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gap time between US visits on a b1/b2 visa

Discussion in 'Entering USA on B Visas' started by chodor, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. chodor

    chodor New Member

    hello. i would like to ask if there are any restrictions with regards to how frequently a person can use his/her multiple entry tourist visa within a year..
    lets say.. these are the travel dates..
    first visit: august 2007-december 2007
    2nd visit: august 2008-january 2009
    im planning to go back to the US by 1st week of may 2009, for tourism/shopping and to visit friends/relatives will there be a problem knowing i spent 4 months in my home country? will i be questioned by an officer at the poe? what are the chances of me being denied an admission? your opinions would gladly be appreciated. thank you very much and godbless.
  2. Triple Citizen

    Triple Citizen Registered Users (C)

    Anyone can be questioned. Any visitor may be denied entry.
    Never spend more than 6 months in the US as a visitor during any 12 month rolling window.

  3. chodor

    chodor New Member

    thank you so much.. so in my case will there be a greater chance of me being denied by the poe officer? or can i take the risk of coming back to the US on may? thank you so much..
  4. Triple Citizen

    Triple Citizen Registered Users (C)

    When you get to the POE in May, you would have spent 4 months out of the last 9 in the US. The POE officer may give you a hard time or may not even question you at all. No one can speculate.

  5. chodor

    chodor New Member

    what do u mean by "4mos out of the last 9 mos in US"? thank you so much.. what do you think is the best thing to do? come back in may or wait for how many months before coming back? thank you so much..
  6. Triple Citizen

    Triple Citizen Registered Users (C)

    You were in the US from August 2008 to January 2009. So in May 2009, if you count back to August 2008, that is 9 months. Out of those 9 months, you were in the US for 4 months. How long is your May 2009 visit supposed to last?

  7. chodor

    chodor New Member

    i will be on vacation leave for 1 month.. i will just be in the US for 2 wks.. purely for a vacation.. i have a return ticket scheduled for only 3 wks, plus i have a certification for leave of absence from my company.. in case the cbp officer asked for it.. will that help? thank you so much..
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2009
  8. gagpol

    gagpol Registered Users (C)

    Is there a specific law that governs that? Could you please post a link, thank you!
    The only thing I can think of that seems to be relevant is the tax status as a resident, in which case it is no more than 6 months in a calendar year.

    Or does the gap _needs_ to be 6 months in-between?
  9. Concerned4us

    Concerned4us Banned

    There is no specific law specifying time between visits.

    Entry into the US is a priviledge. Holding a visa does not guarantee entry. The officer at the border must decide and grant a stay based on a brief interview. A visitor msut not appear to be attempting to live in the US. Regular long stays are suspicious.
  10. gagpol

    gagpol Registered Users (C)

    Thank you, Concerned4us!

    BTW, regarding the entrance interview - how much discretion does the officer have?
    Just the other day, the officer stopped and question my mother who has been visiting us 3 times already, each time staying few days shy of 6 months. The officer's claim was that she was spending "too much time" here :(

    However, the question I have is how much authority the officer has regarding questioning me, GC holder? -- while she was in-process, he called me with questions - and told me several outright lies (e.g., details of what she said to another officer, language of their conversation etc)

    -- how much "fishing" authority does the officer have? Can they lie like that?!?

    Because based on common sense, one would expect questions regarding how you plan to support your visitor, health care etc -- but no, I was asked what she does while she visits! grrr.... Thank you!
  11. Triple Citizen

    Triple Citizen Registered Users (C)

    Complete. An officer can deny a visitor entry if he/she merely suspects the entry applicant of not being truthful of his/her intentions.

  12. gagpol

    gagpol Registered Users (C)

    Don't you have to have grounds for a suspicion? Like, when retired grandma comes in to visit her only son and his family - what is "untruthful"? And what kind of "intentions"?

    Spending time with the family, teaching 3YO grandchild to read, getting in touch with long-time friends -- I am not sure how such intentions can be considered "untruthful" :puzzled:

    Guess, the better question is - what are the definition of "untruthful" and "intentions"?
    I do not mean Webster ;) I mean, is there a list or regulation that officers use for training or as a guideline?
  13. Triple Citizen

    Triple Citizen Registered Users (C)

    No, an officer can deny entry if he/she feels the applicant will not leave in a timely manner. The officer does not need to prove anything or present any grounds.

  14. mrshamilton

    mrshamilton Registered Users (C)

    I had that experience and got denied to entry again, i spent on my tourist visa from 20.january to 12. july 09 (my husband is an LPR) and when i came back on 28. of august 09 the officer in washington gave me again until feb.10.......the only mistake we made, we went to a wedding on 6th of september to canada and when we came back 3 days later they pulled us in and keeped me for almost 3 hours, fingerprints, pictures, questions from several officers, bodycheck i really feeled treated like a criminal and after that all they sent me back to canada, they took out my I-94 permission and told me i should be lucky that they did not cancel my visa.....i had to leave to my homecountry just with my handbag.....it was really a bad experience
  15. Triple Citizen

    Triple Citizen Registered Users (C)

    Not to sound incompassionate, but in a way you had it coming. You spent 1 week short of 6 months in the US as a visitor. You leave, and then you return in 6 weeks time as a visitor again. You got lucky and got in. Your luck ran out when you tried your third entry from Canada. You travel pattern was clearly not of a visitor. In the eyes of the border officials, you were using your B-2 visa to live with your husband. No disrespect meant, but I agree with them.

  16. DavidSEA

    DavidSEA Registered Users (C)

    on a personal level, I'm sorry to hear that you had this rather upsetting experience. Unfortunately, the visa and immigration laws do not work well for your situation. By the rules of immigration laws, you were indeed breaking laws as the officer had every reason to believe that you tried to enter with intent to immigrate on your tourist visa. The same could have already happened at your second entry last Aug. if that officer would have known you're visiting your LPR husband. And yes, you're lucky they did not cancel your visa outright.

    There is no quick fix for your situation. Once your LPR husband has his 5 years of US residency, he can apply for naturalization. Once he's a USC, he can sponsor you for a family based GC (check out the relevant forums on this site). Until then, tread lightly, i.e. stay out of the US as much as you can to not get denied and your visa canceled. And for a true catch20, your husband cannot stay too long outside of the US with you either, unless he risks his continuous residence.

  17. mrshamilton

    mrshamilton Registered Users (C)

    thank you triple citizen for that explanation, right now i know that also, the officer in detroit told me clear that i try to life with my husband when i spent more than 6 months in the states.
    my husband is LPR since 2002, we got married in 2003 in my homecountry, in 2004 he moved to my country because of this seperation-situation, the biggest mistake was to believe his company that they have a solution for me when they called him back in 2007 because they told him he was not replaceable........we where that trustful and he started to work again in usa on jan.07.....we gave up everyhing here, our apartment, my job and i followed him in sept 07 to find out that there is no solution for me until he became a citizen......believe me if we had not been that trustful on his company things like that had not happend, but right now we has to face the fact of a long seperation......
  18. DavidSEA

    DavidSEA Registered Users (C)

    Your husband has been a LPR since 2002?? Does he know he could have applied in ~2007 to become a USC and then sponsor you for a GC (Assuming he has continuous residency for 5 years)? At any rate, he should file his N400 asap.

    Editing after re-reading mrshamilton' reply: when did he move back to the US as LPR? I hope he has not broken his GC residency conditions. Also, I wonder when his 5 years continuous residency clock got restarted. That will inform when he is up to apply for naturalization.

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2010
  19. Triple Citizen

    Triple Citizen Registered Users (C)

    Have you considered seeking (if you qualify) an H-1B visa?

  20. Triple Citizen

    Triple Citizen Registered Users (C)

    I think the husband has to wait 4 years and 1 day from the day he returned in 2007.


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