Author Topic: USA immigration  (Read 2139 times)

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Offline Moscowjohn

USA immigration
« on: December 31, 2017, 11:47:31 am »
Hello from Wales in the U.K...
I have now decided to bicycle across the USA...... Boston to Los Angeles..... starting Beginning of August....

I've just gone to book my outbound aeroplane ticket from The U.K. To Boston to be told US immigration will need to see an onward ticket before allowing me in....

Because I don't know how long the journey will take me (no more than three months), I wasn't planning to book my return ticket until I was near LA....

Does anyone know if there's a loophole for overland travellers or is this just a sign of the times and I should buy a return ticket for 3 months later?.....

Thanks , John.


Offline John Nettles

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Re: USA immigration
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2017, 12:19:39 pm »
As an American, I am not overly familiar with the immigrant rules.  However, here are a couple of thoughts. 

If you can afford it, buy a fully refundable one-way ticket (LAX>LHR for instance) so once you are in the USA, you can cancel your ticket and get a full refund.  Then just buy the real return ticket like you had planned. I guess you could also book to Mexico which would be MUCH cheaper (LAX>MEX is ~US$600 for a fully refundable ticket on Alaska Airlines for 10/30/18) but then it would not be on a UK carrier so a little bit of a hassle there.  I would assume you could pick another date if that is cheaper.

If that does not work, post this question over at crazyguyonabike.com as they have a much more international audience who can probably answer the question.

A final thought is consider purchasing a cheap ticket that can be wasted, i.e. it currently costs about US$82 to book a flight from LAX to Vancouver, BC on 10/31/18.  You could show this as your onward ticket and then just waste it or maybe not as they do have cheap flights to the UK out of Vancouver.

Have a great trip!  John

Offline Galloper

Re: USA immigration
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 02:00:52 pm »
You should be able to buy a flexible return ticket.   I did this a few years ago with my outbound flight to LA and the return from Miami, the return date being flexible to stay within the 90 days visa.   Mine was with BA but I presume other airlines offer a similar facility.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: USA immigration
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 10:02:47 pm »
Try to get a waiver. Tell them what you are doing and about the uncertain timing of your journey. Contact Immigration / INS and see about getting a waiver. Rules are not set in stone. I believe you can apply for an extension of time once you are in the US. Then, if they extend, change the departure date on your trip back to the UK, if that is where you will go. It might cost to change departure dates. Check with the airline. I have heard that if you can prove financial security, exceptions can be made.

I remember, in China where I worked a long time, poor people encountered extreme difficulty getting any visas to the USA. People who were well off got visas easily. The reasoning is that rich people are much less likely to become economic refugees. Not that you have to be rich.