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.
- 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
- Read the instructions for Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status;
- Complete and sign your Form I-539;
- Pay the filing fee and biometric services fee, if applicable; and
- Provide all required evidence and supporting documentation.
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.