Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

New to this, please help me.

New to this, please help me.

Old Dec 18th 2003, 1:12 pm
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 6
mixednuts is an unknown quantity at this point
Default New to this, please help me.

Hi,

First thanks for reading this.

Secondly I am making a real mess of this as so far I have managed to delete my message several times and also have it in the wrong place so forgive me if you read this post twice.

I am hoping someone could help me with some advice on a little problem I have. In the past I have travelled to America about once a year for varying amounts of time but never more than 90 days. (I by the way am from the UK.) Next year I plan to once again go on my annual visit but am unsure this time on how long I am staying for, it depends on so many variables. My return ticket will be for 2 weeks but as I have said it could be for longer and I will need to change my ticket.

The point is I have read these boards many times and there always seems to be much confusion when it comes to visas or in this case visa waiver. I was always under the impression that no matter how long you tell them you are staying for that they always gave you 90 days as that is how the program works and these boards have always confirmed that. One person did once say they can limit you if they want but it is such a hassle for them to do so that they invariably just give you the full amount instead. So you can imagine my surprise when surfing I came across this...

http://www.jackson-hertogs.com/JH/faq/1055.htm

In it it clearly says that the immigration may limit your time. Does anyone know if this is true at all or if they have just made a mistake? I know a person on the boards said this too but he made it sound like they can but don't this on the otherhand makes it sound like they do it all the time. I have learnt in the past that officers do not like indecision, for example if I say I am staying for 2 weeks but it may be a little longer they will then insist you make your mind up so I just want to say the 2 weeks.

I really did believe that it was an automatic 90 days as my passport has always been stamped with WT or visa waiver 90 days etc. You may all think I am fretting over nothing but that is what us women are good at so please somebody help me out. I can also assure you that there are alot of people like me that read these boards for help but never participate and I know these are the kind of things people worry about.

Thankyou in advance to anyone who replies, it means alot.

Once again, thanks.
mixednuts is offline  
Old Dec 18th 2003, 1:32 pm
  #2  
Forum Regular
 
Modigliana's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 72
Modigliana is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: New to this, please help me.

Originally posted by mixednuts
Hi,

First thanks for reading this.

Secondly I am making a real mess of this as so far I have managed to delete my message several times and also have it in the wrong place so forgive me if you read this post twice.

I am hoping someone could help me with some advice on a little problem I have. In the past I have travelled to America about once a year for varying amounts of time but never more than 90 days. (I by the way am from the UK.) Next year I plan to once again go on my annual visit but am unsure this time on how long I am staying for, it depends on so many variables. My return ticket will be for 2 weeks but as I have said it could be for longer and I will need to change my ticket.

The point is I have read these boards many times and there always seems to be much confusion when it comes to visas or in this case visa waiver. I was always under the impression that no matter how long you tell them you are staying for that they always gave you 90 days as that is how the program works and these boards have always confirmed that. One person did once say they can limit you if they want but it is such a hassle for them to do so that they invariably just give you the full amount instead. So you can imagine my surprise when surfing I came across this...

http://www.jackson-hertogs.com/JH/faq/1055.htm

In it it clearly says that the immigration may limit your time. Does anyone know if this is true at all or if they have just made a mistake? I know a person on the boards said this too but he made it sound like they can but don't this on the otherhand makes it sound like they do it all the time. I have learnt in the past that officers do not like indecision, for example if I say I am staying for 2 weeks but it may be a little longer they will then insist you make your mind up so I just want to say the 2 weeks.

I really did believe that it was an automatic 90 days as my passport has always been stamped with WT or visa waiver 90 days etc. You may all think I am fretting over nothing but that is what us women are good at so please somebody help me out. I can also assure you that there are alot of people like me that read these boards for help but never participate and I know these are the kind of things people worry about.

Thankyou in advance to anyone who replies, it means alot.

Once again, thanks.
Your entry and your visa time is totally at the discretion of the immigration officer at the POE. If he suspects you will overstay he can deny you entry.
Modigliana is offline  
Old Dec 18th 2003, 1:48 pm
  #3  
Ray
 
Ray's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 68,280
Ray has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond reputeRay has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: New to this, please help me.

There was talk last year of stamping all passports for the actual time you claim you are staying..but that seemed to have gone quiet at this time..although the POE can do that anytime to anyone..

Your visa waiver is technically issued on the grounds you have a dated return ticket..but not a great problem.. It would be better to say for instance you intend staying for 4 weeks but maybe just two.. rather than the other way round.. but then they will want to know more details of the reason for your visit...if you say to see a boyfriend.. bells will ring ...try to get firm dates for no problem trips.

Last edited by ray6; Dec 18th 2003 at 1:57 pm.
Ray is offline  
Old Dec 18th 2003, 1:51 pm
  #4  
Ben
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 920
Ben has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Why don't you do it the other way round then. I am presuming you are going for a flexi ticket anyway as it would be cheaper than having to change your departure date a number of times. Therefore, why don't you put that you are staying for the 90 days and if you leave earlier then you are fine.

My husband used to travel to the US a lot before we moved here and he would often end up staying an extra week of two due to work. It was never a problem, but that was before 9/11. things have changed and I don't know what it would be like to change your mind now.
Ben is offline  
Old Dec 18th 2003, 2:36 pm
  #5  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 6
mixednuts is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Thanks all for replying.

I am now more confused than ever. I do not want to put 90 days as they frown very heavily on that and I am also not intending on staying that long. To say my life is messed up right now would be an understatement of epic proportions. I do not foresee me staying in America for 90 days but who knows, there could be a slim chance I would. I do not want to be heavily questioned though for my motives as they do when you ask for that amount of time, I know from past experience. It wouldn't be so bad if I did have ties to the States and then I would at least understand their concerns but my ties are all to the UK. Proving all that on the other hand is no easy task.

I realise that the POE officer can limit peoples stay but I was under the impression he could only do that to people with visas not people on the waiver program. I was told the only way they could do that would be to ring their district supervisor. If you travel to England from America you are always stamped in for 6 months (if you are in our waiver program) is it not the same your way too. In the past my passport has always been stamped for 90 days no matter the time I have asked for, is this not standard?

I am sorry to go on but I need some reassurance. I have so much stuff to worry about right now that I do not need this additional concern.

Thanks again.
mixednuts is offline  
Old Dec 18th 2003, 3:28 pm
  #6  
 
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,082
BrigieDarling will become famous soon enough
Default

Welcome to BritishExpats Mixednuts (love these names) --

It seems to me that you will be at their mercy and have to just see how it all pans out!

I don't know an awful lot about the VWP... but I think you can extend you departure date (staying within the 90 days maximum) if you get short sheeted by the Immigration Officer at the POE!

Also, I'm sorry you had trouble posting.... if you could see the cock ups I've made you wouldn't feel so bad!
BrigieDarling is offline  
Old Dec 18th 2003, 3:38 pm
  #7  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 6
mixednuts is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Originally posted by BrigieDarling
Welcome to BritishExpats Mixednuts (love these names) --

It seems to me that you will be at their mercy and have to just see how it all pans out!

I don't know an awful lot about the VWP... but I think you can extend you departure date (staying within the 90 days maximum) if you get short sheeted by the Immigration Officer at the POE!

Also, I'm sorry you had trouble posting.... if you could see the cock ups I've made you wouldn't feel so bad!
Thanks for your message, it was really sweet.

I hate being at their mercy, I am so anal.

I wondered that too, if I was only granted 2 weeks and then needed to stay if I could ask for longer as under the Waiver it does say you are granted up to 90 days.

As for posting I am still clueless but getting there.

Thanks again.

Last edited by mixednuts; Dec 18th 2003 at 6:16 pm.
mixednuts is offline  
Old Dec 18th 2003, 5:07 pm
  #8  
C.G.D.S
 
sibsie's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: Ireland--->London--->Spain--->Rockport, MA
Posts: 3,353
sibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Originally posted by mixednuts
I wondered that too, if I was only granted 2 weeks and then needed to stay if I could ask for longer as under the Waiver it does say you are granted up to 90 days.
I think you're worrying unncessarily. I went to the US around 9 times for each of the last 4 years and have always had the 90 day stamp, never just the length of my stay.

I do get extra questioning due to my frequency of travel but I've never had a real problem. Of course now I'm doing the K1 it'll be a different ballgame next month!

You're not a frequent traveller, you have no ties to the US and all your ties are to the UK. I'm sure you'll be fine.
sibsie is offline  
Old Dec 18th 2003, 6:25 pm
  #9  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 6
mixednuts is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Originally posted by sibsie
I think you're worrying unncessarily. I went to the US around 9 times for each of the last 4 years and have always had the 90 day stamp, never just the length of my stay.

I do get extra questioning due to my frequency of travel but I've never had a real problem. Of course now I'm doing the K1 it'll be a different ballgame next month!

You're not a frequent traveller, you have no ties to the US and all your ties are to the UK. I'm sure you'll be fine.

Good luck with the K1. I hope it all works out for you which I am sure it will.

When you say you went nine times do you mean nine times a year or just times in total over four years because if so then that is not too frequent.

Thanks for all your reassurance though. I love how people on this forum seem to care and help each other out.

Thanks again.
mixednuts is offline  
Old Dec 18th 2003, 7:11 pm
  #10  
Ben
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 920
Ben has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond reputeBen has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Mixednuts, I think you missed my point when I said put 90 days. And anyway, there is nothing wrong with putting 90days stay and they question everyone when they come in when they are on a visa waiver. We have never been questioned since we have been on our working visa. If you are coming for a mixture of business and pleasure then make sure you have the addresses and how long you are here on business for. If you are coming for a vacation make sure you have your hotel details or whoever you are staying with.

My parents were over for 90 days this summer and they never got questioned any more than usual.

Also, regarding the frequency of visiting the US - my husband one year visited the US 10 times in one year and wasn't questioned more than usual. Some friends who came over one year came for 2 months then 3 months in one year. They were questioned of why they were coming and staying so long but there was no problem when they explained they were visiting family.

You seem to either be worrying unnecessarily or you have something to hide that you are afraid that immigration will find out.
Ben is offline  
Old Dec 18th 2003, 7:34 pm
  #11  
C.G.D.S
 
sibsie's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: Ireland--->London--->Spain--->Rockport, MA
Posts: 3,353
sibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Originally posted by mixednuts
When you say you went nine times do you mean nine times a year or just times in total over four years because if so then that is not too frequent.
On average about 9 times per year. One year I did go in 11 times though. It was to the same Point of Entry and the immigration officer gave me quite a grilling.

If you're travelling on VWP don't say you're there for business.
sibsie is offline  
Old Dec 19th 2003, 1:47 am
  #12  
Lt Cl (Rtd)
 
Pulaski's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Dixie, ex UK
Posts: 49,115
Pulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond reputePulaski has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Originally posted by sibsie
..... If you're travelling on VWP don't say you're there for business.
Wrong! The VWP is good for business trips of upto 90 days too.

I knew someone who used to work in the US for forty-eight weeks a year for a couple of years, sent by his British employer to the company's office in DC. He would come, stay for 90 days, then return to the UK for a week before returning to the USA for another 90 day stint.

My tip for a (relatively) easy pass through immigration is to arrive and clear immigration in New York, DC, Chicago, or one of the other very large airports where they are used to large numbers of foreigners arriving every day. If you fly directly to a smaller airport then I think that you stand a much greater chance of being given the third degree by immigration.
Pulaski is offline  
Old Dec 19th 2003, 9:34 am
  #13  
C.G.D.S
 
sibsie's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2003
Location: Ireland--->London--->Spain--->Rockport, MA
Posts: 3,353
sibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond reputesibsie has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Originally posted by Pulaski
Wrong! The VWP is good for business trips of upto 90 days too.
I say that because I've had experience of that being said and people getting a grilling which is unnecessary if you're really just there visiting. Whilst the purposes of the VWP may allow business travel it seems to get Immigration officers twitchy if you're going there for a long time, are dressed like a tourist and say you're there for business.

My nomination for longest immigration lines would have to be Miami. Boston has been the best for me but that could be because I travel on an Irish passport and they always smile when they see it. My Dulles flights were always a dream as the particular flight I took landed way ahead of any other incoming intl flight. I hate Chicago O Hare but Immigration has always been fine. Different matter with the food police though.
sibsie is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.