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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) 34w

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 354 posts) 34w

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 1649 posts) 34w

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