North Carolina Immigration Attorneys

What Does the Time Length of My Visa Mean?

If you decide to come to the United States from a foreign country, you must apply for a visa to be granted entry into the states. Those that are seeking permanent residency must follow a strict set of guidelines, but those that are coming for business, tourism, school, or work can demonstrate that they are coming for a specific activity with an end time limit that can be approved for a visa.

What are the most common visas?

Any non-immigration visa that you apply for will have a time limit attached. This is not the expiration date of the visa, which limits when you can first enter the country, but rather will change depending on what your purpose for being in the United States is.

Some of the most common visas and their lengths are:

  • Visitors for business or pleasure: 6 months
  • Transit through the United States: No longer than what is needed for travel
  • Academic students: Duration of the time enrolled full-time at an approved school
  • Temporary workers: 12 months
  • Spouses of citizens: 2 years or less, or until their green card is approved

Some of these visas can be excluded depending on the circumstances of the visit. If you are here on business but some important contract needs to be signed after your visa expires, you may be able to extend the visa to reflect this change of circumstance.

Importantly, the visa that you apply for is the only activity that you can partake in while you are in the country. If you come to the United States to visit New York City and you obtain a job while you are there, you have broken the terms of your visa and can be kicked out of the country following its expiration.

If you are wondering about your visa and how you may be able to extend your visit in the United States, contact an immigration attorney at Robert Brown, LLC. Our firm can help you navigate the complexities of immigration law and stay in the country longer.