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CaseLaw, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
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Experience:  BCom; LLB; Masters in Law
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Dear Sir/Madam I am a South African citizen and live in Cape

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Dear Sir/Madam
I am a South African citizen and live in Cape Town. I currently have a US visa (B1/B2) which is valid for another 9 years. Last year I visited the US for a period of 3 months. I would like to visit again later this year but for a longer period. Before I book my return flight I need to know if there is any restriction on the length of my stay. Ideally I would like to come for about 8 to 9 months, and will be staying with friends the whole time. We plan on touring during this time. I am also thinking of doing some volunteer work if possible during this time. I own 2 properties in South Africa, I am married and have 3 adult children who all live and work in Cape Town. Do you foresee any problems should I want to stay for such an extended period? Kind regards XXXXX XXXXX thanks, XXXXX XXXXX [email protected]
Hi there and thank you for your question,

Typically a visa will be issued to you with certain restrictions applying. For example, even though you were granted a 10 year visa to the US, you may only be allowed to visit the US for 6 months at a time.

You would therefore need to visit for 6 months, then leave, then return again for 6 months, then leave again.

You can however normally obtain extensions to these restrictions, so that you could visit for up to 1 year without having to leave between. This will need to be done through the US consulate, and as long as you have good reasons for the required extension (e.g. touring holiday), it should normally be granted.

Have a look at this website for some more informaiton:

This also obviously depends on what visa you actually have, as some are more restrictive than others.

See this quote from the website: "Those entering on visitor visas will generally be granted 6 months admission (the maximum allowable is one year) on entry. It may be possible to obtain a six-month extension to the visit visa as long as the candidate will be maintaining visitor status, and there are good reasons to do so. It is sometimes possible to change status to another longer - term visa whilst in the US as a visitor, as long as the candidate advised the relevant US Embassy or Consulate of this possibility beforehand, or there was no pre-conceived intent to do so."

On the facts that you have provided, I see no reason that you should not be granted an extension to your trip. Also due to the fact that you own fixed property in South Africa, and you have family here.

If there is something more specific that you need clarity on, please continue in this same thread.

Good luck and best regards,


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you very much for your assistance. Just to clarify - It appears then that the best route for me to take would be to book a return flight within a 6 month period and should I wish to extend my visit by another few months I can apply for the extension whilst in the US?
Many thanks.
Hi again,

No, my suggestion is that you contact the US consulate before you leave for your trip in order to gain an extension.

Perhaps you should phone the consulate directly in order to obtain the necessary forms: Nationwide:(NNN) NNN-NNNNbr/>

You'll obviously need to explain that you already have a visa!

Good luck and best regards,

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