1

I am German, currently in the US with a B-2 visa (multiple-entry) for volunteering. The visa issued by the Embassy expires December 24th, 2015 (June 29th, 2015 - December 24th, 2015). When I entered the US end of July 2015, I got the stamp, saying admitted until January 26th, 2016.

For a family emergency I had to go back home for a couple of weeks. I re-entered the US on October 22nd, 2015 and the new stamp says admitted until April 21, 2016, as says my I-94.

So, if I don't leave the US, I can stay until April 21, 2016 without having an overstay, correct?

I have to visit my family for Christmas and would like to come back in January 2016, would this be possible?

What is the relevant date, the one on the issued visa or the one in the recent I-94?

Or should I leave and come back before December 24th, 2015?

I already have an existing ESTA which I used for entering the US in 2014. If I could not re-enter the US with my B-2 visa after December 24th, could I enter the US with my approved ESTA?

Is all this somehow affected by the fact that I take part in the green card lottery?

I just want to make sure, that everything is legal. As much as I like it here, I only want to stay here if this is approved.

  • Remember that the Visa Waiver Program only allows 90-day stays. I guess that you originally obtained the visa because you wanted to stay longer than 90 days, but you had to leave because of a family emergency. If you again want to stay longer than 90 days, you will need to obtain a new visa. Also, it's quite odd to get a B-1/B-2 visa with only 6 month validity. To German nationals they are typically issued with 10 year validity. If you decide to get a new visa, you may wish to ask the consulate about that. – Michael Hampton Oct 28 '15 at 2:28
2

So, if I don't leave the US, I can stay until april 21, 2016 without having an overstay, correct?

Yes. The valid dates of your visa (up to December 24th, 2015) is the date up to which you can enter the US. Upon entry, your stamp will tell you the date that you are to leave by.

What is, if I leave the US. I have to visit my family for Christmas and like to come back in January 2016, would this be possible?

Not with your current visa, since it expires in December.

Another question: I already have an existing ESTA which I used for entering the US in 2014. Saying, I could not re-enter the US with my B2 visa after december 24th, could I enter the US with my approved ESTA?

Yes, your ESTA remains valid after your visa expires (as long as your passport also remains valid).

Is all this somehow affected by the fact, that I take part in the greencard lottery?

No. You may enter the greencard lottery at any time, even if you hold other visas or are actually in the US.

  • Thank you Greg, this is really helpful. So that means I either don't leave for Christmas or I re-enter in January with the ESTA? – user36626 Oct 27 '15 at 19:30
  • Yes, that seems to be your available options at this point. – Greg Hewgill Oct 27 '15 at 19:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.