What If You Are Stuck in the USA After 90 Day Travel Period

Travelling to the USA means dealing with a lot of bureaucracy and restrictions.

And there is no way around it if you want to stay out of trouble and continue visiting US in the future.

Of course, all of this applies to everyone who visits the States and there are no exceptions, no matter if you are traveling with a Visa or with an ESTA.

This is why we strongly encourage everyone to make sure they know what restrictions and laws they become subject to when traveling in order to be sure they are not crossing any lines.

There is no doubt that visitors from the VWP countries can enjoy some privileges in comparison to those who need to acquire a Visa. But this does not mean that ESTA gives travelers absolute freedom.

What is more, there is always a chance that something unplanned happens and affects your travel experience, safety and the time you spend abroad!

What to do in this kind of situations, where to look for help and most importantly, what are your limits on staying in the USA?

Also, what can happen to you if you overstay?

Let’s start with the rules so you know where to draw the line!

Rules of ESTA

ESTA has been creating as a part of the VWP to ensure more travel freedom to citizens of specific countries.

However, the USA is still willing to protect its borders and keep the citizens of US safe. Therefore specific rules apply to those who are traveling with this form of travel authorization.

This means you should read more about ESTA’s in general in order to know if you can use this authorization when traveling to the USA.

What matters here most is time.

And there are two time periods you have to keep in mind!

First is the validity of your ESTA.

Keep in mind that from the moment your ESTA application is approved, your authorization for travel is valid for two years or until your passport expiration date if that comes first. Keep in mind that you will have to apply for a new ESTA even if you renew your passport during the two-year period.

Then there is a set time of staying in the USA

An ESTA allows you to visit the USA for no longer than 90 days! Which means, that if you intend to travel to USA and stay, for any reason, for more than 90 days, you have to have a Visa.

If you change your plans during your trip and plan on staying for more than 90 days, you cannot obtain the needed Visa while in the USA. You will have to return home and only then can you apply for the Visa and travel back to the USA.

Keep in mind, that for two years while your ESTA is valid, you can travel to the USA for as many times as you want. But this does not mean that you will be granted entry in the USA by the border control if they have any concerns that you are misusing your ESTA.

Travelling to the USA?


If you have plans of visiting the US in the near future, the time to get your application is now!

Apply USA ESTA Today

If you plan to travel to USA and your ESTA is no longer valid, you will simply not be granted entry into the USA.

But what happens if you are already traveling and overstay the 90 day travel period?

What Happens If You Overstay The 90 Days

There is no doubt that this could happen to anyone!

Some simply choose to ignore the rules of traveling to the USA with an ESTA while others might accidentally miss the deadline for a reason that they have no control over.

For the most part, this will affect your future of traveling to the USA!

Of course, if you use an ESTA to get into the USA and plan on staying there without legal documents, you are an illegal immigrant in the view of US authorities which means you become the subject of laws regulating illegal immigration into the US.

If you have overstayed the 90 day period because of an accident or any other unplanned situation, authorities should have no reason to let you into the airport for you to fly back home.

However, there might be situations where you need to explain yourself to the authorities and if there are any concerns for you being a threat to security, you could be detained until further details are being obtained.

If anything like this happens, keep in mind you have to cooperate with the authorities to avoid any major problems. And of course, look for help!

Where To Look For Help If Needed

If you are traveling abroad and the local authorities have detained you, for example, because of overstaying the 90 day travel period, you should contact the embassy of your home country.

They are responsible for helping you in any way possible and they will do everything in their power for the local authorities to release you so that you could safely travel back home.

How To Do This Legally

Since ESTA’s have been used as a form of travel authorization, there have been many cases where people have tried to use them in order to permanently stay in the USA.

Because you can travel to the USA for a number of times during the time of your ESTA being valid, it is possible to travel back to your home country and return to the USA for as many times as you want. And only renew your ESTA when necessary! Technically this is allowed and there should be no problems with doing that.

However, it doesn’t really work that way!

Even if your ESTA has been approved you still have to face the USA border control and they make the final decision on letting you into the country. If they see that you have been using your ESTA to permanently stay in the USA, they could decide not to grant you entry into the USA.

This is because ESTA has been designed to provide for more travel freedom when you need to visit the USA for a short period of time. For any other reasons, you have to have a Visa.

Travelling to the USA?


If you have plans of visiting the US in the near future, the time to get your application is now!

Apply USA ESTA Today

And if the authorities see that you are misusing your ESTA, you will simply have to return home!

Could this restrict entry in the future

Remember that overstaying the 90-day travel period or misusing your ESTA can result in going thru a series of troubles. However, for the most part, this will lead to you not being approved for ESTA in the future!

Which means you will then have to use a Visa, which will also be a lot harder to obtain!

Therefore we encourage everyone to plan out their trips carefully and not to use ESTA’s any other way but what they are intended for.