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Esta

Leeds, UK
posts: 11
reviews: 1
Esta

I'm planning to go to amercia in October. Now the dates I want to go are Oct 10th- Jan 7th which is a full 90 days. I would be out of America on the 90th day and wondered if I am allowed to use the full 90 days on a esta?

Any help would be appreciated :)

Frankfurt, Germany
posts: 1,139
reviews: 3
1. Re: Esta

If that's indeed 90 days and not one day more, you should be fine.

However the immigration officer at arrival determines how long you are allowed to stay in the country. In almost every case you will get those 90 days, but it is possible that they give you less.

The officer will most likely ask how long you will be staying in the US. Make sure you have sufficient financial means with you to cover your expenses and support you for 90 days so they won't suspect you of wanting to work there.

Also keep in mind that, if you are flying back on the 90th day and....lets say the flight is cancelled and you are rebooked on a flight on the next day, you will have an overstay in the US and that would ruin any future travel to the US in the near future. They don't care about the circumstances.

So if I were you, I'd allow 2-3 days for any possible, unexpected events.

Edited: 6:51 pm, August 24, 2013
2. Re: Esta

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Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 18,993
reviews: 5
3. Re: Esta

The dates you mention are indeed exactly 90 days, and so you would be permitted to stay that length of time.

However, as #1 says, even with an ESTA, you'd still face questioning from the CBP officer as to your intended stay and you may be required to prove evidence to support your case. That includes a return or onward ticket, details of the hotel(s) you've booked (or evidence that you're staying with family or friends).

An ESTA is not a guarantee of entry into the US. It's a pre clearance that you're not a security risk (it replaced the green I-94W landing card). As with the I94-W, the CBP officer has the final say. And I know of two business associates who have been refused entry even with an ESTA because their purpose for entering the USA was not compatible with the visa waiver program.

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Liechtenstein, Air Travel
posts: 3,912
reviews: 364
4. Re: Esta

I fully agree that a couple of days for unexpected delays is the right thing to do. So if you do not have yet your tickets, do consider 88 or 89 days just in case.

Beyond the sufficient financial means, be ready to explain the CPB officer what you're going to do in the USA during three months. Also keep in mind that lying to a federal officer in the US is a crime (I am of course not assuming anything here! It is only a general warning).

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 27,867
5. Re: Esta

Definitely make it less than 90 days - it's not unknown for airlines to cancel flights so your flight on day 90 becomes a flight on day 91, or for some reason you aren't able to fly on day 90 (illness, flight delayed, getting a temporary passport....) which would mean you go over the limit and would appear to be an overstayer

East Sussex, United...
posts: 4,313
reviews: 1
6. Re: Esta

To add to the already sound advice above regarding your length of stay and allowing some spare capacity for your scheduled return date ( Jan 7th ) , depending on which part of the USA you are planning to return from it's worth noting that flight delays and cancellations are not at all uncommon due to adverse weather at that time of year.

An overstay ( planned or otherwise ) is not something you want to take a chance on.

Leeds, UK
posts: 11
reviews: 1
7. Re: Esta

Thank you for all the replies! I've decided to go on the 14th October instead, meaning I'd be staying for 86 days instead so that gives me a few days if something does happen like you say. I'm staying with friends so I didn't have to pay for accommodation and I've been saving for a while so I have enough money to last me, thats not a problem. I'm worried they won't let me in now haha! I went earlier this year in April, would this affect my chances of being allowed in?

Romford, United...
posts: 2,065
reviews: 22
8. Re: Esta

Shouldn't have any bearing on whether they allow to into the USA unless you have a black mark against you from your last trip? was in the US 5 times in 7 months last year(nearly 3months in total) and this year had no problem with INS

Leeds, UK
posts: 11
reviews: 1
9. Re: Esta

No, I only stayed 2 months last time and no problems anywhere, in any airports!

Romford, United...
posts: 2,065
reviews: 22
10. Re: Esta

Then the only thing you have to worry about is proof of sufficient resources to support yourself(just in case INS are suspicious of your motives for the long stay),like most countries they have concerns about aliens working illegally

Edited: 1:01 pm, August 25, 2013