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My girlfriend is applying for a J1 visa to study in Texas for 5 months and 15 days. I want to travel with her and stay with her the whole time. I will not study or work there.

I'm Brazillian and already have a B1/B2 visa with an expiration date in 2029 and as I'm not married, I can`t apply for a J2 visa.

Relevant facts about me:

  • As I will stay 5 and half months, I will quit my job and I will live with my savings and with my girlfriend scholarship funding.
  • Enough funds to stay for the whole time (I will bring 10K US with me, it is enough?).
  • No houses in Brazil. Just a car, bank account, some furniture, etc.
  • Parents and siblings in Brazil.
  • Would travel starting around August 2019 and come back in January 2020.
  • Will be there with airlines round-trip tickets purchased.
  • Me and my girlfriend will travel in the same flight.

I traveled to Chicago this year (May) to stay for 1 week and the officer gave me 6 months stamp, expiring in November 2019. So, I believe that there will be no problem to stay 6 months according to law.

But it is safe to travel there because I will stay there for a long time with my girlfriend which have a different visa?

  • You are likely not to have a problem when coming, however on your NEXT visit after your 5 months plus stay, you could be in trouble. I was also refused the next visa after I came and stayed for exactly 5 months 3 weeks, less than the six months I was given. I don't recommend you spend more than 3 months. – user 56513 Jun 14 '19 at 0:23
  • @user56513, how much time you waited between your two travels? I read that we cannot stay more in the US than in our birth country per year. – user568459 Jun 14 '19 at 1:49
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    The main reason for spending less than half your time in the US is tax. Immigration limits are per visit. Immigration officers will get increasingly suspicious as the proportion of time in the US increases, but there is no strict threshold at 50%. (The taxation threshold is strict, of course.) – phoog Jun 14 '19 at 4:17
  • There's no immigration rule about spending more than 50% of your time in the US but that is a rule of thumb they use. (As in, if you're trying to spend more than 50%, you should expect problems at immigration, but don't interpret that as meaning that less than 50% is always OK.) Without more details about @user56513's visits, we can't really say anything. – David Richerby Jun 14 '19 at 10:37
  • I understand that immigration officers can get suspicious. My plan is to be totally honest to the officer about my staying. I saw in the US embassy in brazillian site that co-habitating partners can travel with B-2 visa. I already have the B-2 visa, I don't know if that make any difference, but I applied for a travel that I made earlier in this year. But I'm afraid that the officer can deny my entry. Do you think that it is safe for me to travel? Or maybe I need another plan? – user568459 Jun 14 '19 at 12:42

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