It has been many people’s dream to stay in the United States for that American dream. The US is always known to everyone around the world as the land of opportunity, the land of milk and honey, and living in America allows you to reach your goals and win in life, basically.
The United States offers several types of visas that allow people to visit the country, with the visitor visa being one of them. However, some people are curious if that translates to being able to permanently stay in the country, either for immigration or career purposes.
Let this article answer the question: can I permanently stay in the US with a visitor visa?
Can I Permanently Stay In The US With A Visitor Visa?
Sadly, no. A visitor visa is also known as a nonimmigrant visa, which by definition means that the holder of the said visa has no intention of permanently living in the United States.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) knows this and it is one of their main requirements when approving someone’s application for a visitor visa – that the applicant will return to their home country after their stay in America.
So if you have a visitor visa, it means that you are only allowed to stay in the United States for a limited period of time, as specified in your visa. Once your visa expires, you will have to leave the country and reapply for another one if you still want to visit again.
What Visas Should I Have, Then?
There are many types of visas you can use to stay in the US permanently. One is the K1 visa. A K1 visa is a type of fiance visa that lets you enter the US if you are engaged to a US citizen and you want to marry them inside the country.
You can get a fiance visa if you are:
1. Engaged to a US citizen, and
2. You have met your fiance face-to-face within the past two years, and
3. You and your fiance are free to marry (not married to other people), and
4. You can financially support yourself during your stay in America, and
5. You are entering the United States for the sole purpose of getting married.
You will have to go through an interview process and provide evidence that you meet all the requirements, but if you are approved for a K1 visa, you will be allowed to enter the country and stay here for up to 90 days.
During that time, you and your fiance must get married. Once you are married, you can then apply for a green card to permanently stay in the United States.
Another way to stay in America permanently is through an immigrant visa. You will need to go through a long process and meet several requirements, but if you are approved for an immigrant visa, you will be allowed to live and work in the United States indefinitely.
You can apply for an immigrant visa if you:
1. Have a close relative who is a US citizen, or
2. Have been granted asylum or refugee status, or
3. Want to invest money in the US, or
4. Meet special requirements for certain jobs.
If you want to live in America permanently, then you should apply for an immigrant visa. However, if you just want to visit the country for a short period of time, then you can apply for a visitor visa. Just keep in mind that a visitor visa will not let you stay in the United States permanently.
What Happens if I Break the Rules?
If you happen to stay in the US even though your tourist visa has reached its expiration, you will be considered “out of status.” That means you are in the country illegally and you can be deported back to your home country at any time.
You may also be banned from returning to the United States for a certain period of time, or even permanently. So it’s really not worth it to try and stay in the US illegally.
Indeed, everyone wants to achieve the American dream, and it’s understandable. A tourist visa won’t allow you to stay in the United States permanently, but there are other visa options if you want to live in America permanently. Just make sure to follow the rules of your visa, or you could face deportation and a ban from returning to the country.