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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawUS Immigration LawHow Long Is A United States Tourist Visa Valid?

How Long Is A United States Tourist Visa Valid?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing US tourist visas and the validity thereof. 

A question that often comes up when talking about US tourist visas with people on the phone etc., we don't handle a lot of us tourist visas, let me be clear on that. In most cases either we find that the person who is applying is simply not really eligible and therefore we can't really take the case or we find that there is not a lot of value really added by our services specifically in the US tourist visa application. In some circumstances we do take those cases but it is going to again depend on the specific circumstances of the given case.

A question that comes up a lot that I have heard over the years and so I decided to make a video is, “How long is a tourist visa issued for? How long is it valid?"  Well it's going to depend.  The Consular Officer adjudicating a visa application for a B-1 Business technically business visitor visa or a B-2 travel and leisure/pleasure if you will B-2 tourist visa, or a B1/B2 which is the more standard category or more standardly utilized category; non-immigrant tourist visa for lack of a better word.  The discretion on the validity of the visa’s issuance sits with the Consular Officer adjudicating a case and I have seen circumstances in the past where they will only issue a single-entry tourist visa to the United States; it is relatively rare but it can happen.  In most instances where a B-1/B-2 tourist visa is issued for the United States, it is generally issued as a 10-year multi-entry visa and then that individual is allowed to travel to and from the United States throughout that period of time.  Now in another video on this channel we will get into the validity of tourist visa status once in the United States as that is a different matter from the actual validity of the visa itself.  

But the thing to take away from this specific video is, in most cases that I see, especially now it's been a number of years since I've seen anything issued in any different way, most of these visas, especially tourist visas, are going to be issued for a 10-year validity.  That being said, if one violates the terms of their visa or one is determined by US Customs and Border Protection to be abusing their Tourist Visa, that visa can be revoked and that individual can be determined to be what is called an Immigrant Without Proper Documentation traveling to the United States; they can have their visa denied, they can be turned away.  In certain cases they can be asked if they wish to withdraw their application for admission, voluntarily depart the United States, or in very extreme cases that I have seen over the years, they can be placed in what is called expedited removal; turned around and be barred from re-entering the United States for as much as five years. 

So a tourist visa and this should be well noted by those watching this video, does not guarantee entry to the US by any means but it generally is issued for a validity of 10 years.  It has a multi-entry component so one can come and go throughout that 10 years.  So long as they are admitted one can come and go to the United States on that tourist visa during the validity of the visa itself.