How Long Can You Stay in the US on Different Types of Visas?
There are different types of US nonimmigrant visas, and each of them has specific rules regarding the length of stay permitted after entry into the United States.
In this article, we will explore how you can access your departure record, the length of stay under different types of US visas, and more.
Let’s get started!
How to Obtain Your I-94 Departure Record
When you enter the United States, the immigration officer creates an I-94 departure record, which is proof of your legal entry into the country.
Whether you’re a student, a scholar, or a tourist, the I-94 indicates the length of stay within the US. This is typically stamped onto the passport when the foreigner arrives in the country via air or sea route.
The immigration officer will also create an online record that you can access on the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website and print after your arrival.
In some cases, you’ll receive the I-94 in the form of a white card that the immigration officer attaches to your passport.
How Long Can You Stay in the United States Under the Different Types of US Visas?
Let’s go over the different types of US visas and how long you can stay in the country under them.
A-1 and A-2 Visas
Those diplomats or government officials who want to visit the United States for official duty purposes must get an A-1 or A-2 visa. Head of state, foreign embassy officers, cabinet ministers, and European Union delegation representatives are all examples of eligible personnel.
Government officials can stay in the United States for no more than 90 days under an A-1 or A-2 US visa.
G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 Visas
Employees, diplomats, or government officials of international organizations in the United States require a G visa. There are different categories of permits under this type, including the following:
- G-1: Permanent mission members or government officials who are coming to work with an international organization in the United States must apply for a G-1 visa.
- G-2: Representatives of a country’s government who are traveling to the United States to attend meetings must get a G-2 visa.
- G-3: Representatives of a non-recognized country’s government must apply for the G-3 visa if they wish to travel to the United States.
- G-4: Individuals who have joined an international organization in the United States for work purposes must apply for a G-4 visa.
- G-5: The personal employees of G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visa holders must apply under this category if they wish to travel to the US.
Individuals with G-1, G-2, G-3, and G-4 visas can stay in the United States for as long as the US Secretary of State recognizes their status. However, those with a G-5 permit can remain in the country for up to three years, with the possibility of applying for two-year extensions.
There are two categories under this type of permit, which include B-1 (business) and B-2 (tourist) visas.
Those with these types of visas often can stay up to six months in the United States, but in some cases, it may extend to one year. You can also apply for six-month extensions if you have a valid reason.
These are nonimmigrant visas for transit purposes. An individual who is traveling through the United States to another country must apply for a C-1 visa.
Under the C-1 visa, individuals can stay in the United States for a short period of time, depending on their date of departure. Typically, it is no more than 29 days or valid until the day their transit ends, whichever is sooner.
The C-2 visa is also for transit purposes. It is applicable for those visiting the United Nations (UN) head office in New York or a UN employee traveling through the US to reach their destination.
Under this permit, the visa holders are “geographically restricted” nonimmigrants, which means that they can only travel within a 25-mile radius of the UN head office in Columbus Circle, New York City.
Typically, the C-2 visa is only valid for the duration of the holder’s stay at the United Nations or a maximum of 29 days.
A C-3 visa is for foreign government officials who are transiting through the United States to their financial destination. It allows them to stay in the country until their date of departure.
In most cases, C-3 visa holders can stay in the country for a maximum of 29 days.
The D visas are for crew members who work on commercial vessels or an international airline operating in the United States. Holders of this type of permit cannot stay in the US for more than 29 days.
There are two different types of E-visas, which are as follows:
- E-1 visa (treaty trader)
- E-2 visa (treaty investor)
The E-visa is for individuals who want to carry out trade between the United States and a treaty country or for people who have invested or are going to invest in a business in the US. For a more indepth look at this visa, check our articles on the E visa.
These types of visas are temporary. However, there is no specified time period, and in most cases, applicants receive a two-year stay. They can also apply for extensions when their visa is nearing the expiry date.
There is another visa under this category (E-3), and it is for specialty occupation workers from Australia. It allows the person a two-year stay with the possibility of applying for extensions.
The F-1 visa is for academic students who are coming to the United States for full-time study at an accredited college, university, or any other educational institute.
Under this visa, students can stay in the US for the complete duration of their studies. They have 60 days to prepare for their departure after completing their education.
If you’re a worker in specialty occupations, a fashion model, or involved in research and development work and have received a job offer in the US, you must apply for an H-1B visa.
The length of stay under the H-1B visa depends on the proposed employment condition. However, there is a 10-day flexibility. In most cases, the permit holders can remain in the US for up to three years.
If you’re a healthcare nurse who wants to work in health professional shortage areas, you must apply for an H-1C visa. Under this permit, they can stay in the US for up to three years without the possibility of an extension.
There is also H-2A, H-2B, and H-3 visas under this permit category, and the details of these are as follows:
- The H-2A visas are for temporary agricultural workers. The period of stay depends on the conditions mentioned in the labor certification. You can extend it in one-year increments, but the maximum stay under this type of visa is up to three years.
- H-2B visas are for temporary non-agricultural workers, and the period of stay and extension increments on this permit is similar to the H-2A permit.
- The H-3 visa is for all those individuals who want to visit the United States for training purposes or an educational exchange program. Under this permit, the period of stay varies for both types of non-resident visitors and is as follows:
- Ø A maximum of two years for those visiting for training purposes.
- Ø 18 months at most for those visiting through an educational exchange program.
Also referred to as the media visa, this type of permit allows members of the foreign media to visit the United States and stay there for the duration of their assignment.
This is for individuals coming to the US on an exchange visitor program, and the period of stay can vary depending on the scholar’s status.
In most cases, the visa holders can remain in the United States for up to six months. However, for long-term programs, people can usually stay up to five years.
The three major categories under the K visa include the following:
- K-1: Under this permit, the fiancé of US citizens from other foreign countries can visit the United States and marry their resident sponsor within 90 days.
- K-2: This visa is for the unmarried children of those who hold a K-1 visa. It also allows the person to stay in the country for 90 days.
- K-3: The K3 visa is a nonimmigrant visa for a US citizen’s spouse, where the period of stay is for two years.
Under the L-1A permit, a US employer can have an executive or manager from one of its foreign offices transferred to the United States. The maximum stay is three years with the possibility of two-year increment extensions.
The M-1 visa is for individuals who are looking to study in the United States under a technical or vocational program. Under this permit, the period of stay is a maximum of one year, with a 30-day grace period to prepare for departure.
These types of visas are for NATO personnel and their family members from other countries to visit and stay in the United States for the duration of their assignment.
The O visa is for all those individuals with exceptional abilities in science, business, education, and other fields. There are three different categories of permits with an initial period of up to three years and the possibility of one-year extensions.
The P visa is for athletes, entertainers, and artists visiting the United States, and they can stay for the necessary period of their event or activity.
Athletes may initially receive up to five years of stay, while other artists and entertainers may get up to one year.
The Q visa is for participants in an international cultural exchange program. They can stay until they accomplish their event or activity with a maximum period of up to 15 months.
This type of permit is for clergy and religious workers, who can remain in the US for the time required to carry out their activity.
However, there is an initial maximum stay of three years. They can also apply for extensions, allowing them to extend their visit up to five years.
Witnesses or informants who have assisted law enforcement agencies in the US must apply for the S visa, which allows them an initial maximum stay of three years, with the possibility of extensions.
This type of visa is for victims of human trafficking and allows them to remain in the US for up to four years. They can apply for a green card after staying three consecutive years in the country.
The U visa is for all those individuals who are victims of a serious crime. If they cooperate with the relevant law enforcement agency, they may stay in the US for four years.
Under this permit, the U visa holders can also apply for a green card after three years of consecutive stay in the United States.
Seek Personalized Advice with an Immigration Expert Today!
If you’re looking for assistance with US visas or want to know more about your legal options for staying in the country, contact Hans Burgos Law Firm at 305-442-1240 and schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration attorney!