Many individuals have difficulty understanding the difference between the visa expiration date and the length of time you have permission to remain in the United States (U.S.). These are very different terms. Also review our “What is a U.S. Visa?” webpage.
The visa expiration date is shown on the visa along with the visa issuance date. The time between visa issuance and expiration dates is called your visa validity. The visa validity is the length of time you are permitted to travel to a port-of-entry in the U.S.
Depending on your nationality, visas can be issued from a single entry (application) up to multiple/unlimited entries.
Please be aware, a visa does not guarantee entry to the U.S. Additionally, the visa expiration date shown on your visa does not reflect how long you are authorized to stay within the U.S. Entry and the length of authorized stay within the U.S. are determined by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer at the port-of-entry each time you travel.
It is important to note that there are circumstances which can serve to void or cancel the period of visa validity. If you overstay the end date of your authorized stay, as provided by the CBP officer at a port-of-entry, or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), your visa will automatically void or cancel unless;
If you have applied for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident alien (“green card” holder), you should contact USCIS regarding obtaining Advance Parole before leaving the U.S.
Upon arriving at a port of entry, the CBP official will determine the length of your visit.
|Notice: New Electronic I-94 Process - From April 30 through May 25, 2013, CBP will roll out a new electronic I-94 process at air and sea ports of entry. Under the new CBP process, a CBP officer will provide each admitted nonimmigrant traveler with an admission stamp on their passport. CBP will no longer issue a paper Form I-94 upon entry to the U.S., with some exceptions. Learn more on the CBP website.|
On the admission stamp or paper Form I-94, the U.S. immigration inspector records either an admitted-until date or "D/S" (duration of status). If your admission stamp or paper Form I-94 contains a specific date, then that is the date by which you must leave the U.S. If you have D/S on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, you may remain in the U.S. as long as you continue your course of studies, remain in your exchange program, or qualifying employment. The admitted-until date or D/S notation, shown on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94 is the official record of your authorized length of stay in the U.S. You cannot use the visa expiration date in determining or referring to your permitted length of stay in the U.S.
Carefully review information about international visitor admission on the CBP Website.
If you came to the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa and you want to extend your stay you must apply with USCIS before your authorized stay, denoted on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, expires. It is recommended you apply well in advance of your expiration date. To learn more select USCIS, How Do I Extend My Stay?.
Important Note: Providing permission to enter and/or remain in the U.S. to persons holding a nonimmigrant visa is not the responsibility of the Department of State, and therefore Visa Services is unable assist you in this regard. All inquiries must be directed to USCIS.