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

Fee Calculator

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.

Extension for Medical Examination and Vaccination Record

One of the documents required for immigration benefits is Form I-693. Normally, the validity of this form, once filled, is two years. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both applicants and USCIS has been experiencing unforeseen delays in obtaining/processing this indispensable form.

As a consequence, USCIS has issued a Policy Alert stipulating that applicants with an expired 1-693 may now benefit from an additional two years extension for the validity of this form. As such, if an applicant has received an RFE (Request for Evidence) from the USCIS because their I-693 had expired after two years, but it is valid under the temporary extension to four years and they meet the requirements, the response needs to cite this policy alert.  

We strongly recommend that you consult the updated instructions for Form I-693 in order to determine that the new rules apply to you.

Immigration Tools at Your Fingertips: Downloadable Guides You Can Use Today!

Thanks to our membership in AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association), we can now provide you with some useful tools in the form of some very useful brochures that you can save and have at your fingertips whenever you feel uncertain about the path you might need to take in your immigration journey. If your immigration case belongs to one of the three categories below, you can download the appropriate brochure from its respective link. Stay tuned as we will keep updating our web site and Facebook page with new information regularly. As always, should you need specific answers to more specific questions, feel free to call us or use the chat app on this web site to get in touch with us right away.

  1. Investment Visas and Investment Risk: Must investments be put at risk to get an investment visa?
    Download the pdf guide now
  2. Green Card Processing Delays: after enduring the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year, most U.S. embassies and consulates are not operating at full capacity. Find out how DOJ is prioritizing immigration applications and interviews. Download the pdf guide now.
  3. The Non-Immigrant Visa Waiver Process: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, certain non-immigrant applications have been subject to an interview waiver. This interview waiver process has been implemented more broadly at consular posts around the world and the requirements to qualify have been expanded. The brochure below will help familiarize you with the process. Download the pdf guide now.

Practice Alert: U.S. Citizens May Return to the U.S. on Expired Passports

AILA provides a practice alert on announcements by CBP and DOS that, beginning May 21, 2021, U.S. citizens will be able to return to the United States on an expired U.S. passport through December 31, 2021, if the traveler meets certain requirements. For a quick reference with sample materials and practical advice on legal issues related to citizenship and naturalization, order the downloadable AILA’s U.S. Citizenship and Naturalization Law Toolbox