The visa expiration date is shown on the visa along with its issuance date. The time between the issuance and the expiration dates is known as your “visa validity.” This visa validity is the length of time that you are allowed to travel to any port of entry in the United States. Visas may be issued from a single entry (application) up to multiple and even unlimited entries depending on your nationality:
- Single Entry: In this case, a visa issued for a single entry is valid and can be used from the date it is issued until the date it expires to travel to a U.S. port of entry one time.
- Multiple Entries: Here, a visa that is issued for multiple entries is valid and can be used from the date it is issued until the date it expires to travel to the U.S. port of entry as many times as the visa states, provided that: applying for a new visa is not necessary if the visa has yet to expire and you have not exceeded the number of entries permitted on your visa and multiple uses of a visa must be for the same purpose of travel allowable on the type of visa you possess.
Take note that a visa will not guarantee automatic entry into the United States. Further, the visa expiration date shown on your visa does not reflect how long you are authorized to remain in the U.S. In fact, entry and length of authorized stay within the U.S. are decided by the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) officer at the U.S. port of entry each time you travel.
Also, it is important to remember that there are certain situations that can lead to voiding or canceling the period of visa validity. For example, if you stay past the end date of your authorized stay, as provided by the CBP officer at the port of entry, your visa will automatically be voided or canceled unless:
- You have filed an application in a timely manner for either an extension of stay or a change of status; and
- The application is pending and not frivolous.
Extending Your Stay
If you arrived in the U.S. with a nonimmigrant visa, but now wish to extend your stay, you must apply with USCIS before your current authorized stay expires.
In contrast, if you decide to stay longer after you are considered to be out-of-status with the Department of Homeland Security, you must follow strict criteria. First, carefully consider the dates of your initial authorized stay and confirm that you are indeed following the correct procedures. If a mistake is made, you will likely be out-of-status. Next, recognize that by staying beyond the authorized time period is a violation of U.S. immigration law and may cause you to be ineligible for a future visa.
Note that aliens in Nevada who leave the U.S. for emergency reasons may have trouble later re-entering the U.S. unless they secured the proper documentation prior to the trip. Learn about emergency travel laws.
Contact an Attorney
For questions related to any immigration matters, contact the experienced immigration attorneys at Las Vegas Defense Group.