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Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28811
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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Hello, I am currently on a J1 working visa that ends on

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I am currently on a J1 working visa that ends on june 30th 2013, I understand I have a 30 day grace period afterwards.

I was planning to go to mexico, or costa rica the first week of july with my boyfriend (He is am american citizen). When I return I was planning to stay until august when he and I will both move back to Australia. I have savings to last me until then.

I was told when leaving to go to Mexico I should hand over my I-94 card and simply return on an ESTA travel visa.

Will I have any problems returning to the country? Would it be a good idea for me to book my ticket home to Australia before travelling to mexico as proof that I plan to return to my home country?

Thank you for all your help!
Hello,my name is Judith. Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions.
Are you traveling by land or air to Mexico?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

By Air! My options are cancun, costa rica, dominican rebulpic or even the bahamas! I could change my travel plans based on which country will allow for me to re-enter the US easier!

This is a tough one.
Where ever you go and anywhere but Mexico is a better bet, you absolutely need a ticket back home when you enter.
It is a requirement when entering on ESTA - a return ticket if you enter by air.
Also, I wouldn't offer that you are travelling with your American bf or even that you have one. If you offer that information it will immediately be presumed that you will not leave the US and return home. That is a huge red flag.
There is a risk to be allowed in. You have the burden of proving your intent to return home. Once you leave, your grace period is ended. So you have to prove your intent to depart under ESTA entry. I would be prepared with the return ticket and copies of any emails you have exchanged with your family about your return home to live. If you have applied for any jobs back home have copies of those email confirmations of applications. You need to be prepared to convince the inspector you will be leaving the US.
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