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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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.

Political Asylum in the United States of America

Political Asylum and Relief under the Convention Against Torture

Asylum is a form of protection granted to individuals in the United States who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Individuals who meet this definition of a refugee and who are already in the United States or who are seeking entry into the United States at a port of entry may qualify for a protective grant of asylum or safe haven and be permitted to remain in the United States as long as they are not barred from either applying for or being granted asylum. Individuals who are granted asylum are eligible to apply to adjust their status to that of a lawful permanent resident after one year has passed

Political Asylum

Political can be a daunting effort

Unlike the U.S. Refugee Program, which governs applications made outside of the U.S. and thereby provides protection to refugees by bringing them to the United States for resettlement, the U.S. Asylum Program provides protection to qualified applicants who are already in the United States or are seeking entry into the United States at a port of entry. Asylum-seekers may apply for asylum in the United States regardless of their countries of origin and regardless of their current immigration status. There are no quotas on the number of individuals who may be granted asylum each year.

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Family Law – Help with Fiancé and Marriage Visas

family

Fiancé and Marriage and Visas

United States Citizens and Residents may marry and bring their respective spouses to the United States to live with them permanently.

United States Citizens may also petition for their fiancés to join them in the U.S.

Beware!

Applications for fiancé or marriage visas are not automatic or absolute and require applications and evidence carefully documenting the nature and validity of the relationship, otherwise known as the “bona fides”. At Leslie Snyder, PA immigration offices, we have a long standing record of sifting to these intricacies successfully.

Immigrant Visas

Immigrant visas are immediately available for the spouse of a United States Citizen or Cuban national who is a lawful permanent resident of the United States. Applications are necessary, including the immigrant petition for alien relative and applications for adjustment of status, if the alien is currently residing in the U.S. and has entered the U.S. with a visa or visa waiver.

Fiancé Visas

Non-immigrant visas for the spouse of a U.S.Citizen (K-3) or for the fiancé of a United States Citizen (K-1) must be filed and the visa must be issued in the country where the fiancé is residing. After the visa process has been completed, and the visa is issued, the fiancé or spouse can travel to the United States, either to marry and then file the necessary applications in the case of the fiancé, or to await the processing of the immigrant visa case. Two petitions are required.

Image courtesy of arztsamui / FreeDigitalPhotos.net