we'll be flying from bangkok to the us in april and hear a lot about the trouble with return/onward-tickets being necessary, but we want to continue overland all the way down to south america.
can we successfully tell this plan to an american immigration official or would we need to make up something more ... eh ... mainstream to get the vwp-stamp? or is it better (and possible with the truth) to get a visa beforehand (esp. as we want to stay longer than 90 days) or can we just get a second vwp-90 days after a certain period in canada after the first?
thanks, thilo & canda
I think you may need to make up something a bit more unless you have some sort of return airticket from somewhere in South America, because American Immigrations don't muck around in my limited experience with them.
I think it would depend greatly on who you got, if you got them on a good day, where and how you entered the US etc. Like I know that I had heaps of questions as if I was the countries worst enemy when I crossed the border by foot at the Niagara Falls border. They did everything to me except a strip search and I even had a RTW ticket to proove I had intentions of leaving America within the allowed time frame on the visa waiver program. On my second visit I already had that same visa waiver in, so I had no hassels. Then on another trip I entered through Miami, I got a lot of questions, but they didn't ask to see my airline ticket. If they say where are you going? What are you planning on doing etc, well just tell them where you plan on seeing and when you plan on departing (if you aren't 100% sure just make up a date, but be sure to have that date in memory when you are at the desk so it doesn't look like you are lying. Also be 100% sure you have either got a booking for at least your first night in where ever you are arriving, or you have an address to put down on the arrival form. If you don't have an address they will also give you big lectures and hassels over that even though most backpackers don't usually book accommodation in advance.
Have a great trip.
It may be in Harrold's advice already, but don't take any risks, and simply buy the cheapest possible, fully refundable return ticket to the states, and then have the half you don't use refunded to you later.