Many wrongly believe that the visa expiration date and the date of expiration of their authorized period of stay are both the same. The date of expiration of a non-immigrant’s authorized period of stay and the date of expiration of his or her visa are both different.
Non-immigrant visas permit foreigners to travel to the U.S. for a certain period of time. The date on which a non-immigrant visa will expire will be printed on that U.S. visa. The visas can be single entry or multiple entry visas. Not all applicants can get multiple entry visas; depending on the applicants’ nationality, single or multiple entry visas will be issued to them.
People who travel frequently to the U.S. for business with multiple entry visas, need not apply for visas each time they travel to the U.S. However, they can travel to the U.S. only for business purposes and not for any other purpose. People who hold B-1 business visas, can travel to the U.S. only for business and not to study or work in the U.S.
Foreign nationals can use their visas to travel to the U.S. from the date it was issued until the date on which their visas will expire. The visa validity period is the time period between the date of issuance of a non-immigrant visa and its expiration date. They can travel to U.S. ports of entry and request entry into the U.S. until their visas are valid. However, visas alone do not guarantee entry into the U.S. The non-immigrant visa holders will be granted entry into America only if they are admissible.
Likewise, the visa expiration date is not the date on which they need to leave the U.S. They will be issued Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Records when they enter the U.S. The date on which they need to leave the U.S. will be printed on that document. Immigration inspectors at the U.S. port of entry will decide how long the non-immigrant visa holders can stay in the U.S. and indicate the date on which they need to leave the country on their I-94 cards. They need to leave the U.S. on that day. If they fail to do so, they will fall out of status and will be subject to deportation.
Non-immigrant visa holders must not stay longer than their authorized period of stay. If they do so, their visas will be cancelled. If they wish to stay longer than their authorized period of stay, they need to file applications for extension of stay. They can also file applications for change of status and change to another non-immigrant status while in the U.S.