If you are traveling to the United States on a non-immigrant visa, you might have questions about how long you will be allowed to stay in the U.S. on your visa. The length of time you can remain in the U.S. may depend on the type of visa you have and the other conditions of your entry into the U.S.
Length of Stay in the U.S. Under Non-Immigrant Visas
When you apply for and obtain a non-immigrant visa, the validity period of your visa refers to the time you have to travel to the U.S. and apply for admission, not the time you may stay in the country. Instead, when you travel to the U.S. and apply for admission at a port of entry, the immigration officer at the port of entry will determine how long you may remain in the U.S. and stamp your passport with that length of time.
If you determine that you need to stay in the U.S. longer than the time you were granted by the immigration officer, you will have to apply to Citizenship and Immigration Service for an extension of your authorized stay. USCIS has discretion in determining whether you may be granted an extension of time to stay in the U.S.
Classes of Non-Immigrant Visas
Examples of classes of non-immigrant visas issued by USCIS include:
- B-1 business via
- B-2 tourist visa
- Temporary worker visas (H, L, O, P, Q)
- F and M student visas
- J exchange visitor visas
- R religious worker visas
- C and D transit visas
- I media visas
- A foreign diplomatic visas
- G international organization visas
Entering the U.S. Under the Visa Waiver Program
If you are eligible to enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program, you can stay in the country for up to 90 days from the date you entered the country. This 90-day period cannot be extended. If you are traveling on an itinerary that takes you to another country, such as Canada, Mexico, or a Caribbean nation, and then back into the U.S., the total length of your travel cannot exceed 90 days, otherwise you will have to apply for a visa.
If you overstay the 90 days, you will become ineligible to enter the U.S. under the Visa waiver program and will have to apply for a visa if you wish to enter the U.S. again in the future.
How Long Do You Have to Remain Outside the U.S. Before You Can Return?
Generally speaking, if you are traveling to the U.S. for a visit or for tourism, there is no minimum amount of time you must spend outside the U.S. before you can return for another visit. Instead, it is up to the immigration officers at your port of entry to determine that your trip is only for the purpose of a visit and that you have a permanent residence outside the U.S. that you intend to return to.
Contact an Experienced Scotch Plains Immigration Lawyer About Your Non-Immigrant Visa Case in New Jersey
Understanding your rights and options under U.S. immigration law can be incredibly complex. That is why you need to speak with a qualified immigration attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC have successfully represented clients in New Brunswick, Perth Amboy, Paterson, Passaic, and throughout New Jersey. Call (908) 325-5571 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 1827 E. 2nd St., Scotch Plains, NJ 07076, as well as offices located in Westfield, Newark, East Brunswick, Clifton, Cherry Hill, and Elizabeth.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.