How Long Can An Immigrant Stay In The U.S?
If you find your way to Texas or any other state in America, the arrival/departure record stamped on your passport at the port of entry shows your arrival date and how long you should stay. You should stay as per the specific date stated or as per the D/S (Duration of Status) – conditions in your visa.
Generally, an immigrant shouldn’t stay more than six months for fair and reasonable admission. A stamp on an immigrant’s passport without a specific date means the passport holder has six months to stay. This rule is regardless of the intended period of stay communicated to the USCBP (Customs & Border Protection) officers at the point of entry.
This rule applies to Canadians and individuals from other countries using a B-1 visa (for business) or B-2 visa (for pleasure) to enter the US. These visas are issued by US consulates abroad. If you aren’t sure how long you are supposed to stay, you can visit the USCBP website.
Can I Extend Prolong My Stay in the US?
It is possible to apply for an extension of authorized stay in America for another 6 months, provided you file for an application before the authorized stay expires.
For an extension to be granted, you must offer a valid reason/s why you want more time. Applications need to state the activity that hasn’t been undertaken during the current stay period. Examples of reasons that increase the likelihood of getting an extension include; death in a family, illness, and a once-in-a-lifetime-event. A pandemic (such as Covid-19) can also stand as a good reason to prolong your stay in the US.
If you don’t want to leave Texas and go back to your country because of Covid-19 cases or lockdowns affecting your country, such a reason can stand.
Individuals who enter America under the VWP (or Visa Waiver Program) can stay in the US longer than normal i.e., 90 days instead of the typical 60 days. However, they don’t qualify for an extension. As a result, you must leave America physically and return if you wish to extend your stay.
Alternatively, they must apply to enjoy longer stays by getting B-1/B-2 visas at a US consulate abroad before getting into America.
Covid Complication on Extended Stay
Covid-19 has made the US Citizenship & Immigration Service put in place special guidelines for visitors allowing periods of satisfactory departure extension up to a month (30 days). The extensions can be pushed further depending on unique circumstances. However, you must call the US Citizenship & Immigration call center for unique arrangements to be possible.
What Happens If I extend My Stay Without Seeking a Lawful Extension?
If you extend your stay without seeking authorization or following the proper channels, you risk being denied entry to the US in the future. Unauthorized overstay will almost always result in a visa denial in the future.
Summary: How long can an immigrant stay in US?
It depends. However, it’s usually six months or nine months, depending on the visa you are using. To extend your stay, request for an extension online or risk consequences such as deportation and being denied a visa in the future.
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