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How To Stay Beyond Your Visa Expiry

Many people who visit the United States on a non-immigrant visa wish to extend their stay beyond the period of time for which they have been authorized. However, staying beyond your visa limits without prior approval can have serious consequences and may even prevent you from receiving authorization to reenter the U.S. at a later date.

Persons holding a non-immigrant visa who wish to extend their visit should file an Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (Form I-539) with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS) at least 45 days before the date their visa is set to expire.

Eligibility to Extend Nonimmigrant Visa

Only certain people are eligible to apply for an extension to a non-immigrant visa, including those who:

  • Entered the U.S. lawfully with a nonimmigrant visa
  • Hold current valid nonimmigrant visa status
  • Committed no crimes to become ineligible for a visa
  • Have not violated visa admission conditions
  • Hold a valid passport that will not expire during the proposed extension period

If you wish to extend your stay but do not qualify for extension based on the above criteria, you may wish to speak with a U.S. CIS agent to explore your options.

Overstaying Your Visa

If you overstay the date on your Arrival-Departure record, your visa status will expire and you will be classified as out-of-status. As a result, you may be ineligible to reapply for a visa in the future and therefore you may not be allowed to return to the United States. If you wish to stay in the country longer than your visa allows, it is important to plan accordingly and follow all immigration laws to prevent penalties or deportation.


Guest Post Author

James Witherspoon
Austin immigration attorneys