Travelling on ESTA

Old Apr 2nd 2021, 9:48 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: Travelling on ESTA

Originally Posted by Gecksy View Post
How will a customs officer know whether the company has stopped doing any business?

Customs are not going to care. Immigration will. There is no limit on the questions that they can ask. They can search your phone for messages and emails, check your social media postings, search your belongings. People have been turned back because of totally random finds in their luggage - things that lead the CBP officer to suspect the person will be working here illegally such as laptop, documents, business cards.

I was put through secondary once before I moved here. It was not pleasant. My bags were emptied and they searched through my belongings. It was suggested that one outfit I had with me was “too formal” for a tourist. I was grilled about my intentions.
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Old Apr 2nd 2021, 9:54 pm
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Default Re: Travelling on ESTA

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
In such circumstances I recall that people have been readmitted for the remainder of the 90 days they were initially granted. The clock is not reset.
Thats what happened to me. I went back to the UK for over 2 months between two visits. When I came back again to visit my now-husband I came via Canada due to a bargain ticket I got with Air Canada for 122.50 from London to LAX and back. I hadn’t even told my husband I was coming because I was so convinced the reservation wasn’t genuine at that price. But I saw it advertised and booked it before the travel agency could change their mind. Because I was at Toronto airport at pre-clearance they did not re-stamp, even though I had been back to the UK. I had to use my old stamp which meant I had 10 days only on my I-94. Good thing that I booked the ticket for a week only.
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Old Apr 2nd 2021, 11:14 pm
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Default Re: Travelling on ESTA

Originally Posted by steph0scope View Post
Thats what happened to me. I went back to the UK for over 2 months between two visits. When I came back again to visit my now-husband I came via Canada due to a bargain ticket I got with Air Canada for 122.50 from London to LAX and back. I hadn’t even told my husband I was coming because I was so convinced the reservation wasn’t genuine at that price. But I saw it advertised and booked it before the travel agency could change their mind. Because I was at Toronto airport at pre-clearance they did not re-stamp, even though I had been back to the UK. I had to use my old stamp which meant I had 10 days only on my I-94. Good thing that I booked the ticket for a week only.
Interesting, a few years ago I went US -> NYC -> Montreal (preclearance too) -> NYC -> UK with both an ESTA and a B1 (not a combined B1/B2) - which slightly confused both the checkin and the CBP officers. I was travelling for a vacation and it was so much cheaper to do a return NYC -> UK with a return NYC -> Montreal ticket rather than splitting the journey as would make more geographic sense.

The first entry I was given 90 days as WT stamp (VWP tourist) then on entering in Montreal airport I was given B1/B2 stamp with 180 days stay, despite not having a B2 visa! Not that it matter as I stayed only one more week.

I've heard before that it's typical to get the remaining time on your ESTA when going to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean (i.e. no new i94) but you definately should have got the full 90 days if you returned to Europe inbetween (espcially for two whole months). Sounds like they made a mistake when calcuating that and assumed you stayed in Canada during that time. No harm. no foul though.

Last edited by postbox134; Apr 2nd 2021 at 11:17 pm.
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Old Apr 5th 2021, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Travelling on ESTA

but you definately should have got the full 90 days if you returned to Europe inbetween (espcially for two whole months).
There is no 'should have' in this situation. Where one attempts to request a VWP entry, they waive their rights to any appeals, and they are totally at the officers discretion.
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Old Apr 5th 2021, 2:22 pm
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Default Re: Travelling on ESTA

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
There is no 'should have' in this situation. Where one attempts to request a VWP entry, they waive their rights to any appeals, and they are totally at the officers discretion.
That is true, but if they don't mention anything in particular to you, you should expect the 90 days as usual. They can of course admit you for any time less than that, but in the case above there is no reason that they should (unless we don't know something).
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Old Apr 5th 2021, 2:35 pm
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Default Re: Travelling on ESTA

Originally Posted by postbox134 View Post
That is true, but if they don't mention anything in particular to you, you should expect the 90 days as usual. .
Our old friends said it best: "Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition."
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Old May 19th 2021, 2:24 pm
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Default Re: Travelling on ESTA

Hi

I thought I would share my recent experience ( arriving back in USA in last couple of weeks) , after being in the USA for 90 days I traveled to Costa Rica for 30 days and then came back with no problems . I flew to Liberia airport via north Carolina, I stayed in Playa Del Coco around 35 minutes from the airport, was a lovely stay. At the airport on arrival they gave me a flyer explaining how to book the covid test required for return to the USA. This was a simple process, you scan the QR code or type in the website and simply book online and pay. Liberia airport had the rapid antigen test facility a 5 minute short well signposted walk away from the taxi departure drop off. You are advised to book at least 4 hrs before you flight departs, there was no queue and they processed it within 30 minutes. The airport has WIFI so they email your results but I also had it printed which they did for me. I flew back to USA via Houston to Dullus so they stamp your passport at Houston ( then at dullus you simply go to the baggage claim or exit ), I was worried in Houston in case they wanted to ask me more questions whether this could impact me making my connecting flight but actually the whole process from landing to my next gate took only 30 minutes ( with a quick walk as you need to go back through security) . They stamped another 90 days and my experience was straight forward, no curiosity about me previously being in the USA for 90 days. There are many variables so not everyone may have the same experience but thought I would share anyway.

Last edited by Dekan1s3; May 19th 2021 at 2:29 pm.
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Old May 19th 2021, 7:17 pm
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Default Re: Travelling on ESTA

Originally Posted by Dekan1s3 View Post
Hi

I thought I would share my recent experience ( arriving back in USA in last couple of weeks) , after being in the USA for 90 days I traveled to Costa Rica for 30 days and then came back with no problems . I flew to Liberia airport via north Carolina, I stayed in Playa Del Coco around 35 minutes from the airport, was a lovely stay. At the airport on arrival they gave me a flyer explaining how to book the covid test required for return to the USA. This was a simple process, you scan the QR code or type in the website and simply book online and pay. Liberia airport had the rapid antigen test facility a 5 minute short well signposted walk away from the taxi departure drop off. You are advised to book at least 4 hrs before you flight departs, there was no queue and they processed it within 30 minutes. The airport has WIFI so they email your results but I also had it printed which they did for me. I flew back to USA via Houston to Dullus so they stamp your passport at Houston ( then at dullus you simply go to the baggage claim or exit ), I was worried in Houston in case they wanted to ask me more questions whether this could impact me making my connecting flight but actually the whole process from landing to my next gate took only 30 minutes ( with a quick walk as you need to go back through security) . They stamped another 90 days and my experience was straight forward, no curiosity about me previously being in the USA for 90 days. There are many variables so not everyone may have the same experience but thought I would share anyway.
Thanks for sharing. It's important to note that with ESTA you're at the mercy of the CBP agent. Even at LAX (let alone Dallas) there are CBP agents that I prefer over others. And so a lot of it comes down to pure luck.
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Old May 19th 2021, 7:46 pm
  #24  
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Default Re: Travelling on ESTA

Originally Posted by destone View Post
Thanks for sharing. It's important to note that with ESTA you're at the mercy of the CBP agent. Even at LAX (let alone Dallas) there are CBP agents that I prefer over others. And so a lot of it comes down to pure luck.
Indeed, I once got sent to secondary for getting to the counter to fast. The 2 officers were outside their booths chatting about daytime TV. It was Terminal C at EWR, we had a big tail wind, close gate and I was first of the plane, and she was clearly put out that she had to work. Asked if I was in a rush, I said yes I had a meeting to get to, she sent me to secondary where the guy asked me the same question, said I don’t know why she sent you here and sent on my my way.

I thought UKC could do Global Entry now on VW/ESTA that’s the best way to take the agent out of the equation.
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Old May 19th 2021, 7:48 pm
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Default Re: Travelling on ESTA

Originally Posted by Dekan1s3 View Post
Hi

I thought I would share my recent experience ( arriving back in USA in last couple of weeks) , after being in the USA for 90 days I traveled to Costa Rica for 30 days and then came back with no problems . I flew to Liberia airport via north Carolina, I stayed in Playa Del Coco around 35 minutes from the airport, was a lovely stay. At the airport on arrival they gave me a flyer explaining how to book the covid test required for return to the USA. This was a simple process, you scan the QR code or type in the website and simply book online and pay. Liberia airport had the rapid antigen test facility a 5 minute short well signposted walk away from the taxi departure drop off. You are advised to book at least 4 hrs before you flight departs, there was no queue and they processed it within 30 minutes. The airport has WIFI so they email your results but I also had it printed which they did for me. I flew back to USA via Houston to Dullus so they stamp your passport at Houston ( then at dullus you simply go to the baggage claim or exit ), I was worried in Houston in case they wanted to ask me more questions whether this could impact me making my connecting flight but actually the whole process from landing to my next gate took only 30 minutes ( with a quick walk as you need to go back through security) . They stamped another 90 days and my experience was straight forward, no curiosity about me previously being in the USA for 90 days. There are many variables so not everyone may have the same experience but thought I would share anyway.
If you stay for another full 90 days you are getting very close to being US tax resident too - worth bearing in mind.
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Old May 19th 2021, 9:21 pm
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Default Re: Travelling on ESTA

Originally Posted by tht View Post
Indeed, I once got sent to secondary for getting to the counter to fast. The 2 officers were outside their booths chatting about daytime TV. It was Terminal C at EWR, we had a big tail wind, close gate and I was first of the plane, and she was clearly put out that she had to work. Asked if I was in a rush, I said yes I had a meeting to get to, she sent me to secondary where the guy asked me the same question, said I don’t know why she sent you here and sent on my my way.

I thought UKC could do Global Entry now on VW/ESTA that’s the best way to take the agent out of the equation.
I can confirm that I am unable to use Global Entry when I arrive from the UK (due to the Covid-19 PPs in effect) and thus get a dreaded X on the printout. However, I can also confirm that the exact *same* machine worked absolutely fine when I returned from Mexico (from a US-MEX-US holiday, not the 14-day workaround that some do to circumvent the PPs). It's interesting how quick they were update the software on it in the light of the PPs.
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Old May 19th 2021, 11:06 pm
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Default Re: Travelling on ESTA

Originally Posted by destone View Post
I can confirm that I am unable to use Global Entry when I arrive from the UK (due to the Covid-19 PPs in effect) and thus get a dreaded X on the printout. However, I can also confirm that the exact *same* machine worked absolutely fine when I returned from Mexico (from a US-MEX-US holiday, not the 14-day workaround that some do to circumvent the PPs). It's interesting how quick they were update the software on it in the light of the PPs.
I don’t think I ever got the X, but in the early days I had the officer who stand after the machine ask me all the questions again.

I don’t think Mexico is a “work around”, but it would be lower risk to have people come direct to the US and put them in US managed isolation in a hotel (revenue for domestic US) and lower risk than being in a 3rd county and then taking a flight with many US people who won’t be isolating upon return.
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