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I'm going to redeem my ANA mileages to get a return flight between Tokyo and LA/NY. However, the availability is pretty scarce and thus the only viable itinerary is the following:

  • Tokyo to LA on April 20 (22:55 - 16:45)
  • NY to Tokyo on July 19 (18:15 - 21:15 +1day)

In this case, I would stay in US for 91 days, which exceeds 1 day of the visa-free requirement.

So I would like to make it to 90 if at all possible. Can I arrive at 16:45 but wait in the checked-in baggage lane for 7 hours before getting through the immigration? The problem might arrise in the ESTA application, which requires you to fill in the flight number, though I'm not sure what it is all about...

Or is there any other workaround to stay up to 90 days legally?

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    Related issue - as in other questions (travel.stackexchange.com/questions/46211/…) - the airline might observe the issue and not let you board. Less likely that they'll spot the 91 day issue, but just thought I'd mention it.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 11:32
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    What about visiting Canada somewhere in those 90 days?
    – DeltaLima
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 14:18
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    @DeltaLima Under normal circumstances, a short trip to Canada does not "reset the clock" or serve as an exception on a VWP stay in the US. Upon return to the US, the visitor will most likely be given the same "exit by" date as they had on the first entry into the US and won't gain any extra days.
    – Hunter
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 16:37
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    @DeltaLima Visiting Canada will not reset the ESTA 90 clock. Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 16:48
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    @Aganju: You've got the timezones the wrong way round there. 16:45 Pacific is 19:45 Eastern, so the OP can just barely make it.
    – jwodder
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 18:48

1 Answer 1

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If you arrive at LAX internationally, you will be in a corridor between the gate and the immigration desks. There are nothing but bathrooms before immigration, and immigration is before baggage reclaim and customs. To delay your purported arrival until the next day, you'd be abandoning your bag for 7 hours and probably be hanging around in the bathroom to avoid being approached by security to find out what you're up to.

According to a post on flyertalk and another on lonelyplanet and probably your own previous VWP stamps, your entry date is day 0, so it looks like you'd be fine with 90 days. That is of course providing CBP is ok with you staying for the maximum possible time on the VWP.

Update: I just googled some images of a VWP passport stamp that has both arrival and admitted to date and got two different ranges. One gave 91 days according to a date duration calculator, and another gave 90.

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    It's also not clear that the corridor is open 24 hours a day. If no international flights are scheduled to arrive in the late night and there are no delayed flights, the security staff may try to clear out that corridor and force you to enter so that their staff can go home. Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 16:47
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    I would double and triple check that the entry date is day 0 instead of day 1. Going over the 90 day limit will make it incredibly difficult to enter the United States in the future, even if you overstay by mistake.
    – Kevin
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 17:50
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    Hanging around like that is going to attract the attention of DHS as well as immigration. Not recommended.
    – sdenham
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 19:17
  • I assumed the USC would specify how the 90 days are counted. Apparently it doesn't.
    – reirab
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 19:27
  • @Blaszard It doesn't look like the CBP know either
    – Berwyn
    Commented Apr 6, 2017 at 20:08

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