IMMIGRATION HELP PHILADELPHIA
Extension of stay in the United States
If you are in the United States and want to extend your stay, you are required to file a request with USCIS via form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. You must do this before your stay expires. If you do not request this before your stay expires and you remain in the United States anyway, you may be barred from returning to the United States, and/or you may be deported from the United States. To check when your stay expires, you can look in the bottom right hand corner of your I-94, Arrival-Departure Record. You should submit an application to extend your stay at least 45 days before your stay is set to expire.
You will be permitted to extend your stay if you meet the following criteria: you were lawfully admitted into the United States with a non-immigrant visa; your non-immigrant visa status remains valid; you have not committed any crimes that make you ineligible for a visa; you have not violated the conditions of your admission to the United States; and your passport is valid and will remain valid for the duration of your stay. In the following circumstances, you will not be permitted to extend your stay in the United States: you are part of a visa waiver program; you have a D non-immigrant visa; you are in transit through the United States (C nonimmigrant visa); you are in transit through the United States without a visa; you are the fiancé of a United States citizen or dependent of a fiancé (K non-immigrant visa); or you are an information on terrorism or organized crime (S non-immigrant visa).
To determine if you are permitted to extend your stay in the United States, please contact us and we can help walk you through the process. It can be confusing trying to determine if you are eligible or not, and we are happy to help you with this. There are other categories of people who may be permitted to extend their stay in the United States. In some circumstances, your employer will be eligible to petition for an employee to extend their stay in the United States via form I-129, Petition for a Non-immigrant Worker. It is also possible that if your stay is extended, your spouse and children can also have their stay extended. When your employer files an I-129, they will also need to file an I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status. These two forms should be filed together so that USCIS can make the decision on these issues at the same time.
It is important to note that while you are permitted to file an extension once your visa has expired, it is unlikely that it will be permitted. Therefore, it is very important that you file the extension before your visa actually expires. Also keep in mind that even if you are eligible to file an extension of stay, it is not automatically granted. It is important to make sure you have all supporting documents that are required, and that you file everything accurately, fully, and timely. Please contact us and we will be happy to help you with all of this.