How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Guillermo Senmartin Your Own Question
Guillermo Senmartin
Guillermo Senmartin, Attorney At Law
Category: US Law
Satisfied Customers: 108705
Experience:  Over 12+ years of experience in various areas of U.S. Law and 15+ years of experience in U.S. Immigration Law..
9200179
Type Your US Law Question Here...
Guillermo Senmartin is online now

I am a British citizen resident in the U.K. I wish to spend

Customer Question

I am a British citizen resident in the U.K.
I wish to spend a large portion of the year in US on a visitor visa. Is 6 months the practical maximum I can spend in US each year or to be prudent should it be less? Is the period spent counted over a calendar year?
I have ESTA clearance until 2015. Would a visa application to stay for 105 days when I could stay for 90 days on ESTA be regarded with suspicion?
Could I travel under ESTA with a return ticket for 105 days after my arrival if I was planning to be driving around Canada for 15 days during my stay, thus being in the US for only 90 days?
Could Homeland Security turn me away when arriving under a visa even if I do not attempt to stay beyond 6 months?
Should I carry proof of residence and family in the U.K. to show to Homeland Security?
Is it feasible for me to divide my time 50:50 between USA and GB each year?
I am 68 and retired. Does this affect US attitude to residency or how long I can stay on a visitor visa and am effectively a “snow bird”?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: US Law
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 2 years ago.
Guillermo Senmartin :

Welcome to JustAnswer! My name is***** I am a licensed attorney and I am here to help resolve your legal issue. Tackling legal issues can sometimes get cumbersome or confusing. Should you need to chat on the phone, private email or need help reviewing documentation, I am happy to do so for a small additional cost. Let me know at any time during our question and answer session if you are interested in these – I am happy to give you more details! You are NOT charged per question and you are NOT charged per response, so post at your desire! Just please remember that sometimes the law does not have an easy or convenient solution and that is not the fault of the expert. Please do not shoot the messenger.


Guillermo Senmartin :

The problem with the ESTA is that you cannot extend it at all other than 30 days and only in an emergency. Also, you cannot go to Canada or Mexico or any of the adjoining islands to the U.S. to "reset" the 90 day period (or to get any new cycle of stay even if you had a B-2) unless you left for 30 days or more. You can go to any other country for just a day and get a new cycle, but not Canada or Mexico or any of the adjacent islands to the U.S.

Guillermo Senmartin :

So I think the B-2 is your best option at this moment. Have you ever applied for one before?

Guillermo Senmartin :

Hello.

Guillermo Senmartin :

Sorry that the above was repeated. I don't know how that happened.

Guillermo Senmartin :

I assume that you have never applied for a B-2 before, correct?

JACUSTOMER-hvutu9qa- : Never applied
JACUSTOMER-hvutu9qa- : Would homeland security be wary of me applying for a b-2 after visiting a number of times on esta?
Guillermo Senmartin :

Ok. The idea is that you spend more time outside of the U.S. than inside of the U.S. So 50/50 is not going to work over the long term. You may be able to do 6 to 8 months in and then 4 to 6 months out for the first trip or two, but eventually, they are going to start asking questions about what you are doing in the U.S. and you have to avoid them thinking that you are living here. The B-2 is for visiting, not living in or retiring in the U.S.

Guillermo Senmartin :

As I said, the ESTA is not going to work for you in this type of situation.

Guillermo Senmartin :

Max is 90 days and then when you leave, you really should leave for more than 90 days.

Guillermo Senmartin :

Like maybe 90 days in, 120 days or more out.

Guillermo Senmartin :

And the more you use it, the harder it will becomes to get in the next time.

Guillermo Senmartin :

So the better visa to have is the B-2 visa and then try to stay out at least a little longer than the time that you stay in the U.S.

Guillermo Senmartin :

Here is a link on how to apply:

Guillermo Senmartin :

http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/visitor.html

Guillermo Senmartin :

Here may be a better one:

Guillermo Senmartin :

I will provide you with two links that may be helpful. The first is to an article that will explain what they look for when issuing a non-immigrant visa like the B-2. The second is a list of things that can be presented to prove non-immigrant intent and the strong ties to the home country.

http://www.ilw.com/articles/2009,0528-schwartz.shtm

https://help.cbp.gov/ci/fattach/get/46680/0/session/L2F2LzEvdGltZS8xMzk3NDE3MzcxL3NpZC85M1BEQ0lSbA==/filename/Intentions+and+Ties.pdf

JACUSTOMER-hvutu9qa- : Thank you.
Guillermo Senmartin :

So I think with that information, you should be ok. That list is excellent.

Guillermo Senmartin :

Now that I have given you an answer, you may rate me positively OR ask for additional information. Please do not rate me negatively for bad news or things that you may already know. That doesnt help you or me. I am here to help you and I am on your side. Give me a chance to help you. All you have to do is respond asking for additional information. You are NOT charged per question nor are you charged per response. If this seems a little complicated or overwhelming, I can also offer you an additional service for a small fee where we can speak in private over the phone or through email that may be helpful (this is a public forum where anyone can read the responses). Feel free to decline it, but if you do, please remember that I am not given a salary, so the only way that I am compensated is if you rate me positively. So at least please use the smiley faces and a bonus is always appreciated if you feel I earned it. Also, your question does NOT close just because it says, To finish.

JACUSTOMER-hvutu9qa- : Better to fly to Canada for holiday then to us.
Guillermo Senmartin :

Well, it could be ok to maybe spend 6 months in the U.S., 6 months in Canada, then a few months in the UK and then do that cycle again because the U.S. just cares about how much time you spend in the U.S. So if they see 8 months to a year outside of the U.S. (doesn't matter where) and 6 months or less every year inside of the U.S., that should work.

JACUSTOMER-hvutu9qa- : Could use esta if I keep within the 90 days and stay outside longer, say 100 days?
JACUSTOMER-hvutu9qa- : Your advice has been most helpful!
Guillermo Senmartin :

You are very welcome. Please do not forget to rate me positively so that I can get credit for my assistance to you. You are not charged again and we can continue to communicate without additional charge if you have a few follow-up questions. Just use one of the smileys that you see below, hopefully the excellent one! Thank you!

JACUSTOMER-hvutu9qa- : Is it ok to spend 90 days on esta then, say, 100 days before returning?
Guillermo Senmartin :

Yes, but that is borderline. You can try that a few times, but at some point they will start asking you questions about if you are living in the U.S. or not. You would have to be ready to respond to the following:

Guillermo Senmartin :

1) Why are you coming back so soon?

2) Why couldn't you do what you needed to do during you last trip?

3) How will you be supporting yourself for this additional time since you are not allowed to work?

4) What STRONG ties do you have to you home country to ensure that you will go back?

5) What preparations have you made to go back?

Guillermo Senmartin :

Also, you should carry those things on the list that I provided to show non-immigrant intent and strong ties to your home.

Guillermo Senmartin :

Please let me know if you have additional questions and please do not forget to rate my service to you positively (not the state of the law) as that is the only way that I can get credit for my assistance. Even after you rate the service, I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. And don't forget that bonuses are always appreciated! Thank you.

Guillermo Senmartin :

Hello. Is there anything else that you need?

Guillermo Senmartin and other US Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 2 years ago.
Peter, I have given you lots of information. Your best bet is to get the B-2 tourist visa and then use it to stay less time in the U.S. than outside of the U.S. I think it will work for you to come for 5 or 6 months to the U.S., then go to Canada for a number of months and the UK for a number of months. Let me know if you need anything else, but please do not forget to rate me positively. As I do not receive a salary, it is the only way that I get credit for my service to you. You are not charged again and I will not abandon you after you rate me positively if you have additional questions. Thank you.
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 2 years ago.
Peter, why don't you want me to be compensated for the time and effort that I spent to give you all this good and important information? All it takes is clicking on one of the positive smileys. You are NOT charged again and your question does NOT close if you have some follow-ups after you leave a positive rating. I will be here for you without additional charge. So please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Thank you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Apologies for the delay in rating you. I was using my iPhone which would not allow me to proceed.

Thank you again for your advice.

Regards,

Peter

Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 2 years ago.
You are very welcome! Thank you for the positive rating. If you would like to request me in the future, please remember to put my name in the subject box. Good luck to you!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I trust you received my excellent rating.

Just a point of clarification. Is there any difference between how I would be viewed and potentially refused admission between ESTA entry for 90 days with a gap of say 120 days, and visa entry for 6 months with a gap of say 8 months? I presume I would still be subject to individual each Homeland Security officer's approach?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Guillermo Senmartin,

I trust you received my excellent rating.

Just a point of clarification. Is there any difference between how I would be viewed and potentially refused admission between ESTA entry for 90 days with a gap of say 120 days, and visa entry for 6 months with a gap of say 8 months? I presume I would still be subject to individual each Homeland Security officer's approach?

Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 2 years ago.
I did. Thank you so much. In the type of situation that you have in mind, there isn't much of a difference.
Expert:  Guillermo Senmartin replied 2 years ago.
Peter, I marked your second posted question as a duplicate so that they refund you that additional question. I didn't want you to get charged again. If you have additional questions, please make them here on this thread so that you are not charged again. I don't mind answering a few additional questions for you. Thank you!

Related US Law Questions