Travel & Tourism

How long can I stay In USA as a visitor?

Published : 13 Sep 2021 01:45 AM | Updated : 18 Sep 2021 08:49 PM

The subject matter of how long a visitor can stay authorized and lawful in the U.S.A. is immensely important. What would travellers do if they are unable to depart from the U.S.A. within the period of lawful stay is a burning question that frequently arises. US immigration is now significantly more tangled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Let’s take a look to discuss the issues here and clarify them thoroughly. 

The general rule

The answer to the question of how long a travelor can stay lawfully in the U.S.A. is 6 months. When an admission is seemed to be reasonable and fair, the default situation would be that the visitor is allowed to stay a 6 month time period. Without a written date in the passport, a stamp simply denotes that the holder of the passport is granted to stay in the United States for six months. When visitors enters the US.A., that is what they have indicated they are willing to stay to the United States Customs and Border Protection officer (USCBP). This scenario is generally the situation for travellers from other countries coming the U.S.A. with B-1 visas for business, or B-2 visas for pleasure, authorized by United States Consulates abroad in the passports. You can visiti the United States Customs and Border Protection I- 94 Website for any doubt and confusion about your period of stay authoritically and settle them by your own.

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Travellers may file an application for extending the period of lawful stay in the U.S.A. for another 6 months. It is to be kept in mind that visitors must apply before the expiration of present period of lawful stay in the United States. Those applications actually should have a good explanation why the visitor has to stay for more time than the previous fixed period as well as why the action couldn't have been fulfilled within exiting of the present visit. An illness, a death in the family, attending a once-in-a-lifetime program, and the like, are strong reasons for applying for more time. Border closure is also a valid jjustification for a longer stay in the United States recently, especially in this pandemic situation.

Visa waiver program

Travellers can stay for a maximum period of 90 days under the Visa Waiver program. This program includes visitors from almost all the countries of the European Union as well as New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Chile, Singapore, San Moreno, Taiwan, the U.K. and South Korea. The travellers have to leave the United States physically because those visits further cannot be extended. Thus, if visitors want to stay longer, they have to leave the U.S.A. and try to return back thereafter. Another thing they can do is to file an application for longer stay by getting B-1 or B-2 visa. Contract with the embassy before coming to the United States. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service has made a special option for such travellers to sanction them a “Period of Satisfactory Departure” extension for up to 30 days due to the pandemic and given the normal prohibition for extending visa waiver stays beyond 90 days. This extension might be further increased as well. Travellers are requested to call the United States Citizenship and Immigration Call Center to arrange these proceedings.

Maximum period of lawful stay

Speaking more specifically, the United States Customs and Border Protection officers have declared that a visitor can stay in the United States for a maximum of 6 months per year. But there's no written limitation in any policy which requires that. Hence, a visitor who stays in the United States for six months and departs and seeks to return in less than six months, would be barred from revisiting for six months. As there's no such written authorized policy, a visitor may argue a possible return with the United States Customs and Border Protection officers. Though to win over such a argument against them is a difficult task. The main concerns from ttem to address are that: 

They would suspect you that 

  1. you are working in the United States unlawfully and, 
  2. you are actually living in the United States but just pretending to be a visitor.

Moreover, the USA and Canadian border officials use entry and exit records in the country as well as criminal records data to track travelers.

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Facilitation of your journey

Travelers should apply for a Nexus or Global Entry Card to facilitate their entries. This would let them avoid the long usual lines at the entrance of the ports. Since the subject matter of this writing is the length of lawfully stay for visitors in the United States, there are rules and regulations related to the pandemic. This may even restrict visitors for entries with visas in their passports. 

Moreover, visitors must follow the other rules imposed like as carrying a return ticket and registering online under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for European and other visa waiver visitors. Although, Canadians need not to abide by those essentials. Therefore, you should visit the website of the U.S. Embassy in your country to know more about what regulations would govern your traveling and ensure you abide by all those rules.

Happy traveling!