How to Get a Visitor’s Visa Extension


A visitor’s visa allows you to enter the country for business or pleasure purposes for six months. When you come into the country you must provide evidence that you intend to legitimately pursue one of these two purposes.

The US monitors your conduct while you’re in the country and looks for signs that you’re trying to establish residency, or that you’re trying to work or study while you’re in the country on your visa. They also look for signs that you’re trying to engage in “birth tourism,” that is, entering the country for the intent of having a child here, thus turning that child into a citizen.

It is very important that you get the right type of visa for your intended stay. Consult with an immigration attorney if you aren’t sure. Immigration is difficult enough without creating the impression that you attempted to do anything under false pretenses. 

There are lots of legitimate reasons why someone would need to extend such a visa, and the government recognizes them. These include:

  • Medical emergencies or recovery from medical emergencies.
  • Problems with your flight or being unable to fly.
  • Family problems.
  • Other legitimate purposes on a case-by-case basis. 

If you want to extend your stay you should make the application at least 45 days before your visa expires. This can be difficult if the unforeseen circumstance arises at near the six month mark, perhaps just a few days before you plan to go home.

For that reason, a prudent traveler might plan to stay for 135 days instead of 180, creating a solid cushion of time to get a visa extension approved should an unforeseen circumstance arise. 

What if you want to change your visa type? If you are offered a job or an academic opportunity there is also room to file for a change of status. You might want to file for an extension for the purpose of remaining in the country legally while waiting for your change of status application to be processed. 

Keep in mind that students are facing difficulties getting their visas renewed, which means if you do intend to stay in the United States you may want to get legal help right from the start. Many students are missing their classes thanks to delays by the US State Department.

Need help? Contact Hykel Law today. We can help you get the right visa for your needs and can help you avoid trouble with immigration authorities.

See also:

How to Found a Company in the United States

Remote Work and US Immigration Law

What Happens When You Lose Your Job on an H-1B Visa?


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