I need help on my situation. I applied for a visitor visa to the US. When I filled in my application, I requested a month and I was given a 2-year multiple entry visa.

I know that, at the port of entry, it's the immigration officer that determines one's stay. I now want to stay for 4 months, if the officer gives me 6 months when I enter. I don't plan to overstay and ruin my future travel chances.

What should I do to not ruin my chances, but still stay for 4 months? Can I book a return for one month then, later, extend it to 4 months?

If I stay for 4 months, won't they think I am not truthful the next time I apply for a visa?

  • 7
    You probably mean "What should I do to not ruin my chances" - it was too few characters for me to propose an edit.
    – JBentley
    Dec 1, 2018 at 22:40
  • How will you support yourself for 4 months without working?
    – jcaron
    Dec 2, 2018 at 10:01
  • The person i am visiting is taking care of the expenses for the 4 months.
    – Gozo246
    Dec 2, 2018 at 13:15

2 Answers 2


My advice is to stick to what you originally requested in your application for your first visit. After that for subsequent visits on the same visa you can stay till the duration given at the airport.

In November 1998, I applied for a US visa (for my second visit) requesting to stay for three weeks (maybe six, I have forgotten). I was issued a one year multiple entry visa. I came and was given six months at the airport. I spent five months three weeks and left, thinking I had beaten the system.

In September of 1999, when that visa was a few days from expiring I applied for an automatic renewal under the Interview Waiver Program. To my consternation I was invited for an interview. I think I was only asked three questions, one of which was how long I stayed on my previous visit and promptly denied.

  • 9
    Wow, that's kinda harsh. I mean I get it, you didn't end up doing what you said you were going to do, but (a) plans change and (b) they literally gave you the flexibility to change your plans within the scope that you did. So that's harsh. Dec 1, 2018 at 20:45
  • 4
    I find this rather strange and think it's at least uncommon. If the CBP officer tells you (by stamping it into your passport) that you can stay 180 days, that's the limit. Also, behavior from the 90ies is not a good reference for 2018.
    – Aganju
    Dec 2, 2018 at 1:07
  • 1
    The problem is the suspicion that the visitor lied in the original application, and always intended to stay for 6 months. It might be different with a clear, documented reason for a change of plans. Dec 2, 2018 at 5:04
  • 1
    @Aganju You have no idea what you are talking about. There are numerous cases like that I personally know about including in the last few years. It is common knowledge. You are conjectuing without knowledge. There are even others who were turned away upon landing at the airport on their second visit. Immigration enforcement is even harsher now than in the 90’s. Read/watch the news Dec 2, 2018 at 6:02

Whatever the CBP officer decides when you are admitted is valid, so if he gives you six months, you are admitted for six months.

If you have any doubts, you can simply ask him - you are considering to stay four month instead of what you planned originally, would that be ok?, and I am quite sure he will tell you the same - 180 days max, enjoy your visit!

  • Here is an example of someone who suffered the same fate in the UK, including an image of the rejection notice. It also happens in the USA. Dec 2, 2018 at 5:33
  • -1. This is patently misleading information that can harm the OP. The consular officer you meet on your subsequent visa application interview usually does not know about your conversation with the border immigration officer. An example from the UK posted here on travel exchange Dec 2, 2018 at 5:47
  • the UK is not the USA, and has quite different rules and policies.
    – Aganju
    Dec 2, 2018 at 15:35
  • Repeating your arguments doesn't make them stronger. Both your examples are from the UK, and therefore completely unrelated. All you are claiming is that you know it better, because you know it better, with unrelated examples.
    – Aganju
    Dec 2, 2018 at 15:48
  • "if he gives you six months, you are admitted for six months." That's what @HonoraryWorldCitizen yet was rejected the next time he(?) wanted to go to the US.
    – RonJohn
    Dec 2, 2018 at 16:21

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