Skip Navigation

Visa Waiver

Travel Forums North America Visa Waiver

1. Posted by deadmanmoz (Full Member 92 posts) 8y

Hi guys, me again

Just wondering how much people know about the Visa Waiver scheme.

2 questions which i thought i'd ask before i tried phoning the US Embassy and confusing them and myself even more.

1. Im sure i read somewhere that if you leave America to go to Canada the 90day time limit freezes and re-starts when you enter back into America. but then someone told me this doesnt apply to Canada. Does anyone know?

2. My plan is to leave America on the 89th-90th day and go to Bahama's for 5 days or so. My return flight to the UK goes via Miami, so in theory i'd be back in America albeit for a 3hour wait before my transfer flight to the UK. Would this affect my visa waiver? i.e should it count in the 90days?

Thanks people.

2. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 8y

Quoting deadmanmoz

1. Im sure i read somewhere that if you leave America to go to Canada the 90day time limit freezes and re-starts when you enter back into America. but then someone told me this doesnt apply to Canada. Does anyone know?

Should be fine. See the quote below from the US Customs site.

Quoting http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/business_pleasure/vwp/vwp.xml

Generally, VWP applicants admitted under the VWP may be readmitted to the United States after a departure to Canada or Mexico or adjacent islands for the balance of their original admission period. This is provided they are otherwise admissible and meet all the conditions of the VWP, with the exception of arrival on a signatory carrier, in which case the inspecting officers have the discretion to grant the applicants entirely new periods of admission.

Quoting deadmanmoz

2. My plan is to leave America on the 89th-90th day and go to Bahama's for 5 days or so. My return flight to the UK goes via Miami, so in theory i'd be back in America albeit for a 3hour wait before my transfer flight to the UK. Would this affect my visa waiver? i.e should it count in the 90days?

Same thing applies. The Bahamas are within the "adjacent islands" list.

The guide has some more detail on the Visa Waiver Program.

3. Posted by deadmanmoz (Full Member 92 posts) 8y

Peter thats awesome, thank you kindly for your excellent reply :-)

4. Posted by deadmanmoz (Full Member 92 posts) 8y

Does anyone know how/when you go about filling in the I-94W form which is for Visa Waivers?
I can find details on the embassy sight but it doesnt appear under the forms you can download and isnt ever clear if you have to fill it in in advance of your trip or on the plane on the way out or at customs in America.

5. Posted by chemgal (Respected Member 149 posts) 8y

I think you might have misunderstood the Customs site:

Generally, VWP applicants admitted under the VWP may be readmitted to the United States after a departure to Canada or Mexico or adjacent islands for the balance of their original admission period. This is provided they are otherwise admissible and meet all the conditions of the VWP, with the exception of arrival on a signatory carrier, in which case the inspecting officers have the discretion to grant the applicants entirely new periods of admission.

This means that your visa waiver only applies for 90 days from your first entry into the US, unless you leave the US to travel somewhere further than Canada, Mexico and the adjacent islands of the Caribbean.
I looked into this last year for a trip to Canada. I am currently spending a year in Canada and was told by the US Embassy that I required a visa for the US as I will staying in North America for more than 90 days and transiting the US on my way to Canada. The reason they have this rule as they don't record you leaving the US if you only travel to Canada, Mexico and the adjacent islands of the Caribbean.

Hope this helps.

6. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 8y

Hi chemgal, not really sure how that sentence can be interpreted any other way.

"VWP may be readmitted to the United States after a departure to Canada or Mexico or adjacent islands for the balance of their original admission period. "

That quite clearly indicates to me that the 90 days are paused while you're in Canada.

I looked into this last year for a trip to Canada. I am currently spending a year in Canada and was told by the US Embassy that I required a visa for the US as I will staying in North America for more than 90 days and transiting the US on my way to Canada

Let me get this straight... you were only passing through the US and they told you to get a visa? That doesn't sound right at all!

When I last visited Canada, I transited through the US on the way in and I'm pretty sure they recorded me leaving the US. I did think it was particularly funny when they told me to answer the question "Where will you be staying in the US?" with "Canada".

7. Posted by kevandshan (Full Member 142 posts) 8y

Just be cautious...no matter what the site says, it is UP TO THE BORDER AGENT THAT YOU DEAL WITH!!! If he/she doesn't like you, it does not matter what the regs say. They have the discretionary power to admit or deny you for whatever reason.
Be sure to check before you leave, but whilst it is technically allowed CBP are not particularly fond of the idea.