Often foreigners who wish to stay more than 90 days in the United States leave the country on their way to Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean and then return to stay 90 days longer.
Even if this can sometimes be granted, the Customs and Border Protection Department sometimes block the return of passengers, for violation of the immigration law.
If you wish to stay more than 90 days planned by ESTA, you can apply for a visa at the US Embassy. It is best to be as complete as possible, rather than risk being evicted.
In summary, if you leave the country after 90 days, when you return, the days are technically reset, but it is up to the immigration officer to allow you to return again. If the officer decides that you have attempted to break the law, you may be banned from returning to the United States for 10 years. This will lead to complications in the future when you try to return to the United States.
Example 1: Daniel
Daniel and his friends came to Miami less than a month ago. He fell in love with the city and decided to stay indefinitely. He used an ESTA to enter the United States and is aware that he will have to leave in two months, so as not to become illegal.
In addition, ESTA does not allow you to work in the United States.
Daniel began working in a restaurant as he settled into his new life in Miami, while seeking solutions to his dilemma.
He wants to leave the country in 40 days and go to the Dominican Republic for a few days. He thinks that will allow him to stay 90 more days.
After consulting an immigration lawyer, Daniel decides that he prefers to return to France and apply for a visa at the US Embassy.
We recommend that you always follow the law.
Example 2: Stéphane
Stéphane is an Australian citizen who visits his girlfriend in Los Angeles. Stephane has been in the United States for about two months with an ESTA. He does not want to leave his girlfriend and is looking for a way to extend his trip.
His first idea is to make a short trip with his girlfriend in Mexico, to be able to benefit, on his return, of another 90 days in the country.
When they returned from Mexico, the immigration officer became suspicious of Stéphane. He saw that his girlfriend had a long-term visa, and that he only had ESTA.
Stéphane was allowed to return to the country, but only for the remaining time on his first 90 days. He will have to leave the United States in two weeks.