The United States has now opened its borders to most international visitors across the world. However, with the constantly changing rules and restrictions surrounding international travel, visitors to the United States are not sure about their B2 visitor visa status anymore.
How long can you stay in the US on B2 visitor visa? Can you ask for an extension? What happens if you overstay your date stamped in the I-9 travel form?
We break down the many questions into the latest updated answers from CDC, US travel department and airline requirements.
B2 Visitor Visa For Short Term Visits To The United States
Most travel bans have been lifted and with an exception of some travelers, everyone can enter the United States on a valid B2 visitor visa. It is important to ensure that your passport has at least 6-months validity before starting your journey from your home country. If traveling for personal reasons, you are eligible to get a B2 visitor visa.
A B2 visitor visa allows you to take part in tourism, visit friends or family, participate in social events, or seek medical treatment (B2 visa holder has to prove that he can pay for the treatment to be eligible).
Visitors entering the US on a valid B2 visa may not partake in certain activities including employment when in the US.
Travel Requirements For US Visitors
Starting on November 8, 2021 foreign national air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to fly to the United States
Covid Testing Rules For International Visitors
The primary requirement for foreign travelers arriving in the United States is to be fully vaccinated 14 days prior to departure from their country of origin. By fully vaccinated, the CDC requires that the traveler should have received all the doses of the said vaccine.
All air passengers traveling to the US, regardless of vaccination or antibody status, are required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery.
The test must be a SARS-CoV-2 viral test (nucleic acid amplification test [NAAT] or antigen test) with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
New Timelines For Covid Testing
All inbound international travelers are now required to test within one day of departure for the United States. This new testing time frame applies to everyone regardless of nationality or vaccination status. Alternately, having proof of having recovered from Covid-19 in the past 90 days is also an acceptable travel document.
How Long Can You Stay On A US Visitor Visa In 2022?
Your length of stay is determined by a CBP officer at the US port of entry. He will determine your length of stay, referred to as the “Admit Until Date” and stamp it in your I-94. This can be accessed online. Generally, B2 visa-holders are granted a six-month stay but CBP may grant a shorter stay at its discretion.
Are You Allowed To File For B2 Visa Extensions in 2022?
Yes, this is encouraged so that you do not overstay your stay. If you want to extend your stay in the United States, you must file a request with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) using Form I-539 “Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status” before your authorized stay expires.
What Is the Penalty For Overstaying On Your B2 Visitor Visa?
Failure to depart the United States on time can lead to you being ineligible for visa consideration in the future.
Not leaving the country when you were directed to leave on your I-94 will result in being “out of status”. Under US law, visas of individuals who are out of status are automatically voided as per Section 222(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Voided visas are no longer valid for entry into the United States.
Although travel rules are being relaxed post pandemic, it is important to stay abreast of current travel norms and follow them to avoid visa issues in the future.