P-1 Visa & ESTA Question: How do I transition from a work visa to ESTA? (Repeat Question)?

I've found myself in a bit of a dilemma. I am a Irish & UK citizen. I'm due to fly to USA for work on 20th November. After work, I have booked to visit friends until 28th November. I thought my Visa was valid until 28th November but I received it a few days ago and it expires on 26th November. I have applied for an ESTA. I understand I can't transition from a P-1 Visa to an ESTA without leaving the USA and renetering using the ESTA. Is that right? I will be flying from Detroit on 23rd November. Would it be possible to leave the USA to Canada on that day and reenter on the ESTA? Is there a solution here without having to change my flight to leave USA on 26th November?

5 Answers

  • 8 months ago
    Favourite answer

    A visa is an entry pass to a country for a specific purpose and duration. It has NOTHING, not a thing to do with how long you can stay. That is determined by the I-94, which is now completely electronic.

    Say I have a visa that expires on December 31, 2019. I arrive at the airport on December 30 and want to vacation for 10 weeks. That's perfectly fine, as I would enter with a valid visa.

    Transferred to your case, at the point of entry, the CBP officer will determine how long you are authorized to stay. If being asked about the purpose of your visit, you'll state the truth and then tell him or her that after your work gig you intend to visit old friends in XYZ and spend a few days with them. I don't see any reason why you wouldn't get at least 90 days of authorized stay.

    Source(s): An immigrant from Europe, I live on the American Riviera and work as an attorney in Santa Barbara, California.
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  • 8 months ago

    In your previous question you indicated you were already in the USA and the date you were required to exit was November 26th. The fact you have not yet entered the USA changes a lot.  The expiration date on your visa is just the last day you can use it to enter the USA. It is not the date by which you have to exit.

    Another answer is correct and the Immigration Officer will stamp your departure date in your passport.  They will ask you how long you expect to stay.  Just tell them the date you expect to exit.   

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  • 8 months ago

    NO - NO - NO! You cannot stick around assuming you have changed status. There is NO way to change status from whatever visa to ESTA (visa waiver for tourists from certain countries) within US. You must depart US before your visa expires! In the future, if you want to visit US on ESTA, you must get your ESTA, then enter US. There's NO change of status to/from ESTA & some other visa.

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  • 8 months ago

    Brian, why not just enter the US on the ESTA visa on 20th November?  Then you will not have an expiry issue.  I understand that you will be working for a few days but, if you run into any problems you can always show your P-1 visa.  As long as you are employed out of UK/Ireland, you will not run into any problems.  My nephew works as a financial journalist in London and regularly attends conferences/visits clients in NYC on an ESTA visa.  He was just there last week.  They really do not care.

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  • Maxi
    Lv 7
    8 months ago

    Already answered

    Add: You were already told you have to exit before your visa runs out or you are an overstayer with a likely ban and ENTER using the correct visa..you can't stay and transition to  visitor permission ESTA............. so yes it was already answered

    • Brian M8 months agoReport

      My question about leaving the USA to Canada and reentering hasn't been answered.

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