Can she stay in the US for five years with a B-1 visa? 3 Answers as of September 19, 2010

Can my cousin stay in the US for 5 years on her B-1 temporary visa? It is valid for that long so I think that she can.

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Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
The B-1 visa, stamped with a 5-year limit, is the total limit in time for its validity, not the amount of time available for her single stay. That is as stamped by the customs agent at the port of entry, which is to last from a few weeks to up to 6 months, based upon the perceived amount of time to accomplish all the stated plans your cousin gave to the guard at the point of entry, and as stated in the visa application. That time is stamped on her I-94 entry passbook.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/19/2010
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny | Svetlana Boukhny
No, the validity of the visa is not the same as authorized period of stay. The validity of the visa simply means that during that time period the person can enter the US. Upon entry, one is issued a Form I-94 (entry/departure card) and that shows the authorized period of stay for that person, which for B-1/B-2 is typically up to 180 days. Once in the US, one can typically extend that for an additional 6 months if there is a valid reason for such a request, but it is not possible to keep extending that status for 5 years as this is still a tourist visa and one cannot be a tourist for a period of 5 years.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/17/2010
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office | Jack C. Sung
No she cannot. The expiration date on the visa has no bearing if the person is already in the US.

Rather, the I-94 controls how long she can stay in the US. The date should be within 6 months of her entry, as the maximum time B1/B2 visa entrant can stay is less than 6 months.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/16/2010
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