Round Lake, IL asked in Immigration Law for Illinois

Q: Can I enter US on ESTA 30 days before my student visa? And if so would there be any complications leaving and re-enterin

Hi, I start University in Chicago In January. I'm currently a Sweden resident and have a ESTA visa waiver. I want to travel to the US 30 days before my student visa date. AND I want to visit the US for about 3 months before my student visa. So if I were to do this I've heard I would have to leave the country and re-enter the US using my student F-1 visa. But could I be able to leave the US and re-enter right away like within the very next day? Or would I not be allowed back in so quickly? Do I have to stay in Sweden for about a week or two before re-entering the US on my student visa? Because my plan was this: Go to US in October to visit and just before the 90 days on my ESTA expire. I go back to Sweden and re-enter the US the same day on my student F-1 visa. I just don't want them to not let me back into the US because I'm going in and out of Sweden and I would HAVE to be there for my studies before January or on the very first week of January.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Carlo Franco L. Borja
Carlo Franco L. Borja
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Diamond Bar, CA

A: One can enter the US on an F1 visa no earlier than 30 days prior to the program start date

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: You can enter the US on the ESTA Visa Waiver Program before the start date of your F-1 student visa. However, if you plan to exit and re-enter the US on your F-1 visa, border officers will assess your intent upon re-entry; rapidly re-entering could raise suspicions about your intentions. While there's no set period you must remain outside the US before re-entering, it's advisable to allow sufficient time between exits and re-entries to avoid potential complications at the border.

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