Time of stay and proof to visit the country

Many people travel to the United States with a tourist visa and do not know how many times they can enter the US with a tourist visa and how long they can stay in the country.

How long can one stay in the United States with a tourist visa?

It is necessary to explain how much time should be expected before returning and what is the maximum time for a person to stay in the country, all people who enter the US as a tourist, can know the maximum time of authorized stay, but we have to differentiate 2 situations:

Tourist Visa B2: People who enter with this visa, are generally given a maximum stay of 6 months, but in reality who determines the days allowed to stay in the country is the immigration officer upon arrival at the port of entrance either by airport, port or border. This authorization or document is known as I-94.

VWP- visa waiver program: There are countries that belong to the visa waiver program that allows tourists to visit the country without any type of visa, this type of person can stay in the country for a maximum of 90 days and this time it can not be extended under any circumstances.

In both conditions, if you leave early or on time, you can keep the visa without major inconveniences, but people who do not respect the conditions of their stay have had problems when they have tried to return to the United States. The reasons may be several, but within these I must highlight two:

  • When the person has passed the time limit allowed, calling the attention of the authorities.
  • When he leaves the United States and almost immediately returns to the country again, calling the attention of the authorities.

Golden Gate Bridge - San Francisco, CAIn this order of ideas the question would be, from how many days of being in the United States, can a person have problems?

At the moment there are no laws or regulations that are explicit, that is, it is not possible to define whether it is good or bad to stay for 5 and a half months, if the time allowed is 6 months when it is with a visa, or in the case of people who come to the country through the visa waiver program, reside for the entire 90 days, because this depends on the circumstances of each person and how the immigration officer interprets them.

entrar-usa-con-visa-de-turista03How long must a person wait to return to the United States with a tourist visa?

Nor is there a law or norm that specifies how long the person must stay outside the United States and the reason that each person has different situations and there is no response that can adjust to this, but yes, future problems can be avoided taking into account the following aspects:

  • The purpose of the tourist visa (vacation) must be respected
  • People who visit the United States with a tourist visa must have strong ties in their country of origin, such as economic, work, family, etc.
  • The immigration officer who is in each of the American customs has the discretion to allow or not, the entry of people visiting the country, If the officer suspects or has knowledge that the person is inadmissible to enter the United States , he will return it back to his country without allowing him to enter, in the same way if he considers the Frequency to Enter the USA of the person suspicious.

Taking into account the points previously related, what is recommended is the following:

  • Avoid having very close trips or very long stays, since an immigration officer could interpret that the person intends to live in the United States, that the person is looking for work or is working and in this way violating the conditions of the tourist visa.

entrar-usa-con-visa-de-turista02What can happen in case the immigration officer has any suspicion?

As we said before, the immigration officer has the discretion to allow entry to the country again or to make an immediate expulsion or voluntary departure, in case of suspicion, where the frequency to enter the USA may be suspected. Sometimes they can send a second inspection.
It is also possible that, when renewing the tourist visa, the consulate or embassy, deny the request.

To take into account

  • Do not confuse the expiration date of the tourist visa with the maximum authorized date of stay.
  • In the United States, the dates in the documents relate first the month and then the day, for example 06/05 means June 5, NOT May 6.
  • If a person who belongs to a VWP country and wishes to stay longer than the 90 days allowed must apply for a regular tourist visa.

If you or someone in your family requires advice in these procedures, at Quiroga Law Office, PLLC, we are willing to advise you. One of our attorneys will attend your case and will be with you throughout the process.

Contact us at (509) 498-3485.

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    Hector E. Quiroga
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