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"LIVING" in the United States on a B1/B2 Visa

Just a friendly reminder to all B1/B2 visa holders who intend on entering the United States for extended periods of time.

While there is no "pre-set" amount of times a visa holder can enter the United States, it is strongly advised that you not take advantage of the system.

For example, if you enter the United States and stay for a period of six month and try to re-enter a month later, rest assured you will be likely be questioned extensively and/or returned back to your country of origin. This is called visa abuse and it could lead to revocation of your visa. Visiting the United States means you are not immigrating, there are other visa types for that.

A tourist visa is not meant for those who intend to live in the United States by working around the immigration law of the United States by simply entering the country, staying for six months, leaving and returning the next day or month.

That said - if you do stay six months (maximum time allowed) you should space your visits out by at least six months. This is not required, however highly recommended.

Just because you receive no exit stamp when leaving the United States does not mean your departure is not reported to CBP. Your travel information (electronic I94) is updated upon your departure automatically, consider this your invisible exit stamp.

For American citizens and LPRs, you are encouraged to call ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) tip line at:

(866) 347-2423 Option 1

https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?actio … ce_type=LO

You can remain anonymous. You will need at a minimum the foreign nationals full name. Having the foreign nationals passport number, date of birth, and/or entry date/port can greatly increase the chances of action being taken.

Lets do our part in stopping the abuse of the immigration system.

Interesting.  Thank you.

Hi laurita sz,

If you're planning on marrying your US partner you need to be very careful as to the type of visa you have. If you get married on a B-1 Visitor Visa and then apply for PR status within the first 90 days of your stay, the INS will look very carefully into your case with a view to possible immigration fraud. If it was your intention to marry when you entered the USA on a B-1 then this is considered immigration fraud and can have serious consequences. You should have applied for a K-1 Fiancé Visa. It's rather difficult to convince the immigrations officer that it wasn't your intention to get married before you arrived and they tend to look at any marriage that takes place in the first 90 days of a B-1 stay as a "marriage of convenience" with the intention to circumvent immigration regulations.

READ THIS PAGE

Remember too that, getting married does not offer any guarantee that you will actually be given PR status and receive a "green card".

Cheers,
William James Woodward, Expat-blog Experts Team

wjwoodward :

Hi laurita sz,

If you're planning on marrying your US partner you need to be very careful as to the type of visa you have. If you get married on a B-1 Visitor Visa and then apply for PR status within the first 90 days of your stay, the INS will look very carefully into your case with a view to possible immigration fraud. If it was your intention to marry when you entered the USA on a B-1 then this is considered immigration fraud and can have serious consequences. You should have applied for a K-1 Fiancé Visa. It's rather difficult to convince the immigrations officer that it wasn't your intention to get married before you arrived and they tend to look at any marriage that takes place in the first 90 days of a B-1 stay as a "marriage of convenience" with the intention to circumvent immigration regulations.

READ THIS PAGE

Remember too that, getting married does not offer any guarantee that you will actually be given PR status and receive a "green card".

Cheers,
William James Woodward, Expat-blog Experts Team

Very true, James.

Marrying on a B2 (tourist visa) or a B1 (business visa) is a very touchy subject. Your marriage will be highly scrutinized especially if you marry within the first 90 days. HSI and CBP have access to entry records and USCIS (the people who grant immigrant visas) will make every attempt to prove you are marrying to get in the US for permanent residence. Unlike other countries, the mere marriage to a US citizen, heterosexual or same-sex entitles the applicant to an immigrant visa. That said, marrying a US citizen on a tourist visa is highly frowned upon. It is unlikely anyone in the US marries after 3 months and your application will be highly scrutinized. Avoid the legal fees. If you intend to marry, go the correct route - K1 Fiance visa.

laurita sz :

Hi
I just moved to Usa a few month ago as a turist ,I'm going to married with my partner this year but I would like to figur it out how is possibile to get a work visa before we get married.
Do you have any information about this?
Thank you

An H1B visa is an entirely different topic. That visa entitles you to work in the United States. While it is non-immigrant it requires sponsorship. If that is the visa you intend to receive you marriage will be less scrutinized.

And as always - A US VISA IS NOT A GUARANTEE OF ADMITTANCE. IT IS ONLY A GUARANTEE TO TRAVEL TO A US PORT OF ENTRY.

** ATTENTION **

The correct way for US Citizens and LPRs to contact ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) is:

866-347-7243 Option 1

False reporting is a crime and punishable by law.

how long exactly the b1/b2 visa last? i am planning to go to USA this year

You should know this from the visa itself, however - typically, it is 6 months.

Very good information and very important.  Thank you

no way u have to get married first then do an ajustment of status

depend sometimes 1 year but u cannot stay more than 6 months at a time

You need to do a lot of research on what visa to get after engaged, I think is called K2. You will go thru intensive interview if you go to America without K1 visa. Not saying is not possible but that would be hard.

Tourist visa can be extended after 6 months and you can apply for another 6 months with fee, letter and proof you have $$ and copy of plane ticket.

I travelled to the usa in november 2013 on a b1 tourist visa planing on staying for 6 months but after leaving for a week to go to germany my visa was stamped for six more months from february. I stayed until the day before my visa ran out which means I was in the usa for a total of around 9 months. I did not work during this period as I have sufficient funds to support myself and was spending a lot of money while I was there. I wish to reenter for one month as I am applying for grad schools and want to visit some. It will only have been a month since I last left and I am worried immigration will question me. Like I said, I never violated the conditions of the visa and would be getting a different visa from december if I decide to study in the usa. I have a property in my home country and evidence that I have substantial financial means. Should I be worried? Do you think it is likely they will not let me back in for one more month? If I get a new passport and enter on the visa waiver program will that be better?

And what do you do for a living?

uthyyy :

how long exactly the b1/b2 visa last? i am planning to go to USA this year

B1/B2 visas have an expiration date; that will depend on the Consular Office that issues out the visa to you. I think you are asking: how long your permit (i-94) will be good for? in that case, usually I-94 are good for six months for a B2 visa holder (visitor)

I own working farms which take care of themselves and generate income, which is why I don't need to be in the country.

supinesue :

I travelled to the usa in november 2013 on a b1 tourist visa planing on staying for 6 months but after leaving for a week to go to germany my visa was stamped for six more months from february. I stayed until the day before my visa ran out which means I was in the usa for a total of around 9 months. I did not work during this period as I have sufficient funds to support myself and was spending a lot of money while I was there. I wish to reenter for one month as I am applying for grad schools and want to visit some. It will only have been a month since I last left and I am worried immigration will question me. Like I said, I never violated the conditions of the visa and would be getting a different visa from december if I decide to study in the usa. I have a property in my home country and evidence that I have substantial financial means. Should I be worried? Do you think it is likely they will not let me back in for one more month? If I get a new passport and enter on the visa waiver program will that be better?

B1 is not a tourist visa, B2 is a tourist visa.

If you stay in the US for 9 months without leaving you overstayed you visa. If you left the US even for on day during that period then you 6 months started all over again. You did not violate the conditions of your visa as your 6 months restarted upon your return. Keep doing it (abusing the system) and you will definitely start having issues. The amount of money you spend in the US to help our economy is irrelevant. Money is not important, the law is. You income is relevant during the visa process, it means nothing at the port of entry.

Thanks for your reply. I completely understand that income can of course in no way ensure entry into the US, I was just intending the illustrate how I have been able to remain in the US without working. So it looks as though I will almost certainly be sent for secondary inspection upon arrival at JFK, but I was wondering if you had any tips as to how I can prepare or what I can expect to be asked. Is it a good idea to have proof of income, property ownership etc in order to prove ties to my home country and means to support myself while in the US? Is there anything else I should bear in mind?

supinesue :

Thanks for your reply. I completely understand that income can of course in no way ensure entry into the US, I was just intending the illustrate how I have been able to remain in the US without working. So it looks as though I will almost certainly be sent for secondary inspection upon arrival at JFK, but I was wondering if you had any tips as to how I can prepare or what I can expect to be asked. Is it a good idea to have proof of income, property ownership etc in order to prove ties to my home country and means to support myself while in the US? Is there anything else I should bear in mind?

I know the U.S.A. is a beautiful country but, some body coming on "vacation" for so long just doesn't add up. What other interests brings you to the United States? What is it that you do while "visiting" the U.S.A. and where do you stay at?

Thank you very much

Hmm, I understand. I have a lot of friends in New York and my day to day consists mainly of working out, eating out, shopping as well as working on some writing. I also travel every now and then, but generally just around the East Coast. I suppose when I'm there I'm not on 'vacation' in the traditional sense but I'm not working or seeking employment.

You are right

Do you think my current situation and immigration history will make it difficult for me to get a student visa?

But someone told me B1/B2 Visa lasts for two years.

Ok but someone told me B1/B2 visa lasts for two years. Please i need more info about B1/B2 Visa.

MAX Stay and Visa Validity are two different things. Either way B1/B2 are usually valid for 5 years. Max stay is generally 6 months but is determined by the CBP officer upon your arrival at your arrival at the port. Your stay can be be granted for as short as 24 hours to 6 months. There is no guarantee. Chances are if you abuse your visa, this will be the first step they take to restrict your visas privileges and it won't be the last time. A good way to detect this is if you get only a 30 day stay and extensive questioning you can pretty much consider yourself flagged and will continue to be questioned every time you enter unless you request traveler redress which is usually reserved for citizens and LPRs. If you continue to travel unusually they will eventually cancel your visa and just return you to your country of origin. A visa is a privilege, not a right. Further, this process is not a game like some think it is.

Hello, I arrived JFK and got 6 month stay and I only stayed for 2 weeks then went back to my country but they didn't stamp my passport when I left JFK. How they will know if I left JFK ? If they didn't give me exit stamp???

Ahmedfarouk :

Hello, I arrived JFK and got 6 month stay and I only stayed for 2 weeks then went back to my country but they didn't stamp my passport when I left JFK. How they will know if I left JFK ? If they didn't give me exit stamp???

Your passport number would have been entered into their computer system when you exited.

Mao now if I c one back is it okay ?

Ahmedfarouk :

Mao now if I c one back is it okay ?

If you stayed two weeks, I do not think you have anything to worry about. This is considered a ordinary visit.

stumpy :
Ahmedfarouk :

Hello, I arrived JFK and got 6 month stay and I only stayed for 2 weeks then went back to my country but they didn't stamp my passport when I left JFK. How they will know if I left JFK ? If they didn't give me exit stamp???

Your passport number would have been entered into their computer system when you exited.

I94's are electronic now. When you leave the country, your departure is recorded automatically. Since the system was incepted there has been a 2.2% error rate in failure to record.

Some sea ports, mainly the Atlantic ports of Florida that travel to the Bahamas are still using paper I94's but I believe they are converted now too.

This really is related to this sticky - http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=383684

Regardless, if you can't determine if you are abusing the system then I really don't know what to tell you. It should be common sense. 2 weeks sounds legit to me. 2 week visits every 4 weeks, now that will come into question.

thank you for the info

A tourist visa is not meant for those who intend to live in the United States by working around the immigration law of the United States by simply entering the country, staying for six months, leaving and returning the next day or month. :heart:

I'm presently in the United States on a B1/B2 Visa with my mum and sister. My sister filed a petition for my mum in a year back and it was approved even before my visa was issued.
My question is that "can my mum file petition for me?"
Can my sister still filed petition for me after she has filed for her mum within a year?

Hi, I went to America with my bf who is American a year ago. The reason was to look out for his parents who had recently undergone massive surgeries. I joined him as I have never been to the States and could do with a year holiday. I entered the U.S. with a B2 visa and I was honest with the CBP about my intention. After interrogation, they granted me 6-months access. I applied for an extension and got approved for another 6 months.

I left the States urgently 3 weeks ago to return to Sydney as I have personal matters to deal with as Sydney is still home and while I am away, I still have banking, phone, etc.

I have my boyfriend's parents 50th anniversary coming up which I have helped planned. Big event as they both went through quite a big health issue and made it through. I would like to re-enter the States with my still valid extension but just for 2.5 weeks. I am ending my 1-year holiday in Mexico prior to returning home. I have tickets book.

With proof that I won't overstay or intend to 'live' in the States, do you think the CBP will be more likely to let me enter?

Thanks!

I m Algerian citizen currently i stay in my contry  for 3 monts ago i have applied for a US VIsa and finaly  i have had 2 years on my passport i informe to you that i m mechanical engineer with 26 years experience and have studied early in west Germany  my question is can i living & working legaly in Usa because my firt intention was immigration .... Thank you for your response

Aziz1955 :

I m Algerian citizen currently i stay in my contry  for 3 monts ago i have applied for a US VIsa and finaly  i have had 2 years on my passport i informe to you that i m mechanical engineer with 26 years experience and have studied early in west Germany  my question is can i living & working legaly in Usa because my firt intention was immigration .... Thank you for your response

What type of visa did you apply for? and what type of visa did they stamp on your passport?

Nelly2015 :

Hi, I went to America with my bf who is American a year ago. The reason was to look out for his parents who had recently undergone massive surgeries. I joined him as I have never been to the States and could do with a year holiday. I entered the U.S. with a B2 visa and I was honest with the CBP about my intention. After interrogation, they granted me 6-months access. I applied for an extension and got approved for another 6 months.

I left the States urgently 3 weeks ago to return to Sydney as I have personal matters to deal with as Sydney is still home and while I am away, I still have banking, phone, etc.

I have my boyfriend's parents 50th anniversary coming up which I have helped planned. Big event as they both went through quite a big health issue and made it through. I would like to re-enter the States with my still valid extension but just for 2.5 weeks. I am ending my 1-year holiday in Mexico prior to returning home. I have tickets book.

With proof that I won't overstay or intend to 'live' in the States, do you think the CBP will be more likely to let me enter?

Thanks!

What was the total time you stayed in the US including the extension?

HI r u there i have b1b2 visa and plan to go to usa next month

Hi, I'm a Software Engineer and I work for an American Multinational company in Ireland.
My company has offices around the world and I'm able to work remotely from anywhere a good broadband connection is available. I've lived in the USA for some time on a H1-B visa (for another company), I even have an American daughter (born in Dallas while I was living there). I don't need a visa to enter the USA, as I'm a citizen of a country with Visa waiver program, but I'm just entitled to remain in the USA for just 3 months (90 days). My wife is Brazilian and has a B1/B2 Visa. Can we live in the USA (lease or buy an apartment/house, buy a car etc.) and travel to Ireland (or another country) every 3 months for one month and come back as many times as we want? I just want to set a base in the USA, as everything is so cheap and easy there. I just want to know if this is legal, I wouldn't lie to the immigration office or anything, if asked I would say that I live in the USA, but don't work there, and I would have my bank account to prove it etc. I just don't know of another special Visa for this kind of stay, where I'm not looking for work in the USA, but have a job elsewhere and can support myself and my family while living there.

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