USA Multiple Entry on ESTABack to Forum
Anonymous3 Oct 2014
So far, I have 3 trips to the USA booked for next year, all are for leisure. A few years ago, I went to SFO 2 weeks after I went to NYC, as a result, I was held back at SFO’s immigration and sent to “secondary” immigration. After waiting 30 mins I had a short interview with an Immigration Officer and was sent on my way. I now intend to travel to SFO twice in a month, once to go to HNL and once to go to LAS. Am I likely to be of interest again and delayed or separated from my travelling companions or has the ESTA system which gives advance information stopped this sort of thing? In July, at LAX, the queues were horrendous and after a 90 minute wait, I was “interviewed” by the agent for 10 minutes even though I had my hotel booking and return flight details to hand. I have always found the agents in SFO to be very pleasant by contrast. I think my earlier problem was simply that Americans don’t generally have as much holiday entitlement and its much the same situation next year. Any advice?3 Oct 2014
I spoke to the FCO when I needed to re-enter America after going to Japan, and they said that as long as I update the information on the VWP/ESTA site, I can re-enter without any hassle, I just got asked for hotel bookings etc “ok, have a nice day, sir”, that was it3 Oct 2014
My son has used a valid ESTA twice now within a year; he lives in the UK and visits me in the US fairly frequently. Has not been directed to secondary screening, but he is 13 and travels as an unaccompanied minor so that might be part of it.
A friend of mine traveled twice in a six month period to the US on the same ESTA two years ago, first to ATL than to JFK, going back to Europe in between. He was interviewed at secondary screening and had to produce a valid return ticket.8 Oct 2014
Up until recently I was working in Jamaica and used the US for all travel inter island in the Caribbean as well as monthly meetings in the US. I would say on the existing ESTA I have been in and out of the US this year alone 25 times and have not been questioned other than the normal immigration questions. And now they have introduced the ESTA machines in Miami even easier …. As long as you give all the information beforehand with your flight details there should not be an issue9 Oct 2014
I have never gone back to update details of the flight etc. on the ESTA website – my ESTA has not been queried on varying routes of entry.
Maybe I look more innocent to USA immigration that I do to UK immigration, where I am often queried.9 Oct 2014
Indeed, I’d agree: I only go back to the airline site (BA, AA) and input any passport/hotel details there; I’ve not been back to the ESTA site since I applied for it.9 Oct 2014
A colleague of mine was in the US earlier this year for about a month working on a UK based project. Upon arrival on his second trip, he was taken aside for secondary screening and refused entry into the US, put back on a flight that night and told to go and get a work visa.
I find it very confusing/frustrating because we are working well within the ESTA conditions – however when you get to immigration in the US they seem to apply a different set of rules.
I’m now having to get US work visas for another trip in January for myself and my whole team to mitigate the risk that one or some of us will be denied entry. Such an awful hassle and expense considering the ESTA should, in theory, cover us.9 Oct 2014
Not quite related but….
A visa (and so should be the ESTA) allows you to travel to the US and THEN the immigration agent decide if you can enter and for how long.
I had this issue once (not me travelling) with a holiday visa. planned return date was after expiry of the visa although it had been issued based on the traveller’s itinerary. The airline didn’t allow the traveller to fly according to plans.
When explaining the situation to the people at embassy and asking why they had not taken the itineray into account and issued a visa valid for the whole intended stay they confirmed a visa is only a right to travel to the US and “permission to enter” can only be granted by the immigration officer once you show up at the port of entry.
ESTA is not a visa but an authorization to travel without… same rule should apply.
Anyway, I’d always suggest to edit details within you’re ESTA application, for each trip.9 Oct 2014
I’ve visited the USA several times this year and have not updated my ESTA.
Indeed, in June I had to visit twice in just over a week for meetings( entry in San Francisco and Chicago) and didn’t have any issues at all with immigration on either occasion.9 Oct 2014
If you are going to work in a US office for longer than a few days, best to check with the embassy or pay a Consultant to find out.
I have flown many clients in PJ’s to the USA over the past few years and several times flights have been delayed due to the wrong visa or in one case, no working visa being applied for prior to travel.
We all know the USA have “challenging” immigration rules, if in any doubt, there are plenty of places to check.9 Oct 2014