I went to Hawaii USA last January 22, 2016 to take my National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) on January 27 2016.I am from the Philippines. Upon arriving at the airport, the immigration officer allowed me a 6-month stay. My intended date going back to my country was on February 3 2016 but since I failed the exam, I stayed and I took another one on July 19, 2016 in Glendale, California, which I also failed. My mother and two sisters are in California.

I returned to the Philippines on July 19 2016 and my visa expired July 21 2016. Did I violate any immigration rules?

Now, I want to visit my sick mom in California. Can I go back for this reason? By the way, the visa that I used to go to the US was single entry B1 visa with an annotation that the purpose of my travel was to take the exam. I am anxious that I might be refused another visa, because I have been refused once already.I was denied the first time before I went to US.I was applying to take the October 27 2015 exam to CA but the consul asked me if I have relatives in the USA.I honesly said "yes". The consul stood still for a while as if he was having a second thought of giving me the visa.He said " excuse me for a minute" then he talked to someone else then when he came back he said he can't give me the visa.He advised me to just instead take the exam on Guam or Hawaii.Maybe that's why I wasn't denied the next time I applied to Hawaii.My reason for staying almost the entity of my visa is because I had to take another exam on July 19 2016.I am not currently petitioned by anybody to migrate in the US.Way back we were petitioned(whole family) by my uncle but by the time our petitioned was approved I was already 26 so I couldn't go with them.

  • 2
    Why not? Did you do something wrong?
    – andrewmh20
    May 21, 2017 at 13:52
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    @greatone Given 6 month stay until July 21 and implies leaving July 19 or 20....I'm missing something
    – andrewmh20
    May 21, 2017 at 14:05
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    @Phantom departure on July 21 would also have been okay.
    – phoog
    May 21, 2017 at 14:46
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    Possibly OP entered and stated that the stay would be a month or whatever then ended up staying the entire visa length.
    – mkennedy
    May 21, 2017 at 17:01
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    Hello George, welcome to the site. The 6-month entry stamp you received at the border is not a visa; the visa is the sticker in your passport that you would have received from a US consulate. Since you were admitted until July 21 and you left on July 19th, you do not seem to have violated any immigration laws or regulations, so, on the information you've provided, you should have no trouble returning to the US. You can check your travel records at i94.cbp.dhs.gov; there is a procedure for correcting them if necessary.
    – phoog
    May 22, 2017 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


Did I violate any immigration rules here?

So far as you did not stay beyond your I-94 date, you did not overstay or break the immigration law on overstaying.

What is an I-94?

The Arrival and Departure Record is the I-94, in either paper or electronic format, issued by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer to foreign visitors entering the United States. After April 30, 2013, most Arrival and /or Departure records will be created electronically upon arrival. Instead of a paper form, the visitor will be provided with an annotated stamp in the foreign passport. If provided a paper form, the admitting CBP Officer generally attaches the I-94 to the visitor's passport and stamps the departure date on the form.

In both circumstances, an electronic I-94 or paper I-94, the visitor must exit the U.S. on or before that date stamped on the form or in the passport.

Now I do not know if you broke other immigration rules like not working etc. However aside from leaving before the date on the I-94, there is another consideration, did you leave before the date you said you would? For example in 1998 I applied for a visa to visit the USA saying I would stay for one month. I was issued a one year multiple visa. When I entered the USA, I was given 6 months on my I-94. I ended up staying 5 months and 3 weeks before departing. Next time I went to renew my visa which was supposed to be a routine affair without an interview, my application was denied because I stayed longer than I said I would stay previously. So although I did not break the law because I left before the date on my I-94, I was unreliable and hence was denied. That is the problem you might face.

Your case is somewhat similar, but you had a more acceptable to stay somewhat longer although in my opinion you did stay a bit too long. Your chances of getting the visa are 50/50.

Now, I want to visit my sick mom in California. Can I go back for this reason?

Visiting a sick relative is an acceptable reason to visit the USA.

  • Another possible issue: if OP is able to spontaneously extend a two-week visit to six months, will an immigration officer believe he still has strong ties to the Philippines? May 23, 2017 at 14:37
  • Ok, "unreliable" and "no ties to home country" seemed like separate issues to me; I agree your experience also could involve both, but thought the second could be mentioned explicitly. May 23, 2017 at 15:10
  • Since I failed the January 27 2016 exam I looked forward to taking another one on July 19 2016.Could that be a valid reason why I stayed longer than what I said I would?There was an April 27 2016 exam but that would be too soon because I had to finish three books for me to have a better chance of passing the exam. May 27, 2017 at 7:26
  • @GeorgeCenteno valid reason. It does not mean you will be granted the visa. What if they say write the exam in your country? I am sure the exam is offered in Philippines. Your chances are 50/50. If you're single and unmarried without kids, it will be tough. May 27, 2017 at 11:28
  • The NPTE(Narional Physical Therapy Exam) have never been administered in the Philippines.I am married with two children. May 28, 2017 at 11:43

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