Q. What If My Authorized Stay Has Already Expired? (What If I Am Late Filing for an Extension?)
Q. Why Do You Need to Extend Your Nonimmigrant Status?
A. A nonimmigrant temporarily enters the United States for a specific purpose such as business, study, or pleasure. When you entered the country as a nonimmigrant, a U.S. immigration inspector should have examined your passport and visa and then given you an USCIS Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record). This record should tell you (in the lower right-hand corner) when you must leave the United States. You can prove you did not violate U.S. laws by turning in your USCIS Form I-94 to the proper authorities when you leave the country. If you want to extend your stay in the United States, then you must ask for permission from the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Service (USCIS) before your authorized stay expires. Proof that you are willing to obey U.S. immigration laws will be important if you want to travel to the United States as an immigrant or nonimmigrant in the future. If you break immigration laws, you may also become subject to removal (deportation).
A. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) governs the admission of all people to the United States. For the part of the law concerning temporary admissions to the United States, please see INA § 214. The applicable regulations are found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 8 CFR § 214.
A. 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, and you have not committed any crimes that would make you ineligible. You must apply to extend your status if you wish to stay longer than the date indicated in the lower right-hand corner of your USCIS Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Record). Please note, you must submit the application for an extension of stay BEFORE your current authorized stay expires. You must also keep your passport valid for your entire stay in the United States.
You may not apply to extend your stay if you were admitted to the United States in the following visa categories:
(VWPP) - Visa Waiver Pilot Program
D - As a crewman
C - As an alien in transit or in transit without a visa
K - As a fiancé of a U.S. citizen or dependent of a fiancé
S - As an informant (and accompanying family) on terrorism or organized
A. If you are filing USCIS Form I-539 for your own extension, you may include your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 in your application if you are all in the same nonimmigrant category. You may also include your spouse or children in your application if they were given derivative nonimmigrant status. This means that your spouse and children were given nonimmigrant visas based on your nonimmigrant status. For instance, if a student is given an F-1 "Academic Student" visa, then the spouse and child are given F-2 "Spouse and Child of an Academic Student" visas. Find out more.
A. We recommend that you apply to extend your stay at least 45 days before your authorized stay expires, but the USCIS Service Center must receive your application by the day your authorized stay expires. However, in practice, as long as the USCIS receives the application before the expiration date there should be no problem.
A. If you are late filing for an extension and your authorized stay has already expired, you must prove that:
A. If your application for an extension is approved, you will be issued a replacement I-94 with a new departure date. If your application is denied, your original or copy of the I-94 will be returned with a request for your immediate departure.
A. If your application to extend your stay is denied, you will receive a letter that will tell you why the application was denied. You will not be allowed to appeal a negative decision to a higher authority. However, you may submit a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider with the same office that made the unfavorable decision. By filing these motions, you may ask the office to reexamine or reconsider their decision. A motion to reopen must state the new facts that are to be provided in the reopened proceeding and must be accompanied by affidavits or other documentary evidence. A motion to reconsider must establish that the decision was based on an incorrect application of law or USCISpolicy, and further establish that the decision was incorrect based on the evidence in the file at the time the decision was made.
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