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ESTA vacation before J1

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I have booked a vacation only 1.5 months before my studies in the US (with J1) starts.

This means that I will have to go on vacation in the US using ESTA - Then return to my home country - And then go back to the US on a J1 to study

What worries me is the short time span I will be back in my home country.

Because of the duration of my vacation tour I will only be able to return to my home country for 4 days or so between the stays.

1. Does this make it likely that I won't be allowed to reenter the US for my studies? (since it seems to require "meaningful departure")

2. And am I correct if I assume that going all the way back to my home country (which is very expensive) - will give me a better chance of being able to reenter - than if I just went to Brazil or so for those 4 days?

To give you a better idea what I mean:

From 26th of june - 12th of August I will be on vacation in the US

On the 18th of August my US studies starts

This leaves me with only 4-5 days back in Europe

Is this typically enough?

Edited by nbbb

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Why don't you enter on a J1 and just stay after you're done with your vacation so you can start your studies? The best thing you can do is call the POE of the airport you're going to enter or the U.S. Embassy of your country. They will tell you what your best shot is.

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Thanks for your advice.

This wasn't a possibility since my vacation started more than 30 days before my studies - which meant I wouldn't be allowed to enter with my J1 this early.

I've talked to the US embassy now and decided to cut off the last half of my vacation. This means I will be back in Europe for about a month between the stays. Hopefully this is enough for me to be able to reenter on my J1.

Edited by nbbb

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US embassy doesn't let you get into the US physically, CBP does. You are making it difficult for yourself.


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You should try to contact US Customs and Border Control and ask them since they are the once who will decide if you can enter or not. I do not know how fast they answer but if you scroll down a little on their page there is a Got questions? section. http://www.cbp.gov/

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