How long can you legally stay in the US with a tourist visa?
September 13, 2011 12:25AM
The standard length of admission for a B1/B2 visa is 6 months in most ports but as with most admissions it is up to the determination of the inspecting officer. Most people who are tourists can not afford to be away from their homes or jobs for more then 6 months. Some one who is coming for medical care might request up to a year for the treatment. With the proper documentation an officer can grant that request without having to consult with a Supervisor. Most other people if you are looking to gain admission for more then 6 months you are either looking to do something that is not permitted by law on a tourist visa or looking to illegally work in the U.S. Just remember a visa only gets you on the plane to come to America. It is 100% up to the inspecting officer if you get admitted or returned home. Getting caught in a lie is the fastest way to find yourself on a plane back home.
The actual truth of the matter is that all tourists visas are not equal. A B visa class is not part of the Visa Waiver Program and is connected with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and is unique to Canadians in that they don't need to apply for one to pleasure travel.
In effect, all Canadians travelling to the US arrive on a B-2 visa and it's time frame is 6 concurrent months.
Other countries can obtain and apply for different classes of visitors visas OR come to the US via VWP.
It is also incorrect that you cannot get your stay extended under the VWP, but since that's not what we're discussing it doesn't matter, does it?
Please refer yourself to the State Dept website or USCIS for correct and current information regarding visas particular to your country and be wary of internet advice!