Extension of Stay in Covid-19 Times

Yes, extending your B1/B2 business or tourist visa in the US due to Covid-19 impact is a valid reason. That being said, you will still need to pay attention to the process and deadlines. Below is an overview of what you need to be mindful of if you find yourself in need of such an extension.

As always, should you find the process too cumbersome or if you still have unanswered questions pertaining to your specific case, we would be happy to represent you for this particular step, so that your chances of success will increase. Feel free to use the chat box below or our Contact Us page to send us a message with your particular details. The message is confidential and you will be contacted soon after we receive it, so that we can expeditiously go to work on your behalf!

How Long Before My Visa Is Due to Expire Should I Apply? How Long Will It Take To Get an Answer?

USCIS recommends that you apply “at least 45 days before your authorized period of stay expires.” Obviously, everybody’s situation is different, but this should be one guidance that you strive to follow, if you want to avoid the threat of deportation or the need to go back to your country of origin and apply for a new visa. Also to keep in mind is that, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, not only your personal situation could be affected, but government agencies such as USCIS are definitely affected. The best way to understand what you could expect in terms of processing times is to use USCIS’ Case Processing Times Page. There, you can choose your application type and processing center from the drop down menus, and estimate your application processing time based on the information displayed there.

Am I Eligible to Extend My Visa?

The guidlines on the USCIS web site are the following:

You may apply to extend your stay if:

  • You were lawfully admitted into the United States with a nonimmigrant visa
  • Your nonimmigrant 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
  • Your passport is valid and will remain valid for the duration of your stay

You may not apply to extend your stay if you were admitted to the United States in the following categories:

  • Visa Waiver Program
  • Crew member (D nonimmigrant visa)
  • In transit through the United States (C nonimmigrant visa)
  • In transit through the United States without a visa (TWOV)
  • Fiancé of a U.S. citizen or dependent of a fiancé (K nonimmigrant visa)
  • Informant (and accompanying family) on terrorism or organized crime (S nonimmigrant visa)

How Do I File?

You may file online or by paper.

File Online

Not all nonimmigrants are able to file Form I-539 online at this time. You can check your eligibility on our website. If you are eligible, you may create a USCIS online account to file online and:

  • Submit evidence and pay fees electronically;
  • Receive case status updates about your case and see complete case history;
  • Communicate with us securely and directly; and
  • Respond to requests for evidence.

If you already have a USCIS online account, simply sign into your account to get started.

File by Paper

You must:

What Do I Do After I File?

Once we receive your Form I-539, you will receive a:

  • Receipt notice confirming we received your application;
  • Biometric services notice, if applicable;
  • Notice to appear for an interview, if required; and
  • Notice of our decision.

Extend Non-Immigrant Status – Form I-539

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Green Card Lottery Registration Starts Today

The Department of State has started taking electronic applications for the “Green Card Lottery”, officially known as the Electronic Diversity Visa Program.

Green Card Lottery Starts Today

Key factors to keep in mind when applying:

  1. Entries will NOT be accepted through the U.S. Postal Service.
  2. If accepted, your official admission will take place in the year 2023. The results of the lottery will be communicated in the year 2022, and the process of admission will have to be followed in its entirety.
  3. In order to find out if you were one of the elected participants, you will need to enter your confirmation starting at noon (EDT) on May 7, 2022. Entrants should keep their confirmation number until at least September 30, 2023.
  4. Photo submission. You need to make sure that the photos you submit comply with the DV entry photo requirements, BEFORE beginning the entry process! The requirements are included in the DV-2023 instructions.  Your case will be disqualified if you submit a non-compliant photo. 

For the official rules and instructions, you can download THE ONLY OFFICIAL DV-2023 INSTRUCTIONS, HERE. It is a .pdf document that you can print, download and study at your leisure.

If you are familiar with the process, and would like to start the application right away, you can start HERE

As always, our firm is here to answer any questions you might have, for this or other immigration issues you might need help with. Do not hesitate to call us, or use the Contact Form to submit an inquiry with specifics about your particular case. Your information is kept strictly confidential.