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Immigration Issues/Grace Period for Tourist Visas

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Question
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?

Answer
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

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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".

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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.

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

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