Can I be in the United States legally as long as my visa is still valid?

Not necessarily. A visa is a document that is meant to allow a foreign national to request permission to enter the United States. Thus, the expiration date on your visa is the date on which your permission to request entry expires. When a foreign national presents a Customs and Border Patrol official with his/her visa at the port of entry that official has discretion to allow or deny admission. Accordingly, that official will also determine how long the foreign national can stay in the United States. The U.S. immigration inspector will either write a date or a "D/S" on the entering individual's Form I-94. If your I-94 contains a date then that is the date by which you have to leave the U.S., regardless of whether your visa is still valid. If your I-94 has a "D/S" then you will be allowed to stay in the country so long as your status is valid.

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