Our Chicago immigration lawyers can assist you in receiving proper immigration status. Visa and status are not one and the same thing. The visa serves as a travel document to allow the noncitizen to whom it was issued to travel to the U.S. and apply for admission into the US. The noncitizen must apply for admission to the U.S. during the validity period of the visa. The visa alone does not, however, confer any immigration status or employment authorization, and the validity of the visa does not relate whatsoever to the period of time the noncitizen is authorized to remain in the US. The expiration of the visa following the noncitizen's entry into the United States does not necessarily affect the noncitizen's authorized stay in the United States.
The period of authorized stay is indicated on the Form I-94 issued to the noncitizen and is unrelated to the period during which a consular officer has authorized an noncitizen to apply for admission to the U.S. under the classification indicated on the visa.
The I-94 is issued at a U.S. port of entry following an interview by an immigration officer to determine whether the noncitizen is eligible for admission in that particular nonimmigrant category. The Form I-94 indicates the classification under which the noncitizen is admitted and the period of authorized stay in the U.S. under that classification. Although the period of authorized stay is usually expressed with a beginning and ending date, for some nonimmigrants classifications the authorized period of stay may be expressed as "D/S," meaning for duration of status.
Maintaining valid status at all times is important for future applications for benefits in the U.S. If you have any concerns regarding your status in the U.S. call us at 773-516-4100 or contact us online for a consultation to discuss your immigration issues or questions.