Can I take the NY Bar with a tourist visa ?


CMC
Hi,
Every year it is the same, the LLM finishes early and you got 60 days of gracious period where you can stay.
But finishing the 17 th of may + 60 days = 17 of July.

But the Bar exam is the 27 th and 28th of July.

In the meanwhile, I got no visa.

I could apply for OPT but it cost 340 $ !

I could aslo leave the country right after my graduation and come back as a tourist. But if I do that , is it ok to take the NYbar as a tourist ?

Since I come from a country that is party to the the visa waiver exemption programm ( = no need to have a visa to be a tourist in the US for 3 months), I d rather go for the week end in Canada and come back in the US as a 3 months tourist to do Barbri prep and sit for the New York bar than pay the 340 $ of the Optional Practical Training extension for only 10 days... !

Is there a risk ?
Has anyone ever done that ?
Can I take the NYbar as a tourist ?

Thanks for your help guys !
Hi,
Every year it is the same, the LLM finishes early and you got 60 days of gracious period where you can stay.
But finishing the 17 th of may + 60 days = 17 of July.

But the Bar exam is the 27 th and 28th of July.

In the meanwhile, I got no visa.

I could apply for OPT but it cost 340 $ !

I could aslo leave the country right after my graduation and come back as a tourist. But if I do that , is it ok to take the NYbar as a tourist ?

Since I come from a country that is party to the the visa waiver exemption programm ( = no need to have a visa to be a tourist in the US for 3 months), I d rather go for the week end in Canada and come back in the US as a 3 months tourist to do Barbri prep and sit for the New York bar than pay the 340 $ of the Optional Practical Training extension for only 10 days... !

Is there a risk ?
Has anyone ever done that ?
Can I take the NYbar as a tourist ?

Thanks for your help guys !



quote
In theory, you should be able to do the bar with a tourist visa. Certainly no one at the exam site will be asking you your immigration status. But... Immigration might give you trouble if you try to reenter the country as a tourist a few days after your visa expires. I'm not saying they won't let you back in, just that there's a chance they'll not let you back in so soon. If you could draw out your time away until you come back for the bar, then you probably would be less likely to have problems.
In theory, you should be able to do the bar with a tourist visa. Certainly no one at the exam site will be asking you your immigration status. But... Immigration might give you trouble if you try to reenter the country as a tourist a few days after your visa expires. I'm not saying they won't let you back in, just that there's a chance they'll not let you back in so soon. If you could draw out your time away until you come back for the bar, then you probably would be less likely to have problems.
quote
CMC
Thanks for your answer Charles.

Yes, I am aware of that, but I don't know how frequently immigration refuses tourist visas...

If I don't want to pay , my choice is either to go to Canada in the beggining of May and reenter the US after a week end out ( it will take place during my period of grace)

Or to stay in the US with no regular status between the 17 th of July to the 27 th...

I m not sure which one is the less risky!
Thanks for your answer Charles.

Yes, I am aware of that, but I don't know how frequently immigration refuses tourist visas...

If I don't want to pay , my choice is either to go to Canada in the beggining of May and reenter the US after a week end out ( it will take place during my period of grace)

Or to stay in the US with no regular status between the 17 th of July to the 27 th...

I m not sure which one is the less risky!

quote
Would definitely not recommend staying past your visa. If they realize you've done this (most likely when you eventually leave a couple of months later), they can bar you from reentering for like 10 years.

Honestly, it all depends on which immigration officer you get the day you are coming into the US. If you are lucky, you won't have any trouble at all. If you are unlucky, they might give you some difficulty.
Would definitely not recommend staying past your visa. If they realize you've done this (most likely when you eventually leave a couple of months later), they can bar you from reentering for like 10 years.

Honestly, it all depends on which immigration officer you get the day you are coming into the US. If you are lucky, you won't have any trouble at all. If you are unlucky, they might give you some difficulty.
quote
There would be more than a little irony, I submit, in taking the bar exam while in the country illegally.
There would be more than a little irony, I submit, in taking the bar exam while in the country illegally.
quote
petersta
Can I take the NY Bar with a tourist visa ?
Can I take the NY Bar with a tourist visa ?
quote
CMC
I have been on the website of the NY board of examiners and nothing seems to be against it.
But I will check with the international office of immigration and I ll keep you guys posted.
Unless someone has a clear answer to that already...
I have been on the website of the NY board of examiners and nothing seems to be against it.
But I will check with the international office of immigration and I ll keep you guys posted.
Unless someone has a clear answer to that already...
quote
Maybe I'm clueless, but what's the advantage of taking the NY bar exam on a tourist visa? If you're not authorized to work in the USA, presumably you can't ever put the NY licensure to use if you pass the exam.
Maybe I'm clueless, but what's the advantage of taking the NY bar exam on a tourist visa? If you're not authorized to work in the USA, presumably you can't ever put the NY licensure to use if you pass the exam.
quote
CMC
Don't want to work in the US but need the NY bar to work in relation with the US from Europe.
And I need a 10 days extension between the expiration of my visa (+60 days of grace) and my flight back home.
It hurts a little to pay 340 $ for 10 days.
Don't want to work in the US but need the NY bar to work in relation with the US from Europe.
And I need a 10 days extension between the expiration of my visa (+60 days of grace) and my flight back home.
It hurts a little to pay 340 $ for 10 days.
quote
CMC, where do you work?
CMC, where do you work?
quote
CMC
France.
France.
quote
That makes sense. Best wishes. And congratulations are in order to anyone who can master the laws of a civil law country and then a common law country.

Makes me wonder: is there res ipsa loquitur in France?!?!?
That makes sense. Best wishes. And congratulations are in order to anyone who can master the laws of a civil law country and then a common law country.

Makes me wonder: is there res ipsa loquitur in France?!?!?
quote
CMC
Cheers !
Cheers !

quote
Does anyone have experience here of doing Barbri bar prep on an ESTA?

I understand the requirement is that you can't come on an ESTA if the study is more than 18 hours per week, or if its "for credit".

I don't think Bar prep counts for either of those.

Does anyone have any experience with this? I don't want any issues at Customs.

Thanks
Does anyone have experience here of doing Barbri bar prep on an ESTA?

I understand the requirement is that you can't come on an ESTA if the study is more than 18 hours per week, or if its "for credit".

I don't think Bar prep counts for either of those.

Does anyone have any experience with this? I don't want any issues at Customs.

Thanks
quote
imnc
Can I take the NY Bar with a tourist visa ?


Absolutely.

It is well within the B1/B2 visa or WT/WB (Visa waiver) purposes. I know some people who will be doing this in the coming summer.

It saves a lot of money (about $5000) and since its possible attend classes through webinars, should be fine.

Something to note is that if you come back on a tourist visa, you give up the OPT option and that means its a hit or miss if you get a job offer since you will not be allowed to start work on the tourist visa (OPT possible).

So this makes sense only for those who want to give the bar exam but do not have an immediate job offer.
<blockquote> Can I take the NY Bar with a tourist visa ?
</blockquote>

Absolutely.

It is well within the B1/B2 visa or WT/WB (Visa waiver) purposes. I know some people who will be doing this in the coming summer.

It saves a lot of money (about $5000) and since its possible attend classes through webinars, should be fine.

Something to note is that if you come back on a tourist visa, you give up the OPT option and that means its a hit or miss if you get a job offer since you will not be allowed to start work on the tourist visa (OPT possible).

So this makes sense only for those who want to give the bar exam but do not have an immediate job offer.
quote
Awesome thank you.

My firm has offered to pay for my Barbri course in NYC too. So I'm looking to go for 86 days to study at NYU before I sit the bar.

Is that permitted? I'm not just taking the exam.

Thanks
Awesome thank you.

My firm has offered to pay for my Barbri course in NYC too. So I'm looking to go for 86 days to study at NYU before I sit the bar.

Is that permitted? I'm not just taking the exam.

Thanks
quote
imnc
Awesome thank you.

My firm has offered to pay for my Barbri course in NYC too. So I'm looking to go for 86 days to study at NYU before I sit the bar.

Is that permitted? I'm not just taking the exam.

Thanks

Non-credit courses are allowed. See https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visitor.html

But going for 86 days might raise a few eyebrows, especially if you've already spent a year for the LLM. And even if it doesnt, you might have to explain the next time you enter the US (since they seem to be suspicious when people enter and leave after a long periods). Anyway it's a genuine purpose so you should not have a problem.
<blockquote>Awesome thank you.

My firm has offered to pay for my Barbri course in NYC too. So I'm looking to go for 86 days to study at NYU before I sit the bar.

Is that permitted? I'm not just taking the exam.

Thanks </blockquote>
Non-credit courses are allowed. See https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visitor.html

But going for 86 days might raise a few eyebrows, especially if you've already spent a year for the LLM. And even if it doesnt, you might have to explain the next time you enter the US (since they seem to be suspicious when people enter and leave after a long periods). Anyway it's a genuine purpose so you should not have a problem.
quote
Thanks

Just checking - is a Barbri Prep course considered as "not for credit"?

Is this "credit towards a degree" or the looser definition of credit which is "leading towards a recognised certificate or diploma" of which admission to the Bar could be considered?

I am just nervous that my 2 month Barbri Prep course, followed by sitting the bar exam, might get me turned around on an ESTA.

I've been to the USA on holiday quite a few times (only ever for 2 weeks max) and never had any trouble. But I'm spending money on renting an apartment etc. which I won't get refunded if they turn me around.

I wish you could get pre-clearance from the Embassy but you can't. And I understand that if I apply for a B-2 before my visit, it might be rejected on the grounds that my stay is less than 90 days and I should have applied for an ESTA (with a visa rejection automatically making me ineligible for an ESTA!!)

Any help or pointers on what to bring / say at the border would help. Or anyone elses' experiences? Like I said - I'm not just coming for an exam and flying back home: I'm spending a full 86 days in the US.

Thanks
Thanks

Just checking - is a Barbri Prep course considered as "not for credit"?

Is this "credit towards a degree" or the looser definition of credit which is "leading towards a recognised certificate or diploma" of which admission to the Bar could be considered?

I am just nervous that my 2 month Barbri Prep course, followed by sitting the bar exam, might get me turned around on an ESTA.

I've been to the USA on holiday quite a few times (only ever for 2 weeks max) and never had any trouble. But I'm spending money on renting an apartment etc. which I won't get refunded if they turn me around.

I wish you could get pre-clearance from the Embassy but you can't. And I understand that if I apply for a B-2 before my visit, it might be rejected on the grounds that my stay is less than 90 days and I should have applied for an ESTA (with a visa rejection automatically making me ineligible for an ESTA!!)

Any help or pointers on what to bring / say at the border would help. Or anyone elses' experiences? Like I said - I'm not just coming for an exam and flying back home: I'm spending a full 86 days in the US.

Thanks
quote
hoo89
I would definitely ask someone specialised on this one ONLY because what you say as it being a preparation towards the Bar makes the certificate thing a bit tricky.

However, when I was preparing for the SAT, for example, I came to the US on a tourist visa and stayed from late September to early November while attending Princeton Review in-person classes. But this is just my personal experience and it was undergrad.

I would talk to someone about your ESTA/Visa dilemma. I always got my visas with a non-ESTA passport so I can't tell you if they would REJECT a B2 application only because you could've done the other way around. Keep in mind that ESTA doesn't guarantee your admissibility in the USA so you may want to contact the embassy directly and see what the possible scenarios are and which options you actually have.

I don't know if this was you or someone else but in regards to the post about going to Canada and the grace period, I'm not sure what the rule is but you want to make sure that your F1 AND I-20 are still valid under the grace period once you leave the country after it's expired/expired while you were away.
I would definitely ask someone specialised on this one ONLY because what you say as it being a preparation towards the Bar makes the certificate thing a bit tricky.

However, when I was preparing for the SAT, for example, I came to the US on a tourist visa and stayed from late September to early November while attending Princeton Review in-person classes. But this is just my personal experience and it was undergrad.

I would talk to someone about your ESTA/Visa dilemma. I always got my visas with a non-ESTA passport so I can't tell you if they would REJECT a B2 application only because you could've done the other way around. Keep in mind that ESTA doesn't guarantee your admissibility in the USA so you may want to contact the embassy directly and see what the possible scenarios are and which options you actually have.

I don't know if this was you or someone else but in regards to the post about going to Canada and the grace period, I'm not sure what the rule is but you want to make sure that your F1 AND I-20 are still valid under the grace period once you leave the country after it's expired/expired while you were away.
quote
I've asked a few specialists (informally, nothing paid) and they all seem to think that I am overanalysing it and that I should be fine.

I would love to be able to contact the Embassy but they literally do not have a call centre or any kind of telephone or email service. The only way to talk to anyone is to book a face-to-face visa application appointment. They give no advice other than what is written on the website - which is unclear on this point.

The US Embassy in London has said that the Bar Exam is a permitted reason to enter on an ESTA. But they have not confirmed whether BAR PREP which leads to sitting the bar exam is permitted. Only that "study, for credit" is NOT permitted. There is no definition of "for credit" anywhere.

Very frustrating! But from all the advice I've received, there really is no way to "pre-clear" the issue in advance of travelling. You simply have to get on a flight, go to the border, and see if they let you in.

Scary stuff - seeing as I've put down £6k on a rental in Manhattan!
I've asked a few specialists (informally, nothing paid) and they all seem to think that I am overanalysing it and that I should be fine.

I would love to be able to contact the Embassy but they literally do not have a call centre or any kind of telephone or email service. The only way to talk to anyone is to book a face-to-face visa application appointment. They give no advice other than what is written on the website - which is unclear on this point.

The US Embassy in London has said that the Bar Exam is a permitted reason to enter on an ESTA. But they have not confirmed whether BAR PREP which leads to sitting the bar exam is permitted. Only that "study, for credit" is NOT permitted. There is no definition of "for credit" anywhere.

Very frustrating! But from all the advice I've received, there really is no way to "pre-clear" the issue in advance of travelling. You simply have to get on a flight, go to the border, and see if they let you in.

Scary stuff - seeing as I've put down £6k on a rental in Manhattan!
quote

Reply to Post