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Duration away from USA under Visa Waiver Program
Our current passport allows us to stay in USA for upto 90 days. How long must we stay out of USA before we can return? We are in the processes of purchasing a holiday home, and would like to return and stay as long and as often as we are allowed.
asked in travel



siasl74 answers:

I'm not aware of any restrictions on returning to the US after a stay. The Visa Waiver Wizard makes no mention of it either
http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/visa_wizard.html

You'll probably want to call the embassy to make sure, or possibly ask a customs agent when exiting the country, but it looks like that as long as you would normally qualify for the visa waiver, you can keep returning (certainly none of the folks I work with seem to require anything else, and some of them go out there monthly).


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Aiming4777 answers:

If you visit the USA on a I-94W Visa Waiver entry, you can only remain in the USA for 90 days. You MUST leave before this deadline expires. You can then immediately return to the USA. Anyone who visits the USA occasionally for a vacation (or on business) will know that the entry checking is just a formality.

If you return to England and then return to the U.S.A., your re-entry will be considered to be a new admission and the admission inspection will be more strenuous. The Officer inspecting you will want evidence that you intend to go back home to live as opposed to returning again and again to the U.S.A. They will insist upon seeing and check more closely evidence that you have a return flight and that you have sufficient funds to support yourself throughout your stay. (Their first suspicion will be that you are working while in the U.S.A.)

Remember, a visa (or visa waiver) allows you to go to the U.S. to VISIT. If the Customs and Border Patrol Officer suspects that you are actually trying to be a de facto resident, you will be denied entry. Remember, they have full details of your previous entries and make stenuous identity checks upon arrival. I have been asked many times about previous, recent visits when arriving in the U.S.A. Especially as I can travel several times for business and on vacation (but these are usually short visits, unlike what it sound as if you want to do).

The best thing might be to ask at the American Embassy. All visitors are pre-vetted before the flight leaves the UK, so you could be denied boarding at this point (annoying) but you could arrive in the U.S.A. before your visit pattern is noticed and be refused entry and returned on the next flight back (very annoying).


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