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Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Old Nov 15th 2006, 9:53 am
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by Boiler
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.
Depends entirely on the officer at POE. I use the visa waiver frequently to enter the US for conferences etc, within 3 months and have never had a problem.
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Old Nov 15th 2006, 11:28 am
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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

why dont you get ur boyfriend to join you in your country for Christmas
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Old Nov 15th 2006, 2:07 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

In my experience, you should leave as much time as possible between visits. I was in the same position as you, and managed a UK-US relationship for 3 years before we finally broke up (because of the distance, none the less)

I visited every 2 or 3 months for 2 or 3 weeks at a time, and it wasnt until I arrived for Christmas at the end of the first year that I encountered any problems. I was issued with a warning by the officer at the POE, and told that on the VWP, you can only enter 3 times a year maximum, and that I was being admitted for 5 days, but had to get a visa to return in 8 week time as I'd already booked it.

I went to the embassy in the UK, and nobody knew why I'd been told that. Yes, it is at the discretion of the officer at the POE, however you need to prove that your life is in the UK. Spending more than a few weeks at a time in the US is suspicious, even more so if you have a boyfriend or partner there. You also need to prove that you have spent more time in the UK than the US over the last year, and that you have no intention of EVER moving to the US (I was told all of this by the officer at the embassy in London)

But it's pot luck. They could deny you entry, and under VWP regulations, you can't fight it. You just have to leave. And if you're denied entry, you have to get a visa, and let me tell you, avoid getting ANY visa!! It will make things so much more difficult, as you can change your status on a visa, you cant with VWP. Things went from bad to worse when I unnecissarily got my tourist visa.

I dont know where you're visiting either, but again from my experience, try and go through immigration at a busy airport. I was flying to Florida, and Sanford used to be my choice of airport as I worked for a Florida tour operator, and I got free flights into Sanford. However, since they are a relatively quiet airport, they took the time to interrogate you. Whenever I went through Newark or an NYC airport, I wasnt interrogated. I was let through after a quick glance at my passport and 30 seconds of questions, compared to 2 hours of interrogation at Sanford Orlando!
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Old Nov 15th 2006, 2:49 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by celine_uk
why dont you get ur boyfriend to join you in your country for Christmas
Well... He was visiting during Thanksgiving last year and I doubt he will ever visit during winter again... He is also saving his vacation time so that in case I get denied entry to the US he can come visit me instead.
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Old Nov 15th 2006, 2:59 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by seabiscuit
In my experience, you should leave as much time as possible between visits. I was in the same position as you, and managed a UK-US relationship for 3 years before we finally broke up (because of the distance, none the less)

I visited every 2 or 3 months for 2 or 3 weeks at a time, and it wasnt until I arrived for Christmas at the end of the first year that I encountered any problems. I was issued with a warning by the officer at the POE, and told that on the VWP, you can only enter 3 times a year maximum, and that I was being admitted for 5 days, but had to get a visa to return in 8 week time as I'd already booked it.

I went to the embassy in the UK, and nobody knew why I'd been told that. Yes, it is at the discretion of the officer at the POE, however you need to prove that your life is in the UK. Spending more than a few weeks at a time in the US is suspicious, even more so if you have a boyfriend or partner there. You also need to prove that you have spent more time in the UK than the US over the last year, and that you have no intention of EVER moving to the US (I was told all of this by the officer at the embassy in London)

But it's pot luck. They could deny you entry, and under VWP regulations, you can't fight it. You just have to leave. And if you're denied entry, you have to get a visa, and let me tell you, avoid getting ANY visa!! It will make things so much more difficult, as you can change your status on a visa, you cant with VWP. Things went from bad to worse when I unnecissarily got my tourist visa.

I dont know where you're visiting either, but again from my experience, try and go through immigration at a busy airport. I was flying to Florida, and Sanford used to be my choice of airport as I worked for a Florida tour operator, and I got free flights into Sanford. However, since they are a relatively quiet airport, they took the time to interrogate you. Whenever I went through Newark or an NYC airport, I wasnt interrogated. I was let through after a quick glance at my passport and 30 seconds of questions, compared to 2 hours of interrogation at Sanford Orlando!
Thanks for a great and very interesting answer!

To prove one will never, EVER, move to the US is not the easiest thing to do. I've never thought about the problems a visa can create but your reply make total sense. Getting the tourist visa, for which you can change your status, would make them more suspicious.... What I don't understand is why you say you got your tourist visa unnecessarily? If you had to get a visa to enter the US again I don't see you had much of a choice.

I always arrive in Atlanta which is one of the busiest airports in the world so in that regard I should be doing "fine". With all the people coming through they should have "bigger fish to fry" than me.
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Old Nov 15th 2006, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by SweHurricane

To prove one will never, EVER, move to the US is not the easiest thing to do. I've never thought about the problems a visa can create but your reply make total sense. Getting the tourist visa, for which you can change your status, would make them more suspicious.... What I don't understand is why you say you got your tourist visa unnecessarily? If you had to get a visa to enter the US again I don't see you had much of a choice.
You don't have to prove that you won't move to the US for ever, just on that visit.
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Old Nov 15th 2006, 4:21 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by seabiscuit
In my experience, you should leave as much time as possible between visits. I was in the same position as you, and managed a UK-US relationship for 3 years before we finally broke up (because of the distance, none the less)

I visited every 2 or 3 months for 2 or 3 weeks at a time, and it wasnt until I arrived for Christmas at the end of the first year that I encountered any problems. I was issued with a warning by the officer at the POE, and told that on the VWP, you can only enter 3 times a year maximum, and that I was being admitted for 5 days, but had to get a visa to return in 8 week time as I'd already booked it.

I went to the embassy in the UK, and nobody knew why I'd been told that. Yes, it is at the discretion of the officer at the POE, however you need to prove that your life is in the UK. Spending more than a few weeks at a time in the US is suspicious, even more so if you have a boyfriend or partner there. You also need to prove that you have spent more time in the UK than the US over the last year, and that you have no intention of EVER moving to the US (I was told all of this by the officer at the embassy in London)

But it's pot luck. They could deny you entry, and under VWP regulations, you can't fight it. You just have to leave. And if you're denied entry, you have to get a visa, and let me tell you, avoid getting ANY visa!! It will make things so much more difficult, as you can change your status on a visa, you cant with VWP. Things went from bad to worse when I unnecissarily got my tourist visa.

I dont know where you're visiting either, but again from my experience, try and go through immigration at a busy airport. I was flying to Florida, and Sanford used to be my choice of airport as I worked for a Florida tour operator, and I got free flights into Sanford. However, since they are a relatively quiet airport, they took the time to interrogate you. Whenever I went through Newark or an NYC airport, I wasnt interrogated. I was let through after a quick glance at my passport and 30 seconds of questions, compared to 2 hours of interrogation at Sanford Orlando!
Btw - Forgot to say how sorry I am your relationship didn't work out. LDR's are a bitch... especially when you have immigrations adding extra problems to it.
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Old Nov 15th 2006, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by Bob
You don't have to prove that you won't move to the US for ever, just on that visit.
Thanks - that sounds A LOT better. Hopefully past visits (going home "on time") will add to my credibility when it comes to that part. I do not want to go to the US illegally, I want to do it the "right" way, as difficult as it might be sometimes...
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Old Nov 15th 2006, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by SweHurricane
What I don't understand is why you say you got your tourist visa unnecessarily? If you had to get a visa to enter the US again I don't see you had much of a choice.
Sorry, I guess I didn't make myself clear enough. I was told by the officer at the POE that I needed a visa if I intended to enter more than 3 times a year, however when I got to the embassy in London a month later to get my visa, the officers there had no idea why I'd been told that. It was false information according to them, and they'd never heard of it. I was actually left standing at the interview window for over an hour while various officers went to see management about why I may have been told this.

I faced the same problems upon entry to the US after that, and the officers simply put it down to either incorrect information or a misunderstanding between me and the officer who told me I did need a visa. I'm more than familiar with the officers at Sanford airport, and the lady that told me that, I had not seen there before, and I never saw her since. So I'm really not sure.

The catch at the embassy was that since my application had already gone through before it was concluded that it was either wrong information or a misunderstanding, I either took the visa, or it went through as a denial, which would have been even more difficult to explain! I'm sure they put something on my record about the case that was me getting a visa though.

As for proof, I have had to travel with my contract of employment, and each time I travel to the US, I had to take a new letter from my employer confirming that I was to return on such a date, confirming my job title, my length of service and salary. If you don't have your own property, then take a letter from whoever you live with (ie. parents) or your landlord confirming your continued residence there, and your intent to return.

It may seem like a lot, but it's better to be safe than sorry. The one advantage I had was that I always stayed in a hotel when I went to see my ex. Staying at his house would have been even more suspicious.
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Old Nov 15th 2006, 4:47 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by Bob
You don't have to prove that you won't move to the US for ever, just on that visit.
That was not what I was told at the embassy. I was warned that if I gave any inclination of moving in the future, I could very well be refused entry. She advised me to remain adament that my life was in the UK and that my ex was moving over to be with me, and not give any hint of a want to move. Just passing on the information I was given.

And thanks for the message, SWEHurricane! We made it to 3 years, and we're still the best of friends so I don't feel at much of a loss (although it's only been 2 months lol) I'll be back out in about 12 weeks with any luck on the job front, and we're hoping to try to work things out then
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Old Nov 15th 2006, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by seabiscuit
Sorry, I guess I didn't make myself clear enough. I was told by the officer at the POE that I needed a visa if I intended to enter more than 3 times a year, however when I got to the embassy in London a month later to get my visa, the officers there had no idea why I'd been told that. It was false information according to them, and they'd never heard of it. I was actually left standing at the interview window for over an hour while various officers went to see management about why I may have been told this.

I faced the same problems upon entry to the US after that, and the officers simply put it down to either incorrect information or a misunderstanding between me and the officer who told me I did need a visa. I'm more than familiar with the officers at Sanford airport, and the lady that told me that, I had not seen there before, and I never saw her since. So I'm really not sure.

The catch at the embassy was that since my application had already gone through before it was concluded that it was either wrong information or a misunderstanding, I either took the visa, or it went through as a denial, which would have been even more difficult to explain! I'm sure they put something on my record about the case that was me getting a visa though.

As for proof, I have had to travel with my contract of employment, and each time I travel to the US, I had to take a new letter from my employer confirming that I was to return on such a date, confirming my job title, my length of service and salary. If you don't have your own property, then take a letter from whoever you live with (ie. parents) or your landlord confirming your continued residence there, and your intent to return.

It may seem like a lot, but it's better to be safe than sorry. The one advantage I had was that I always stayed in a hotel when I went to see my ex. Staying at his house would have been even more suspicious.


Let me translate,

The POE officer suspected you were using a non immigrant visa to live in the US, a not unreasonable assumption given your travel pattern.

He told you that you should apply for a visa that would allow you to either have immigrant intent of dual intent. Probably a K1 in your case.

Presumably you applied for a B2, also a visitor visa, so irrelevant.

There is no rule as to how many times you can visit the US on the VWP, I visited more than 4 times in a year, I know people who visit many times more than that.

I hopr you are decalring your refused visa on subsequent uses of the VWP.
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Old Nov 15th 2006, 5:04 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by Boiler
Let me translate,

The POE officer suspected you were using a non immigrant visa to live in the US, a not unreasonable assumption given your travel pattern.

He told you that you should apply for a visa that would allow you to either have immigrant intent of dual intent. Probably a K1 in your case.

Presumably you applied for a B2, also a visitor visa, so irrelevant.

There is no rule as to how many times you can visit the US on the VWP, I visited more than 4 times in a year, I know people who visit many times more than that.

I hopr you are decalring your refused visa on subsequent uses of the VWP.
No, I was specifically told by the officer to apply for a tourist visa which would apparently allow me to visit more than 3 times a year. If you read my post again, you'll see that I stated that this was incorrect information give to me. In plain english, she told me to get a tourist visa when in fact I did not require one. And I did not qualify for a K1 visa as my partner was not a USC, but there on a student visa, and I also stated that I had no intent at that stage in my life to live in the US. I was even filing a student visa for my ex to come to the UK.

There IS NO rule of limits of entry to the United States, that has already been established. The information given back in December 2004 was incorrect, that is the point I am making.
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Old Nov 15th 2006, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by seabiscuit
No, I was specifically told by the officer to apply for a tourist visa which would apparently allow me to visit more than 3 times a year. If you read my post again, you'll see that I stated that this was incorrect information give to me. In plain english, she told me to get a tourist visa when in fact I did not require one. And I did not qualify for a K1 visa as my partner was not a USC, but there on a student visa, and I also stated that I had no intent at that stage in my life to live in the US. I was even filing a student visa for my ex to come to the UK.

There IS NO rule of limits of entry to the United States, that has already been established. The information given back in December 2004 was incorrect, that is the point I am making.
There is no essential difference between a VWP and a B, both give you the right to seek admission. They get you to the POE.

But then you have no expectation to obtain correct information from the POE either.

But exactly what was said is not that relevant, the issue was that the POE suspected you of abusing the VWP.
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Old Nov 15th 2006, 5:15 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by seabiscuit
No, I was specifically told by the officer to apply for a tourist visa which would apparently allow me to visit more than 3 times a year. If you read my post again, you'll see that I stated that this was incorrect information give to me. In plain english, she told me to get a tourist visa when in fact I did not require one. And I did not qualify for a K1 visa as my partner was not a USC, but there on a student visa, and I also stated that I had no intent at that stage in my life to live in the US. I was even filing a student visa for my ex to come to the UK.
There isn't any filing for a student visa in the UK, you just turn up with a letter from the school saying you ahve been accepted and the length of the course, you get stamped in the passport on entry, sorted.

With the B1/2 visa, that still doesn't guarantee that POE would let you in, having a denied visa application means you have to tick the box on your VWP I-94 and will probably have secondary inspection I would imagine.
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Old Nov 15th 2006, 5:19 pm
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Default Re: Visa Waiver - how often and for how long?

Originally Posted by Bob
With the B1/2 visa, that still doesn't guarantee that POE would let you in, having a denied visa application means you have to tick the box on your VWP I-94 and will probably have secondary inspection I would imagine.
Pretty much guaranteed.
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