My situation is as follows:
- I will enter the United States on ESTA / VWP. With a New Zealand passport.
- Three weeks later, I will fly to Canada.
- I may have been in Canada for 4 months or more (we give it up to 6 by default)
After that, three scenarios are possible:
- I will go elsewhere (South America), but I have to go through the United States to do it.
- I will travel from Canada to my home country (New Zealand).
- I will spend a little more time (maybe a few weeks) in the United States and fly to New Zealand.
Over the years, I have seen mixed reports about whether or not Canada's time is within 90 days of the VWP program in the United States. Therefore, if the total time spent in the United States and Canada is greater than 90 days, it could be difficult to enter the United States without first leaving North America entirely;
Or, they will simply start a new 90-day VWP when they return to Canada from the United States;
Or, will the United States consider 90 days or more in the United States + Canada and prolong their long-term stay (ie, a violation) of the VWP?
The cause of my confusion
I saw it written on a US Customs website at that time (that was around 2011) going through the United States to go to Canada would mean that you can not stay longer than 90 days in Canada ( assuming only one day spent in the US), and then I asked the US Consul in New Zealand to confirm that I understood correctly, and she answered that yes. She told me bluntly that if I plan to go through the United States to go to Canada, I can not stay more than 90 days in both countries. Otherwise, I stayed my VWP in the United States and I need a visa if I want to return to the United States in the next 5 years. She told me that I should get a visa if I wanted to go through the United States to spend more than 90 days in Canada.
I also see this comment on travelwiki.org:
Requirements of the Visa Waiver Program
Travel under the Visa Waiver Program is limited to transit travel, tourism or business. neither education, nor employment, nor journalism is allowed under the VWP. The 90-day limit can not be extended and no trip to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean will reset the 90-day limit. Be careful if you are traveling through the United States for a trip of more than 90 days in Canada and / or Mexico..
In addition, this answer to a similar question seems to imply the same thing, that it will be a problem.
Yet this answer to a similar question says the opposite. That there will be no problem.
I totally agree that a short stay in Canada (or Mexico) will not reset the 90 days. But Does staying over 90 days because of my extended stay in Canada make me an over-diaper in the US PVV?
And, what would happen if, for example, I was in Canada for 4 months and then wanted to spend some time in the United States before returning to New Zealand? Will they give me another 90 days of VWP?