How to Increase Your Chances of a US Visitor Visa Extension


Visitor visa extensions are getting tougher to obtain, but if you have a genuine need to stay in the United States a little longer there are ways to make your case which can be successful. 

There are two types of visitor’s visa.

The first is the B-1 visa, which is for business. Business visas are often extended when you need to continue participating in a contract negotiation, contract, scientific experiment, or other legitimate business need that has not been concluded as planned by the end of your six months.

The second is the B-2 visa, for pleasure or medical treatment. You can often ask for more time to attend certain family functions like weddings or funerals, or even to continue with certain tourism activities. 

Both visas are typically issued for a period of 6 months, but can be eligible for a 6 month extension. 

Each of these visitor’s visas is extended for a period of up to 10 years. If you choose to go to Canada or Mexico at the end of six months you must spend at least 30 days out of the United States before you can leave for another six months. This will not be feasible for everyone. 

Filing the request.

You should file an I-539, which is the Application to Extend or Change Nonimmigrant Status. It’s usually wise to file your I-539 at least 45 days before your visa is set to expire. Keep in mind you will only be eligible for an extension if you do not allow yourself to fall out of status and you have not at any point violated the conditions of your admission to the United States.

Once you file your case you’ll get a case number which you can use to check your case status online. Once you have a case number you may remain until a decision is made as long as you don’t violate other conditions of your stay.

You only get one extension, which means you need to be able to show that you plan to leave the United States without fail at the end of your extension period. You will also have to provide evidence that you are financially prepared to remain in the US. 

Documents You Will Need

You’ll need a cover letter that explains why you need the extension, proof of financial support, copy of your return tickets, a $370 extension fee, an $85 biometric fee, and a copy of your I-94.

If your extension request is denied and you truly have a need to remain you should leave the country for at least thirty days and contact an immigration attorney.

See also:

3 Immigration Mistakes to Avoid

5 Steps to a Smoother Immigration Process

New Immigration Fees Philadelphia Immigrants Should Know About


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