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J1 working visa to an ESTA

Travel Forums North America J1 working visa to an ESTA

1. Posted by jake.silk (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 4 Mar '14 09:50

Hi all,

I'm working in America for the summer on a J1 visa. My contracts states that I need to leave the country after 30 days of my contract ending. However, If I require to stay longer I can leave the country to either Mexico or Canada and return on an ESTA. My question is, how long do I need to be out of the country for before re entering on the ESTA?

Jake

2. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru, 338 posts) 4 Mar '14 12:29

Quoting jake.silk

Hi all,

I'm working in America for the summer on a J1 visa. My contracts states that I need to leave the country after 30 days of my contract ending. However, If I require to stay longer I can leave the country to either Mexico or Canada and return on an ESTA. My question is, how long do I need to be out of the country for before re entering on the ESTA?

Jake

Hi,

You might get numerous conflicting bits of advise about this here.

I would not personally be comfortable taking any advise offered on this question on this site & I think you are best advised to contact the US Department that issued your visa.

Steve

3. Posted by CheersT (Travel Guru, 1567 posts) 4 Mar '14 14:01

This sounds like a cop out, but I just called US CBP at Toronto International Airport and according to them quite simply there is no definite answer.

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For what it's worth, this website agrees: http://www.j1.ie/faq1

Q: Can I leave the US after my internship/ Traineeship or J1 Program and re-enter on an ESTA without returning home?

A: There is no definitive answer to this question. Customs & Border Protection and the ECA have advised that it is not guaranteed that you can leave the US on a non-immigrant visa and re-enter the US on an ESTA without first returning to your resident country. The final decision is at the discretion of the Control Border Protection (CBP) Officer on your re-entry back into the USA.

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In any case be sure to give up your I-94 upon departure from the US.

Good luck with your research. Hope you find the real story.

Cheers,
Terry