Visa Extensions: Remaining in the U.S. Longer

Visa Extension: A nonimmigrant enters the U.S. under a nonimmigrant visa for a specific purpose, which can include study, business or pleasure. When entering the U.S as a nonimmigrant individual, you, your visa and passport should be inspected by an immigration official and you will be given a Form I-94/I-94W shows your status and the length of time you are allowed to legally stay in the U.S. Beginning in April 2013, foreign visitors arriving in the U.S. via air or sea can access their I94 and I-94W on line. See U.S. Customs and Border Patrol website. If you want to extend your stay into the U.S., you must ask permission to remain in the U.S. before your status expires.

Eligibility: You may apply for an extension of stay in the U.S if you fit certain requirements:

  • You were lawfully admitted as a nonimmigrant into the U.S.
  • Your nonimmigrant visa status remains valid
  • You have not committed any crimes that would make you ineligible
  • You have submitted an application for extension of stay prior to the expiration date on your I-94 or your period of authorized stay (recommend filing at least 45 days prior to end of period of authorized stay)
  • You are still a bona fide non-immigrant
  • You are not in removal proceedings
  • No other factors, other than status, requires you to leave the U.S.

You are not eligible for extension if you have the current visas status:

  • C – Alien in transit without a visa (TWOV)
  • D – Crewman
  • K(1) or K(2) – Fiancé(e) or dependent of fiancé
  • S – Informant on terrorism or organized crime
  • VWP – admitted under Visa Waiver Program

Spouse and Children: Your spouse and child must also apply to extend their stay if they are on derivative status. It is recommended that the spouse and child apply at the same time as your request for extension of stay.

When to File: You must submit your request before your period of authorized stay expires. It is recommended that you file at least 45 days before your period of authorized stay expires.

What if I File Late: If your period of authorized stay has expired and you are late filing for an extension, you must show:

  • The delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control
  • The length of the delay was reasonable
  • You have not otherwise violated your status
  • You are still a bona fide nonimmigrant and
  • You are not in removal proceedings