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Immigration Issues/Grace Period for Tourist Visas


My mother-in-law is visiting from West Africa.  Upon entry into the U.S., she received a visa for 180 days.  The round-trip airline ticket was acquired prior to her entry thinking in terms of 6 months rather than 180 days.  Her return flight is scheduled for 4 days after the date stamped on her passport due to the difference between 6 months and 180 days.  Is there any grace period allowed in this case or is it necessary to get a visa extension just for 4 days?

It would be wise to ask for an extension just in case she needs to stay longer or has any problems. However, there are no real negative consequences to overstaying a tourist visa by a few days.  However, you don't want to overstay more than 180 days. And you don't want to develop a habitual overstay habit. That is she comes in and stays the full 180 days plus some, and then leaves the country for a month or two and comes back and stays the whole 180 days and then some. This suggests a pattern of fraud in that she is really living permanently in the USA, not temporarily visiting.

Good luck.

Immigration Issues

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Alexander J. Hay


I am a U.S. lawyer with offices in Houston, Texas and in Belize. I can answer questions on U.S. Immigration, U.S. corporate law, and Offshore Tax and Asset Planning.
If you are on an H or L visa I am NOT GOING TO ANSWER your questions since they are usually highly fact oriented, and also you have a company attorney handling the whole thing. Call your own attorney please! If you disregard this request, don't be surprised if I answer with "homework question".


I am a U.S. attorney with offices in the United States and Belize. I have experience helping to protect assets, reduce taxes, and improve investment performance by utilizing global investment techniques.

Harvard University, A.B. degree; University of Houston Law Center, J.D. Degree; Fulbright Scholar

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