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Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia

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  • 1 Post By Tony LEE

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Old 17 Feb 2018
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Experience of applying for a B-2 visa with Brit passport

I am returning to the US and Canada this summer for a trip which I hope will last several months and include Alaska, I have an ESTA but this will only allow for 90 days travel and requires that I leave North America before it can be restarted. I am considering applying for a B-2 tourist visa and believe I have the right credentials, a house, elderly family and enough money but would like to hear of other people's experience before I apply. I understand if denied my ESTA may be cancelled and I will not be allowed in at all.
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Old 17 Feb 2018
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B1 B2 is a pain to get, especially if you live a long way from the designated USA consulate or embassy.

Very comprehensive online application with photo uploads and appointments to be made and several amazingly stupid assurances to be given. Good to have a frien to give as a US contact. Then front for the interview - everything highly regimented and smiling is not permitted until you leave the building and out of camera view. No briefcases or backpacks allowed. Turning up in a tuxedo is probably a bit over the top, but flipflops shorts and a navy singlet is definitely a bad start.

DUI convictions or any other arrests even as a child will need to be explainable and of course a clear explanation without embellishment of why you want to spend your money to visit the USA will be required. Recent visits to any bad countries will also require lots of explanation.

ONce you have the visa you can visit without needing onwards tickets, but the man at the counter has power to reduce the 6 months to 6 seconds if he wants to so you still have to have your reasons for visiting at the ready. Touring around on your bike or in your motorhome is OK. Need an address for the first night in the US and I just give the address of the storage yard.

Even with this visa, any time spent in Canada MAY be included in the 6 months. Supposedly spending a couple of months in Canada MAY reset the clock but you can get an answer by email from Border Security web site if you ask the right questions. 3 weeks will not reset the clock, but 6 weeks might.
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Old 2 Mar 2018
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The web sites refer to "short" visits to contiguous countries not resetting the clock, but "short" is not defined. Seems that if they mention 'short' then there must be a 'long' visit with different outcomes - and seems logical that if one spent the allowable 6 months in Canada after a month of two in the USA then a subsequent entry into the US would be a new entry. I have seen posts elsewhere where people were given a minimum of 30 days in Canada as being enough to trigger a new visit into the US

Anyway, I've asked the question so will post their reply here.

Can I go to other countries while I'm in the U.S. on a B1 or B2 Visa?

B-1 or B-2 Visas: During your visit to the U.S., you may visit Canada or Mexico for up to 30 days and re-enter the U.S. as long as you re-enter within the period noted on the Form I-94 which you received when you first entered.
Given that I have twice spent 3 months in Mexico as part of a 5 month US visit on B1 B2 with no problems on reentering the US or flying out, the 30 days mentioned is not necessarily a limit for time spent outside of the US, but perhaps a limit as to when the time is included on the original 6 month clock. So I'll stick to "May" until I hear from CBP otherwise
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