Featured News 2019 Tips for a Visa Extension

Tips for a Visa Extension

Sometimes, a person needs to stay in the United State for longer than initially attended. However, visas dictate how long a person can stay inside the United States. If you are in the United States on a visa and need an extension, it is possible to obtain one. This process is not easy and will require an application with the government.

Requesting a Visa Extension with United States Citizenship & Immigration Services

The agency in charge of approving or denying your visa extension is the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). Your application will need to convince this agency that you intend on returning to your home country and your application is an honest pursuit of a temporary extension and not a permanent stay. If the USCIS is unconvinced of your reasons for extending your visa, they will deny your request.

Tips for a Successful Extension

When applying for a visa extension, do not do so within three months of being in the country. Since many visas last for 3 months, the USCIS will take a quick extension request as a sign that you never intended to stay for the length of your original visa. If you’re intentions are not perceived as honest, the USCIS may elect to send you back to your home country.

Instead, try applying for an extension about 45 days before your I-94 visa expires. While you can apply sooner than this, caution is always a great tool for an extension. The I-94 visa dictates how long you can stay in the United States, and the USCIS will look at this date instead of the one stamped in your passport. Be certain that you’ve applied for the correct extension. Though it may take time to hear back about your extension, submitting a request with 45 days to spare should be enough time to avoid being in the country illegally.

Don’t Try to Game the System

Some people believe that they can go to Canada or Mexico and then come back to the US to avoid the lengthy process of receiving a vise extension—this isn't legal. You won't be issued a new visa if you try this tactic. In fact, the only way to try this strategy is to travel outside of America, to a different continent, and come back with a new visa. However, immigration officials may cancel your visa if they discover your attempt to circumvent visa policies.

What if an Extension is Approved?

If your extension is approved, it will last for a maximum of six month. When a visa extension expires, a person is not eligible for a second extension. If you remain longer than your extension, then you are in the country illegally. If you are trying to stay in the United States for longer than an extension will allow, it’s time to call an immigration lawyer. Use our directory to find an experienced attorney near you today.

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