Staying in the US Longer Than Expected? Know Your Visa!

June 24, 2015by admin

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At some point during their stay, some visitors to the U.S. decide they want to stay longer than what was allotted for on their original I-94 arrival-departure document. If you are a visiting the U.S. and want to stay longer, then you will need to apply for a visitor visa extension. Here’s what you should know before applying for a B2 visitor visa extension.

B2 Visitor Visa Extension Requirements:

  • You must have entered the U.S. lawfully on a nonimmigrant visa.
  • If you needed a passport when you were admitted into the United States, you need to maintain the validity of your passport while in the U.S.
  • If your passport is not valid when you file Form I-539, you will need to submit an explanation for the reason why.
  • You must have proof that you will be financially supported for the duration of your extended stay.
  • You must demonstrate proof that you will not stay past your extension.
  • You must have a legitimate reason to apply for a B-2 extension.
  • You must be admissible to the U.S.
  • You must not have committed a crime that disqualifies you from applying for a visa.

Applying for a B2 Visitor Visa Extension:

  • If you apply for the B-2 extension soon after entering the U.S, USCIS will assume that the extension was planned before entry. Therefore, it is advised not to apply for an extension within 3 months of your stay.
  • Its recommended that you apply for the extension 45 days prior to the I-94 expiration and no later than the I-94 expiration date.
  • You can request a maximum of 6 months for your extension.
  • If you have already been in the U.S. for 6 months, please note that you can only stay in the U.S for up to a year on the B-2.

After Applying for the B2 Visitor Visa Extension:

  • After applying for the extension, USCIS will send you a receipt number. You may use this to track the progress of your application.
  • If your I-94 expires before a decision about your extension is made, you will be considered “out of status”. However, your waiting time will not count as unlawful days in the United States
  • If your extension is approved, you will be issued a new I-94, indicating your new departure date (Hold on to your original I-94, since you will need both when you leave the United States.)
  • If your extension is denied, you will be asked to leave the U.S. immediately. (Usually you are given a 30 day grace period to leave the U.S.)

The immigration attorneys at Ervin Kibria can help you apply for your extension and improve the chances of it being approved.