Nonimmigrant Status Lawyers
How Can I Extend My Stay in the United States?
As a nonimmigrant, you must ask for permission to extend your stay from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You must do so before your authorized stay expires. If you wish to travel to the United States in the future, proof that you are willing to obey U.S. laws will be important. If you break any immigration laws, you may be subject to deportation or removal.
Who May Apply?
To apply to extend your stay in the United States:
- You must have been lawfully admitted into the U.S. with a nonimmigrant visa
- Your nonimmigrant visa status must be valid
- You must not have committed any crimes that would make you ineligible
- If you want to remain longer than the date noted on your I-94, you must apply to extend your status - as noted above, you must apply before your authorized stay expires
- You must keep your passport valid for your entire stay
Who May Not Apply?
If you were admitted into the United States in any of the following visa categories, you may not apply for an extension:
- VWP - Visa Waiver Program
- D - Crewman
- C - Alien in transit or in transit without a visa
- K - Fiancé of a U.S. citizen or a dependent of a fiancé
- S - Informant (and accompanying family) on terrorism or organized crime
What is the Application Process?
The following nonimmigrant workers must have their employers read and file a CIS Form I-129 (Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker) with any supporting documentation:
- E - International Traders and Investors
- H - Temporary Workers
- L - Intracompany Transferees
- O - Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
- P -Entertainers and Athletes
- Q - Participants in International Exchange Programs
- R - Religious Workers
- TN - Canadians and Mexicans under NAFTA
Those in the following categories should read and complete Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) themselves and submit required documents:
- A - Diplomatic and other government officials
- B - Temporary visitors for business or pleasure
- F - Academic students and their families
- G - Representatives to international organizations
- I - Representatives of foreign media
- J - Exchange visitors
- M - Vocational students
- N - Parents and children of the people who have been granted special immigrant status because their parents were employed by an international organization in the United States
The application and fee should be sent to the USCIS Service Center in the area where you are staying. If your nonimmigrant status is work-related, the application should be sent to the Service Center serving the area in which you work.
What if My Authorized Stay Has Already Expired?
If you do not file your extension on time, you must show that:
- Your delay was caused by extraordinary circumstances not under your control;
- The length of the delay was reasonable;
- You have not violated your nonimmigrant status in any other way;
- You are still a nonimmigrant; and
- You are not in formal proceedings to remove you from the United States.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Extend My Nonimmigrant Status?
An experienced immigration attorney can inform you of the proper steps to take in order to extend your stay. An immigration lawyer also can tell you which forms to fill out based on your particular situation.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 02-01-2013 04:02 PM PST
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