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Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Old Oct 16th 2006, 8:53 pm
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Default Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

I have read some of the posts on this forum saying that a general rule when using the Visa Waiver is that you should wait 3 months before going back to the U.S. on it again.

Is this always the case?

I am currently in the U.S. and have a return ticket back home for late october. I would love to go here late December to spend Christmas and New Years Eve with my boyfriend but if there really is a "3 month rule" that would not be possible. When I go home at the end of October I will have spent approximately 180 days in the U.S. this year. I went here late January and back to Europe mid April. Made a one month trip in June/July and have now been back in the U.S. since Late August.

If I go to the U.S. and get sent back will I then have to get a visa next time? I suspect I am beginning to push my luck even though I have not had a problem so far.

Thanks for any advice on the situation.
//SweHurricane
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 9:50 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by SweHurricane
I have read some of the posts on this forum saying that a general rule when using the Visa Waiver is that you should wait 3 months before going back to the U.S. on it again.

Is this always the case?

I am currently in the U.S. and have a return ticket back home for late october. I would love to go here late December to spend Christmas and New Years Eve with my boyfriend but if there really is a "3 month rule" that would not be possible. When I go home at the end of October I will have spent approximately 180 days in the U.S. this year. I went here late January and back to Europe mid April. Made a one month trip in June/July and have now been back in the U.S. since Late August.

If I go to the U.S. and get sent back will I then have to get a visa next time? I suspect I am beginning to push my luck even though I have not had a problem so far.

Thanks for any advice on the situation.
//SweHurricane
Hi:

There is no per se "rule" on the issue. Its up the inspecting officer.
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 10:49 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by SweHurricane
If I go to the U.S. and get sent back will I then have to get a visa next time? I suspect I am beginning to push my luck even though I have not had a problem so far.
That is a rule of thumb, but you might get lucky, you might not, you do probably want to generally spend as much time away from the US before coming in, and spending more than 180 days already could be an issue.

As for needing a visa if your turned back, it depends on what they do.

Whatever you do, don't overstay on the VWP because then you really will need a visa for future visits.

Could consider flying via Dublin as they have clearance there, so if you do get rejected it won't be as long a flight back, but then on the other hand, some people say because of that, they tend to be a little more strict about it....might be worth googling and see what people's experiences have been.
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 10:55 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by SweHurricane
I have read some of the posts on this forum saying that a general rule when using the Visa Waiver is that you should wait 3 months before going back to the U.S. on it again.

Is this always the case?

I am currently in the U.S. and have a return ticket back home for late october. I would love to go here late December to spend Christmas and New Years Eve with my boyfriend but if there really is a "3 month rule" that would not be possible. When I go home at the end of October I will have spent approximately 180 days in the U.S. this year. I went here late January and back to Europe mid April. Made a one month trip in June/July and have now been back in the U.S. since Late August.

If I go to the U.S. and get sent back will I then have to get a visa next time? I suspect I am beginning to push my luck even though I have not had a problem so far.

Thanks for any advice on the situation.
//SweHurricane
What proof of ties to the UK, i.e. stuff that would suggest that you are planning to return, would you be able to show if asked at the POE?
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Old Oct 16th 2006, 11:41 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by Elvira
What proof of ties to the UK, i.e. stuff that would suggest that you are planning to return, would you be able to show if asked at the POE?
Thanks for your answers so far.

I have a job but it is an hour-by-hour employment which means I can choose to work or not to work whichever suits me at the moment. I rent a house, unfortunately I rent it from my mother so I am not sure that is a good or a bad thing. I have a debt to pay off at home due to my university education, not sure if that is good or bad either. I have money to cover my expenses, both for paying bills at home and money to cover my visit. I can show that I can take care of myself and I have never overstayed my visit. (I assume they can see that in their computer systems.)

I do not have any intent of either getting married, working illegally or overstaying my visit. All I want is to spend time with my boyfriend to figure out if this relationship will work or not but I know the burden of proof is on me.

Is there anything else which might help me show my intentions?
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 12:43 am
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by SweHurricane
I have a job but it is an hour-by-hour employment which means I can choose to work or not to work whichever suits me at the moment. I rent a house, unfortunately I rent it from my mother so I am not sure that is a good or a bad thing. I have a debt to pay off at home due to my university education, not sure if that is good or bad either. I have money to cover my expenses, both for paying bills at home and money to cover my visit. I can show that I can take care of myself and I have never overstayed my visit. (I assume they can see that in their computer systems.)
Not the best that....to the officer at POE, that could look very week and he might not decide to let you in, but then they might.
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 4:08 am
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Safest bet would be to get him to make the next few visits, otherwise it is pot luck.
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 4:25 am
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

I heard of this 'rule of thumb' before, but it all depends on the POE
officer, time of day, season, and whatelse not.

In my case, I had 3 visits on the VWP after each other. The first was
in November for one and a half week. I returned in January (2 months
later) for a visit of amost 3 months and got some serious questions by
the POE officer. (Do you have job? Do you have a home? Can you afford
such a long vacation? Does your work allow you 3 months off?, etc). I
went through ok, but it was still a bit concerning.

I left in April, and returned one month later for another stay of 3
months expecting some serious grilling and questioning by the POE
officer. This time the guy hardly looked at my passport, asked me the
purpose of my visit and how long I intended to stay, and then he
stamped my passport for the maximum allowable VWP period.

The only thing I can think off is that on the May flight, I arrived on
a typical 'tourist' flight in the routist season while the January
flight would be more 'off season' and was more bussiness travelers.

Mileage will vary. A lot.
 
Old Oct 17th 2006, 5:47 am
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Another 'rule of thumb' I heard: When the POE officer thinks/judges you
are 'abusing the VWP program', they will issue you a warning, but
generally allow you into the country unless you fail to show strong
ties to your home country. Next time being 'early' at the border on a
VWP, your name will show up in blinking red (or whatever they use on
their terminals) and your chances are slim to zilch.
 
Old Oct 17th 2006, 10:38 am
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by Martijn

The only thing I can think off is that on the May flight, I arrived on
a typical 'tourist' flight in the routist season while the January
flight would be more 'off season' and was more bussiness travelers.

Mileage will vary. A lot.
Hi:

As a tangent story which I have posted beofre [but worth repeating] -- I used to travel to Korea a lot. I once returned from a January trip. I was standing by the luggage carousel waiting for my bags wearing a down parka which I never wear in LA - its way too warm. A roaming Customs officer approaches me.

Customs: "Good morning"
Me: "Good morning"
Customs: "Where did you just fly in from?"
Me: "Seoul."
Customs: "How long were you gone?"
Me: "Four days."
Customs: "Business or pleasure?"
Me with an incredulous look: "You are kidding, I hope."
Customs with sheepish look: "I see your point. Welcome home."
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 3:56 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by Martijn
I heard of this 'rule of thumb' before, but it all depends on the POE
officer, time of day, season, and whatelse not.

In my case, I had 3 visits on the VWP after each other. The first was
in November for one and a half week. I returned in January (2 months
later) for a visit of amost 3 months and got some serious questions by
the POE officer. (Do you have job? Do you have a home? Can you afford
such a long vacation? Does your work allow you 3 months off?, etc). I
went through ok, but it was still a bit concerning.

I left in April, and returned one month later for another stay of 3
months expecting some serious grilling and questioning by the POE
officer. This time the guy hardly looked at my passport, asked me the
purpose of my visit and how long I intended to stay, and then he
stamped my passport for the maximum allowable VWP period.

The only thing I can think off is that on the May flight, I arrived on
a typical 'tourist' flight in the routist season while the January
flight would be more 'off season' and was more bussiness travelers.

Mileage will vary. A lot.
Your story is kind of similar to mine. My first 3 month trip to the U.S. I got some "serious questions" then got sent to the "Orange room" and had to wait there for 2 hours to be questioned again. The second officer let me in to the country without too much hazzle. The second time I went was only for one month in the summertime - no problems. 3rd time, again for 3 months, arriving during summer, no problems. I wonder if they are more suspicious the first time one tries to go for the full 3 months?

Have you tried to return to the U.S. after your second 3 months? I wonder if they are more suspicious after one has been in the States for almost 6 months during a year. I know I am closing in on having been here for half a year and I would assume that is not a good sign to them.
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by SweHurricane

Have you tried to return to the U.S. after your second 3 months? I wonder if they are more suspicious after one has been in the States for almost 6 months during a year. I know I am closing in on having been here for half a year and I would assume that is not a good sign to them.
That wouldn't be.

A tourist visa/VWP is pretty much for holiday use, and for a country where a lot of people are lucky to get 10 days a year, that much holiday time is quite suspicious.
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Old Oct 17th 2006, 5:23 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by Folinskyinla
Hi:

As a tangent story which I have posted beofre [but worth repeating] -- I used to travel to Korea a lot. I once returned from a January trip. I was standing by the luggage carousel waiting for my bags wearing a down parka which I never wear in LA - its way too warm. A roaming Customs officer approaches me.

Customs: "Good morning"
Me: "Good morning"
Customs: "Where did you just fly in from?"
Me: "Seoul."
Customs: "How long were you gone?"
Me: "Four days."
Customs: "Business or pleasure?"
Me with an incredulous look: "You are kidding, I hope."
Customs with sheepish look: "I see your point. Welcome home."
Dont try this approach as a GC holder.
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Old Oct 18th 2006, 12:52 am
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by Kate2112
Dont try this approach as a GC holder.
Hi:

I think customs officers have to be US citizens. But I'm not sure -- I really have no idea if this Hispanic gentleman was a US citizen or not.
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Old Oct 18th 2006, 1:21 am
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by Folinskyinla
Hi:

I think customs officers have to be US citizens. But I'm not sure -- I really have no idea if this Hispanic gentleman was a US citizen or not.
Does it matter if you are a CG Holder rather than Citizen?

Unless you had contraband on you of course and that might have issues with your status, I have never had any delays with Customs nor heard of anyone legit having a hard time.

I did get sniffed by a Beagle once, I was using a bag I normally use for sports hear and no doubt it had an odor.
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