 2017 at 22:36

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