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Transiting USA through Mexico after having stayed in country

8 posts
Transiting USA through Mexico after having stayed in country

Hi everyone,

I hope anyone can help me on this one. I stayed in USA for 2 months on an ESTA. After that I flied to Mexico. It's been 2 months in Mexico now and I amb planning to stay for an other 2 months (so 4 in total)

I booked my flight back to Barcelona from Mexico transiting through LA (3 hour layover). My question is: do I have to renew my ESTA? if so, can I renew it being in Mexico?

Unfortunately my flight is already booked and I just red that visiting Mexico or Canada doesn't "put on hold" my ESTA time permition in USA..

I appreciate any help! Thanks in advance.

Felix

35 replies to this topic
Hoboken, New Jersey
Level Contributor
2,106 posts
8 reviews
1. Re: Transiting USA through Mexico after having stayed in country

Your ESTA is not the problem - it's good for two years. ESTA is a travel authorization not entry permission. Your problem is that the time in Mexico doesn't reset the 90 days admittance to the US under the Visa Waiver Program. You may have a hard time at LAX getting readmitted to make your connecting flight even if you can prove you intend to leave right away. Not sure anyone here can say 100% what will happen when you arrive at LAX Immigration.

Edinburgh
Level Contributor
12,312 posts
17 reviews
2. Re: Transiting USA through Mexico after having stayed in country

Going to Mexico doesn't count as having left so from the ESTA point of view, I think they will consider you as having overstayed. No idea how you'd resolve this though. You'd still be returning to the US as they don't have airside as we do in Europe.

You may have to take another flight somewhere else to reset the clock on your ESTA

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
35,022 posts
1 review
3. Re: Transiting USA through Mexico after having stayed in country

ESTA is a permission to travel, it lasts 2 years.

You are on the Visa Waiver Program which allows a maximum of 90 days in the USA AND SURROUNDING COUNTRIES from the date you entered the USA. You are over that 90 days and so could be denied boarding to your flight or detained when you arrive in the USA.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
26,984 posts
4. Re: Transiting USA through Mexico after having stayed in country

You will need to change your flight. You cannot transit the US to get home. There is no way around that requirement: you cannot change your visa status during an ESTA stay. I’m sorry.

8 posts
5. Re: Transiting USA through Mexico after having stayed in country

Thank you for the answers. Do you think I can renew my ESTA if I go to Guatemala?

Thanks again.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
26,984 posts
6. Re: Transiting USA through Mexico after having stayed in country

Your alternative is to leave Mexico for another country further south to end the ESTA time and reset it.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for New York City
Level Contributor
26,984 posts
7. Re: Transiting USA through Mexico after having stayed in country

We cross posted. You do not need to renew your ESTA, you just need to reset it. The ESTA is good for two years. Yes, going to Guatemala will work.

8 posts
8. Re: Transiting USA through Mexico after having stayed in country

Thanks a lot for your help

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
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59,773 posts
149 reviews
9. Re: Transiting USA through Mexico after having stayed in country

so you want to stay in Mexico for a few months and then go to Guatemala and then take a flight to LA to get back home. Why?

Why not just go back home without doing this. If your plan is to just head to Guatemala for a day and then get back to Mexico and then head to LA -- I don't know if that will cut it

You may want to ask the CBP if just going to Guatemala for a few days and then heading back to Mexico and then flying to the US will reset the 90 day issue. It looks like a way to beat the system so please check

Edited: 24 February 2018, 18:03
8 posts
10. Re: Transiting USA through Mexico after having stayed in country

Hi belomiser.

Thanks for your answer. So I stayed in USA 2 months and in Mexico 2 months. With means my ESTA needs to be reset since my 90 days are over.

Since I have already booked my flight to Barcelona through LA I have no other option than going to Guatemala so I can reset my ESTA and transit usa when leaving Mexico, which will be in 6 weeks. Does that make sense?

Felix

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