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Ask Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. Your Own...
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 109007
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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How many times can I use ESTA per year and how many days can

Customer Question

How many times can I use ESTA per year and how many days can I live in US per year under ESTA?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 5 years ago.

There is no set limit. You are given 90 days per trip and you can take as many trips as you like. However, the longer you stay in, the more trips you make, the harder it will be to get in the next time. So you may be able to get away with a 90 day trip, leaving the U.S. for a short time, then coming back for 90 more days, and you may even be able to get away with it a 3rd time, but the more often you do it, the harder it will be the next time. It all comes down to convincing the officer at the port of entry that you are not living in the U.S., just visiting and you will leave on time. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. I would be happy to answer them for you without additional charge, if not, please do not forget to click ACCEPT. I am not paid a salary. Clicking accept is the only way that I can get paid for helping you. When you click accept, you are not charged again and we can continue to communicate without additional charge if you have a few follow-up questions. If there is a delay in getting back to you it is either because I am answering other questions or I had to log off, but I will be back with you as soon as possible. If you would like to request me in the future, just put my name on the subject line. Positive feedback for my service to you (not the state of the law as it is) is always appreciated as well as any bonus if you think I deserve it. Thank you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I understand what you say. What are my options then, if I don't want to worry each time I travel?

The US Embassy will not grant a B-2 visa, since I am entitled to use ESTA and I don't want to stay longer than 90 days each time.

Can someone apply for a Green Card although he is not interested in working in US, but is just interested in living there around six months a year, coming and going? As I wrote earlier proof for the financial strength to support himself without working in US can be provided. I know that there are Spouse or Fiancé visas, but I am not interested in them.

If I am willing to buy a house in US and use it as a second home, will it be any helpful for my request?
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 5 years ago.

There is never a guarantee. So you can understand, even the U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident spouse of a U.S. Citizen does not have a guarantee to enter the U.S.


The U.S. Embassy can grant a B-2 even though you are eligible for the ESTA. The B-2 would allow you to stay longer and can be extended, but you still have the same problem. The longer you stay, the more trips you take to the U.S., the harder it will be the next time you try to enter. The best rule is to try to stay out longer than you stay in.


Unfortunately, buying property does not allow you any special priviledge to enter the U.S. There are 5 ways to come to the U.S. to live permanently. They are through family, through employment, through asylum, through investment, or through the lottery.


For family, it must be immediate family such as U.S. Citizen spouse or U.S. Citizen children over 21 in order to be able to come immediately. U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident parents or U.S. Citizen siblings, or Lawful Permanent Resident spouses can also help you, but the wait for that is about 4 to 12 years or so.


Through employment, you would have to generally prove that you would not be taking away a job from a U.S. worker and the less experience and education you have, the harder that is to do.


Through asylum, you must prove that you will be persecuted, tortured or killed if you stay in your country and that this will happen to you because of your nationality, race, religion, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, not because you would run the same risk as anyone else in your country to fall victim to a crime or bad economic conditions.


Through investment, you are looking at generally $1,000,000.00 for a residency, or $500,000.00 in an area designated as a high-employment area, plus in both cases the investment has to create 10 or more jobs for U.S. workers.


And through the lottery, it would be very difficult to win one of the 50,000 visas available per year and some countries do not qualify.


There are some visas available where you can stay temporarily and then later change to Lawful Permanent Residency if you qualify.

Some of the visas available through employment (if you have a job offer and you qualify) are:

H-1B for professional workers
H-2A for seasonal agricultural workers
H-2B for seasonal nonagricultural workers
H-3 for industrial trainees

Then there are the F-1 and M-1 for students and J-1 for exchange visitors.

And then there is the E-1 for treaty traders and E-2 for treaty investors (these types of visas are not available in all countries).

Here is a link to most of the available non-immigrant visas:


Please let me know if you have any additional questions and please do not forget to click accept. Thank you.

Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. and other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Does it help to carry with me a return ticket, a hotel confirmation and 10.000 USD cash?

What else should I have with me upon arrival? My personal Property Declaration, my own Company Tax Declaration, my Bank Account Statement? Could they be of any use? Could the customs officers deny an ESTA traveller to enter US with no reason? Does age play a role? I am over 40.

Does being totally honest with the officers help or not?

I have strong ties back to my country, this is why I wrote that I am not interested in working in US and I can not stay in total more than six months. I have to go back. Ideally I would stay one month in Greece and one month in US, working remotely for my own company.

Please give me a more straight reply on whether it is possible or not to establish this dual life style. I am trying to understand how an officer could deny my entry and what more evidence I should carry with me.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 5 years ago.

Carrying that much cash is supicious. So carry the least amount of cash possible. A return ticket helps. Carrying evidence of your ties to your country is good, such as owning a corporation. Being dishonest is not the way to go because it could end up in a permanent bar that you will never be able to come back to the U.S. In the end, you have to be able to answer the following questions and have documentation to prove it:


1) How much time do you need? (if you use the B-2, not the ESTA because they can only give you 90 days with the ESTA anyway)

2) Why do you need so much time?

3) How will you would be supporting yourself since you are not allowed to work?

4) What STRONG ties do you have to your home country to ensure that you will go back?

5) What preparations have you made to go back?


These things would give you the best chance of getting in each time.

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