In the United States, many visas for visiting the country come with restricted time lines, and you must leave the country before it expires or face deportation. However, sometimes a person may decide to stay longer in the U.S. before returning to his or her home country. In order to do so, though, it is important to file a visa extension, or change of status, so that you are not forcibly removed and possibly barred from entering the United States in the future.
To be eligible for a visa extension (i.e. H1B Visa Extension, E3 Visa Extension, etc.), you must meet several different requirements. For you to be considered for an extension, you can only apply if:
- You entered the U.S. lawfully with a nonimmigrant visa
- Your visa is still valid
- Your passport is still valid and will remain so even during your extended stay
- You have not committed any crimes that invalidate your visa
- You have not violated conditions of your admission to the U.S.
If you meet these restrictions, you can file to extend your stay. Interestingly, you do not actually file for an extension. Rather, you can file to change your status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS. You use the Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
Some types of visas are not eligible for an extension. You may not file to lengthen your stay if you were admitted to the U.S. as one of the following:
- A fiance or child of a person affianced to a U.S. citizen (K nonimmigrant visa)
- Part of the Visa Waiver Program
- Crew member (D nonimmigrant visa)
- A traveler through the U.S. (C nonimmigrant visa)
- A traveler through the U.S. without a visa
- An informant of organized crime or terrorism (S nonimmigrant visa)
Guest Post Author
Garg & Associates
Orange County immigration
(also see recent H1B Deportation news)
When a foreign national chooses to visit or stay in the United States on visa status or as a permanent resident, he or she must abide by certain laws and regulations in order to remain in the country legally. If an individual who is not a U.S. citizen fails to abide by these terms, he or she may be ordered to leave the country.
The process of requiring an individual to physically leave the country is known as deportation. If you are visiting the U.S. temporarily or living in the country as a permanent resident, it is important to know the laws that regulate deportation.
A person who is visiting the U.S. on visa status must adhere to certain rules and restrictions to avoid nullifying the visa. Some of the key requirements to consider include:
- There are specific visas for different groups of applicants, and a person must keep the same status during their stay in the U.S. in order for the visa to remain valid. For example, a foreign national visiting on a student visa must remain in school to remain in the country legally under his or her visa.
- If the expiration date is approaching for a visa, the applicant must re-apply to remain in the United States.
- An individual may not legally remain in the U.S. if his or her visa has expired.
- A foreign national may be required to return to his or her home country in order to re-new a visa and legally re-enter the U.S.
A violation of any of these terms can be grounds for deportation by the U.S. government.
Criminal Grounds for Deportation
Any non-citizen staying the country may be deported if he or she commits a qualifying crime. This applies to visa holders and permanent residents alike. The criminal offenses that may lead to deportation include the following:
- Crimes against a person (murder, manslaughter, rape, kidnapping)
- Domestic violence crimes
- Sexual offenses
- Crimes against the government (counterfeiting, mail fraud, bribery, tax evasion, perjury)
- Fraud crimes
- Drug crimes
- Firearms offenses
If you have committed any of the above crimes, your legal permit to remain in the U.S. may be nullified and you may be forced to leave the country. The laws and regulations for visas and permanent residency can sometimes be confusing, and it can be easy for a person to accidentally disqualify himself or herself and risk deportation. If you have questions regarding the rules of your visa, permanent residency, or renewing or changing your legal status in the U.S., consider consulting with an experienced immigration lawyer as soon as possible.
Guest Post Author
Garg & Associates, P.A.
Orange County immigration