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Author Topic: Extending duration of stay in the US.  (Read 3561 times)

Tom

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Extending duration of stay in the US.
« on: April 05, 2011, 10:09:47 AM »
Quote from: DENBOY
How long do you have to visit Mexico or Canada to restart the 6 month thing.

There's no specific duration; You just need to leave and re-enter the US to restart the clock. But, be aware that, on re-entry, the agent could decide that you left merely so you could get around the 6-month limit, and could deny entry. Don't want to scare you, but we have read/heard of that happening to a very small number of people. In those cases, folks were on their second re-entry (attempting to extend their stay to 18 months).

I'd suggest you visit Canada, not Mexico.

There is an alternative (and legal) way to extend your stay, but we've only had one member (from the UK) report having used it. They filed a form I-539 part way through their stay, and were granted the extension.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 10:12:41 AM by Tom »
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Tom

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Re: Extending duration of stay in the US.
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 10:19:00 AM »
Here's the explanation of what the couple did in respect of the form I-539 - click here.

In any event, be sure that you have either a B1 or B2 visa, because the ESTA (visa waiver) option allows a maximum of 3 months with no extension.
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thesmiths

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Re: Extending duration of stay in the US.
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2011, 03:30:48 AM »
If you legitimately wanted to go to Mexico for a holiday part way through your 6 month stay, how do you prove it?  Is say going for 2 weeks enough?  We'd really like to go to MExico but not at the expense of possibly not being able to get  back in again!  If you go say at 3 months, are you still able to have the other 3 months when you get back, even if they don't grant you an extension?  This would our first and only re-entry.

Tom

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Re: Extending duration of stay in the US.
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2011, 04:14:30 AM »
Quote from: thesmiths
If you legitimately wanted to go to Mexico for a holiday part way through your 6 month stay, how do you prove it?

I'm not sure I understand what you'd need to prove. Leaving the US is leaving the US, irrespective of the reason and, on re-entry, it would be at the discretion of the border agent if you would be allowed in and for how long.

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Is say going for 2 weeks enough?

If you're asking is 2 weeks long enough to avoid suspicion of trying to get around the 6 months limit, there's no way to know that. Many Brits and Europeans have reported going to Canada for anything from a couple of weeks to a couple of months. There's no reason to expect different treatment when returning from Mexico but, as with all entries and re-entries, it's at the discretion of the border agent.

If you're suggesting leaving for Mexico after filing the I-539, you should carefully and thoroughly read the USCIS web page on extending your stay, including any linked documents. You need to be sure you don't "fall out of status" by leaving, and possibly becoming ineligible for extension of stay under I-539.

Have you considered flying from the UK into Mexico and visiting the US from there, or going to Mexico at the end of your US trip and flying home from there? You'd obviously need to check out the air routes to ensure you don't land in the US en route to or from Mexico, because you'd go through US customs and immigration. Unlike some parts of the world, I don't recall seeing a transit option at a US airport where, for example, you'd be treated as 'in transit' and not as 'arrived in the US'.

If you need a more definitive answer, I can give you the phone number for an immigration lawyer.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 04:18:44 AM by Tom »
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thesmiths

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Re: Extending duration of stay in the US.
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2011, 05:59:31 AM »
Thanks Tom.  We wouldn't be doing to get round the 6 month thing, but I understand what you say and we need to be careful about how we do it.  What with it being a once off trip of a lifetime we don't want it to be cut short for some reason!  Perhaps Mexico is best at the beginning or end - we can fly direct to/from Britain so there's not a problem with it going via the US.

Tom

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Re: Extending duration of stay in the US.
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2011, 08:46:14 AM »
Hope I didn't make you paranoid.

Just curious, which part of Mexico would you be visiting?

For clarification, what the airlines call a "direct flight" is not necessarily non-stop. If it's non-stop, they'll call it that. Unless things have changed, if you change planes in the US, you get to go through US customs and immigration and have therefore "entered" the US. Don't know if that also applies to refueling stops. However, on re-entry from Mexico you'd have your boarding passes to show you were merely in transit from the UK to MX.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 09:05:36 AM by Tom »
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thesmiths

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Re: Extending duration of stay in the US.
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2011, 12:39:24 PM »
Hi Tom - no, not at all!  We are fairly cautious people anyway ....

We were thinking about the Cancun/Riviera Maya area because we've gone there before, but we've discussed it and now think we will just stick to the US and not go over any borders to minimise any risk.  Can always go to Mexico another time.

Tom

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Re: Extending duration of stay in the US.
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2011, 03:10:27 PM »
From your other topic ...

Quote from: thesmiths
Coming from Wales ...

As an ex pat Taff, I have to ask which part of Wales?
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thesmiths

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Re: Extending duration of stay in the US.
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2011, 03:28:35 PM »
Pembrokeshire, although we're not Welsh born and bred.  Moved here around 4 years ago from Hampshire, best thing we ever did.

Tom

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Re: Extending duration of stay in the US.
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2011, 06:28:18 PM »
West Wales is a beautiful area. We're from a little further East - the Swansea Bay area.

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we're not Welsh born and bred

We Taffs are a friendly and welcoming bunch. But, do they switch to speaking Welsh when you walk into the local pub?  ;D

A couple of years ago a number of Brits were having trouble with DVLA when they tried to register their RVs that they bought here and shipped home. It seemed to work out in the end, but I couldn't resist a tease with this article in our forum library. Most folks took it in good fun.
 
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 09:04:49 PM by Tom »
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thesmiths

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Re: Extending duration of stay in the US.
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2011, 01:43:31 PM »
Ha ha no they don't Tom, apparently Pembrokeshire is called "Little England" and you can see why.  I think I know about 2 families that are Welsh, the rest are all from varying other parts of the UK!

 

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