Each time when we enter into USA, we get a new I-94 with new validity date. What is the generic rule to determine I-94 validity date? I've a VISA valid till Jul'2013 and I-94 valid till 2015. If I go to my home country and return before Jul'2013, again my i-94 date will get reset. Nowadays i'm hearing that they are giving I-94 only till VISA expiration date. Is this true? Does this happen only when i enter with less VISA validity period left (i.e for example, entering in USA with only 3 months left to go to VISA expiration date)?
This is an interesting issue and one that is popping up more and more especially with the new automated system that CBP is putting in place. Generally, the i-94 is your authorized period of stay in the U.S. Your visa stamp is only permission to knock on the door and ask to enter from abroad. So your I-94 can be for longer than your visa stamp validity. But if you depart the U.S. then you'll need a new visa stamp that corresponds to your approved CIS status, reenter the U.S. and obtain an I-94 that will properly reflect the amount time remaining for authorized stay.
I-94 date is the date one is authorized to stay in the US. Usually they are given for intervals of 3 or 6 months for visitor's visas, and longer periods of times for other types of visas. As it is up to the discretion of the officer what authorized stay is granted, there is no really generic rule to determine the I-94 stay in advance.
A visitor visa allows a person to enter the U. S. as long as they appear not to have immigrant intent for the purposes of the visit. If a person enters and exits the U.S. after numerous long stays of six months, then this may cause a member of the port to cancel a visa, because it may appear that the person is using the visitor visa as a green card.
There is also no guarantee that the consular official who reviews the B-2 renewal request will renew the visitor visa, when it expires, where the visa appears to be abused.
I agree that the visa merely allows a person to enter, so that the I-94 can be issued for up to 180 days after the expiration of the visa, where one last entry takes place before the visa expires. Those CBP Officers who do anything different, as indicated, are not following the law or normal procedures. An applicant can admission can always tell an officer that they will only be in the U. S. for four weeks, which may result in an I-94 that is issued for less than 180 days.
An officer may issue the I-94 'for up to 180 days.'
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