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visa issue?

Travel Forums North America visa issue?

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1. Posted by hanhans (Budding Member 37 posts) 6y

Hi.
This fall I will be traveling in the Carribean for about four months. My plan is to fly to Santo Domingo via the US. However, after I started to read about US imigration law I found something that got me a bit worried:

"Under the Visa Waiver Program, citizens of eligible countries may travel to the USA for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining an entry visa. You cannot study or work on the Visa Waiver Program, nor extend your stay beyond 90 days. A return or onward ticket must be held, although the final destination may not be Canada, Mexico or in the Caribbean (unless you are a resident of that country or island)."

My destination is in the Caribbean (Dominican Republic), and of course I am not a resident of that country. I do however have a return ticket to Norway 110 days later, also transiting through the US.

Will this cause problems for the US imigration? In total, I will only be in the US for a few hours, but will the clock start ticking the day I pass through imigration on my way to the Dominican Republic and continue ticking untill I levave for home? In that case I will be overstaying my allowed time on the US VWP.

This has me a bit worried, and I have started to wounder if I should re-book my flight via France or Spain instead of the US.

2. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 6y

Quoting hanhans

Hi.

This has me a bit worried, and I have started to wounder if I should re-book my flight via France or Spain instead of the US.

As you wont be doing any site seeing in the USA and basically just changing planes i'd rebook through France or Spain to avoid any hassles.

3. Posted by hanhans (Budding Member 37 posts) 6y

So you are saing that I can expect hassle? Never been to the US. The ticket is like 3 houndred Euro more expensive from Spain/France.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Mar-2010, at 04:17 by hanhans ]

4. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 6y

Quoting hanhans

So you are saing that I can expect hassle? Never been to the US..

You may have no trouble at all but you had better have the right paper work when entering USA as since the 9/11 incident crossing the border is taken very seriously,that said thousands of tourists come into the USA every day with no problem.

5. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 6y

holy shit dude, you really want to leave a decision like this to someone guessing on an internet forum!? Call your nearest US embassy, or email them. Your explanation here is pretty clear what you want and get word straight from the horses mouth.

6. Posted by jambo101 (Respected Member 414 posts) 6y

You are right, dont take my word for this advice, I'm presuming hanhans will contact the appropriate department to solidify his knowledge on the matter,i only suggested avoiding the American leg of the trip before the difference in air fare arose.

7. Posted by hanhans (Budding Member 37 posts) 6y

I did contact the embassy about this, and they said It would not be a problem for imigration. They did, however, say that sometime the airline companies wouldn´t let me abord.

But this is in my mind my travel agents responibility, since I am ordering the ticket from my destination in Norway all the way to Santo Domingo. I.e. if they will not let me on the plane, it is my travel agents responsibility to find me an alternate roote (I am after all paying for a ticket from my home town in Norway all the way too Santo Domingo)

Post 8 was removed by a moderator
9. Posted by Dodger (Inactive 875 posts) 6y

Quoting hanhans

I did contact the embassy about this, and they said It would not be a problem for imigration. They did, however, say that sometime the airline companies wouldn´t let me abord.

But this is in my mind my travel agents responibility, since I am ordering the ticket from my destination in Norway all the way to Santo Domingo. I.e. if they will not let me on the plane, it is my travel agents responsibility to find me an alternate roote (I am after all paying for a ticket from my home town in Norway all the way too Santo Domingo)

I wouldn't let things fall as to who's responsible or not. So if the embassy said that the airline might not let you board then you need to check with the airline. You haven't said how long you will be in the US on your return, is this also a few hours as you get your connecting flight home? Seems like it would be less of an issue then.

I had a similar experience in Australia when they wouldnt let me on the plane to NZ because the airline personal claimed my Australian visa would be expired when I was to take my return flight from NZ back to Aus. They made me buy another ticket for a date when they thought my visa would still be valid. Turned out they didn't understand the visa rules and my visa was valid for the original ticket I had, and I didn't need to buy another. So just goes to show anything can happen even when you think you have complied with all their rules.

10. Posted by hanhans (Budding Member 37 posts) 6y

Yes, my plan was to only stay in the US a few hours at my return.
My travel agent did some checking, and accordring to the airliner, I will need a US visa. The whole thing sees stupid to me, having to obtain a visa to a country I am not staying in But hey, I am not a beaurocrat ;p.

So now I will find an alternate roote, probably fly inn via Madrid. Quicker flight time and far easyer, and actually cheaper if I take the cost of obtaining a US visa into consideration.