Frequent Visits and Excessive Stay on Visitors Visa
Is this you?
  • Lakshmi has 3 daughters and all of them stay in the U.S. When her eldest daughter was pregnant, she sponsored her visa. Lakshmi got a 10-year multiple entry visa. Lakshmi stayed in the U.S. for exactly 6 months and then went back to India.

    A month later, her youngest daughter gave the news that they have decided to have a housewarming for a house they just purchased. Therefore, she invited her to visit the U.S. After a total stay of two months in India, she headed to the U.S. again. She stayed in the U.S. for 5 months and visited her other daughter's houses too. Lakshmi went back to India.

    Two months later, her middle daughter informed her that she is pregnant. Lakshmi decided to help her out and went back to the U.S. She stayed at her place for a full 6 months. As her middle daughter was too busy with work and her husband had to frequently travel due to his job, she asked her mother to extend her visitors visa and stay for 6 months more, to which she happily agreed. Lakshmi came back to India after staying in the U.S. for one year.

    Six months later, her eldest daughter gave the good news that she is expecting again and would like her to help her out. Lakshmi immediately booked the tickets and stayed at her eldest daughter's house for 6 months. As usual, the daughter was too busy with work and therefore Lakshmi again applied for a visitors visa extension and it was denied. Lakshmi had to immediately go back to India. Lakshmi's 10 years multiple entry visa was void then.

    As Lakshmi was still eager to help her daughter, she applied for a fresh tourist visa which was denied and the consular officer informed her that she had abused the visitors visa. She argued that she had visited the U.S. legally every time and stayed in the U.S. only till the allowed duration. When she stayed beyond the original duration, she had legally extended her stay. She could not figure out what she did wrong.

What is the problem?
A visitors visa is given to visit the United States for a short time for touring the U.S., visiting the family and for other similarly allowed activities. It is not meant to stay in the U.S. for as long you possibly can. If visitors frequently visit the U.S. and stay in the U.S. every time, their intentions are not consistent with the genuine visitor. That violates the original intention of getting the visitors visa.

Of course, while we have personally no bias or opinion on this, in the eyes of the U.S. immigration law and the consular officer, such visitors are abusing the type of visitors visa they have got. Have you seen the Hindi movie "Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?" That is what the U.S. government is saying to such visitors.

If the person tries to stay in the U.S. for a longer time, compared to their stay in their home country, they may get a shorter authorized stay at the port of entry and may be given a warning. The visitors may also be denied entry into the U.S. and be sent home right away. Moreover, once your current visa expires or is void, you may not get the visa the next time you apply.

Therefore, it is best to respect and obey the rules. If you are a U.S. citizen and are able to sponsor their green card, it may be advisable to do so to enable them to stay in the U.S. permanently. If that is not possible, tough luck.

Just because all the sons and daughters are in the U.S., or mother is a widow or sick, and there is no one to take care of such persons back in the home country, there is no provision in the visitors visa law so that they can stay here forever (as long as possible) on a visitors visa.

FAQ
Q: My mother visited the U.S. and stayed here for 6 months. She has now gone back to India. What is the minimum time she needs to stay in India before coming back to the U.S.?
A: There is no such minimum time required by law. However, if she tries to stay in the U.S. for long, it would cause problems.

Q: Is it true that the visitor must stay in the home country for at least 6 months before visiting to the U.S. again?
A: There is no such minimum time required by law. However, if she tries to stay in the U.S. for long, it would cause problems.