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I have been approved for a second working holiday visa in Canada on my Dutch passport, after having used my New Zealand passport the last time for the working holiday visa. This time I want to fly from NZ to the USA and arrive into Vancouver on land.

Apparently, I can't get a visa waiver for the USA because Canada is included in the 90 days limit. I already have a multiple entry USA tourist visa on my NZ passport, though. Could I enter the USA on my NZ passport, and then enter Canada on my Dutch one? Any suggestions on how to navigate having two passports in this situation?

marked as duplicate by Doc, Giorgio, JonathanReez Apr 30 '17 at 6:21

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  • Why do you have a USA visa in your NZ passport? NZ passport holders qualify for VWP. – DJClayworth Apr 29 '17 at 23:47
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    Because I spent more than 90 days travelling in the US before I entered Canada, so I had to get a B1 Visa for that. – Simone Marie Scrivener May 1 '17 at 3:42
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First, you are allowed to transit through the US ebb route to Canada using the VWP:

Travel Purpose Must be Permitted on a Visitor (B) Visa

The following are examples of activities permitted while in the United States on the VWP. In addition, transiting or traveling through the United States to Canada or Mexico is generally permitted for VWP travelers.

Source: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visa-waiver-program.html, emphasis added.

Second, you also have the option of using your NZ passport and the visa it contains in the US and then using your Dutch passport in Canada. This will, of course, allow you to save $14 by not paying the ESTA fee.

The choice is yours.

  • Now I'm wondering if the issue is that Simone can't get an ESTA on her Dutch passport because she already has a visa on her NZ passport? – DJClayworth Apr 29 '17 at 23:48
  • @DJClayworth I don't think so. There are a couple of questions on the site that indicate that this would be fine. Still, if you already have the visa, why not save yourself the $14 and use it? – phoog Apr 29 '17 at 23:54
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As phoog says, you absolutely are allowed to transit through the US on the way to Canada on a Dutch passport, even if you arrive by air and leave by land. Dutch passport holders quality for VWP, which certainly permits that. You would need to get an ESTA.

However if you have a return ticket to the US, coming back more than 90 days later, it looks to the airline as if you intend to spend more than 90 days in the US, and they might be worried that US customs will turn you away on the basis of that. Since that would cost them money they might decline to board you.

The other issue is that the sequence:

  1. Transit through the US
  2. Go by land to Canada and spend more than 90 days there
  3. Drive back into the US and leave by air

looks like it is technically against VWP rules. Trips to Canada famously do not reset the VWP clock. However the truth is more nuanced, as the rule is really there only to prevent people misusing the VWP by making a 'visa run' to Canada to try and start a new 90 day period. I virtually guarantee that no CBP officer will turn you away from the US at stage 3, as long as you have some evidence of the length of time you have spent in Canada. People do this all the time.

So your main thing is to make sure that the airline is aware of the totality of your journey, and (if it is them telling you that you can't use VWP) get them to agree that you won't be prevented from boarding. If necessary, telling them that you are considering visiting a central American country in the middle should do the trick. If they really don't buy this, make separate bookings for the outward and return flight.

When you come back to the US at the end of your stay in Canada, make sure you have handy enough documentation to show you have been in Canada for a long time, and your ticket out of the US. This should easily be enough to get you into the US a second time.

If for some reason you don't want to do the above, or don't trust the system, there is also no problem with using multiple passports on the trip. Just show whichever one gets you into whichever country you are entering. NZ and Netherlands both qualify for VWP. Make sure your ESTA matches the passport you will be using for the US.

EDIT: It's just occurred to me that you might not be able to get an ESTA on your Dutch passport because you already have a visa on your NZ passport. Visa holders don't need, and therefore can't get, an ESTA. If that's the case, then you'll have to use your NZ passport to enter the US. Still not a problem.

EDIT: We have other questions dealing with multiple passports. It's not a problem. Enter your NZ passport, with the US visa, as info for your flight. Show it as you board, and at US customs. Show your Dutch passport with the Canadian visa s you enter Canada. Use your NZ passport to return to the US and to board your flight home.

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    The Canadian working holiday visa negates this issue. – Doc Apr 30 '17 at 0:54
  • I wasn't sure a Working Holiday visa counted as residence. – DJClayworth Apr 30 '17 at 3:45
  • I don't want to be repeating questions, its just that i've never travelled on multiple passports before. The deal is that I fly into LA - Seattle on the 21st Aug, then take a bus across border into Vancouver, then on the 30 Nov i'll do the reverse, bus back across border then fly Seattle - LA - NZ. It's more than 90 days. So do you think it will be fine for me to enter the States with my NZ B1 Visa, and then at the border into Canada show my NL Passport with the Working Holiday Visa to enter Canada? And when I come back across the border on 30 Nov show my NZ passport again to get back to NZ? – Simone Marie Scrivener May 1 '17 at 3:54
  • Can you edit that info into the question? – DJClayworth May 1 '17 at 14:07

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