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Ok, so I know that I have to leave the US within 90 days on the VWP (I'm here now and my ticket back to the UK is July 25th). Canada, however allows me to stay upto 6 months on my UK passport... and I'd rather be there than the UK. If I leave the US, fly to the UK (therefore leaving the USA entirely), and then a week later fly into Canada, will I have any issues? ..And 4-5 months down the line, I'll probably travel from Canada to Washington where my girlfriend lives. I certainly won't be attempting to enter the US for at least 4 months. Any problems I'm likely to face?

  • You don't have to go to the UK. You can spend 90 days in the US, then six months in Canada, and then enter the US again on the VWP. Of course there's always a chance you'd be denied entry, but a one-week stay in the UK, six months before your attempt to reenter, will not significantly affect the probability one way or another. – phoog Jun 13 '17 at 5:06
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    @phoog Thank you for your comments, I'm a bit confused though as this: "Under the VWP, time spent in Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands counts towards the maximum of 90 days stay allowed under the program"... I think, basically means that I'd be overstaying my 90 days. – Matt B Jun 13 '17 at 5:47
  • @MattB That rule isn't applied for long stays in Canada. If you were six months in Canada you would probably get a new entry under VWP. However... – DJClayworth Jun 13 '17 at 12:35
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    What are you doing in Canada for six months? How are you supporting yourself while you are there? What is the purpose of your visit? I ask because both Canadian and US immigration will want to know. – DJClayworth Jun 13 '17 at 12:36
  • You wouldn't be overstaying because you wouldn't be in the US when your period of admission ends. The law states that when you apply for admission after going to (e.g.) Canada, you may be admitted for the remainder of the original 90-day period. (Note "may": it's at the officer's discretion.) If the original period has already lapsed then this provision ofthe law cannot apply. If you've been out of the country for (nearly) six months, there's no way you'd be suspected of using a visa run to extend your stay in the US. The issues you should be worrying about are those raised by @DJClayworth. – phoog Jun 13 '17 at 16:20
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If I leave the US, fly to the UK (therefore leaving the USA entirely), and then a week later fly into Canada, will I have any issues?

Nobody can tell definitively if you will have any issues. People with similar travel patters have been allowed in, and similarly some have been turned away.

It depends on the immigration agent at the border. That said 3 months in USA, 1 week in UK, and then a flight to Canada is not strange however if you indicate to the Canadian officer you're looking to spend about 5 months in Canada, it would clearly show the UK is not exactly your home base any more and your ties to it are tenuous, e.g. no job there, apartment etc.

And finally even if Canada let's you in, chances are high you will be turned away by the US CBP at the border. In eight months you would have spent one week in your home country UK, that's not typical coupled with a girlfriend in the USA? Very high probability you get turned away in these times.

What you're trying to do is akin to satisfying the letter of the law (by completely leaving the American continent for one week) while violating the spirit of it, if you get my drift.

My sources of reference would be numerous Canada Border Security shows on YouTube and extensive immigration experience.

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