Visa Information

The Ultimate US Visitors Visa Extension Guide

The Ultimate US Visitors Visa Extension Guide

Are you looking to extend your stay in the United States on a visitor visa? Whether you want to know the requirements for extending a tourist visa or need to secure an extension for your parents, we’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of US visitors visa extension, providing you with all the necessary information.

How to Apply For US Visitors Visa Extension

B-1 or B-2 visitor visas are typically granted for a six-month period, allowing entry for business, pleasure, or medical reasons. However, what if you find yourself requiring more time? The key solution lies in understanding the process of obtaining a US Visitors Visa Extension.

To prevent any issues of unlawful presence, it is crucial to take the necessary steps to extend your stay before your authorized period expires. The first step is to submit Form I-539, also known as the Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This application should be completed and sent to the USCIS before your authorized stay comes to an end.

For a smooth and successful extension, it is highly recommended by USCIS to apply for an extension at least 45 days before your authorized stay expires. This timeline allows for ample processing time and avoids any potential complications or unlawful presence in the United States.

How to File a US Visitors Visa Extension

There are various reasons why you might need to extend your visitor visa, such as travel restrictions, continuing business ventures, attending professional conventions, or simply enjoying more time for tourism and social events. To file for a US visitors visa extension with the USCIS, you’ll need the following documents:

  • A completed Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status.
  • A written statement or cover letter explaining the reasons for your extension.
  • Photocopies of valid passports for each person included in the application.
  • Supporting documents demonstrating the temporary nature of your extended stay.
  • Copies of return flight tickets or proof of other arrangements made to leave the US.
  • The original I-94 Arrival/Departure Record Form.
  • Documents showing the impact of your extended stay on your foreign employment or residency.
  • Proof of financial independence and the ability to support yourself during your stay.
  • Payment of a $370 filing fee for Form I-539, plus an additional $85 for biometric services, if applicable.

After Filing Your Visitor Visa Extension Application

Once you’ve submitted your extension application, the USCIS will provide you with a receipt notice containing a 13-digit case number. You can use this number to check the status of your application and its processing times. Additionally, you can contact the USCIS customer service center at 1-800-375-5283 for further information regarding your case.

Important Reminders for Filing a Visitor Visa Extension

To ensure a smooth extension process and avoid any complications, keep the following points in mind:

  • File your extension application at least 45 days before your authorized stay expires.
  • If you have proof of a filed I-539 application, you can stay in the US for up to 240 days after the expiry date on your I-94.
  • The 13-digit case number and receipt notice from the USCIS serve as proof of your ongoing extension application.
  • Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old can be included on a single Form I-539.
  • It’s crucial not to have violated your visa status and to demonstrate that you will not become a public charge.

While this step-by-step process simplifies filing your visa extension, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from an immigration expert if needed.

We also recommend obtaining suitable travel medical insurance to cover any unforeseen medical emergencies during your stay. If you already have travel medical insurance, ensure it is renewed. VisitorsCoverage offers options for researching, comparing, and finding the right travel medical insurance plan. If you require assistance, our Customer Success team is ready to help.

US Visitors Visa Extension Wait Times

Recommended Timing for US Visitors Visa Extension Submission

To ensure a smooth visa extension process, it is advisable to submit the extension application (Form I-539) to the USCIS at least 45 days before your I-94 travel authorization expires. This allows ample time for processing and prevents complications.

Processing Time Considerations

Keep in mind that Form I-539 can take up to 29.8 months, approximately 2 years, to process. Being aware of this timeframe will help you manage your expectations and make suitable arrangements.

Unlawful Presence

Accruing unlawful presence occurs once your authorized stay or period expires. It’s crucial to adhere to the authorized duration of your stay to avoid legal consequences. Taking timely action, such as applying for an extension before expiration, is essential for maintaining lawful status.

Denial of Extension/Change and Departure

If your extension or change of status application is denied, you will be given a specific period to depart from the United States. Leaving within this allocated time ensures your stay is not considered an overstay and allows you to depart without complications.

CBP Officer’s Admissibility Determination

When entering the US, the CBP (Customs and Border Protection) officer at the port of entry has the final authority to decide your admissibility. Their decision plays a crucial role in granting you entry into the country. Complying with their instructions and providing accurate information facilitates a smooth entry process.


Understanding the intricacies of US Visa Extension is crucial for anyone planning to extend their stay in the United States. Knowing the application process, required documents, and timing considerations can help avoid legal complications and ensure a smooth extension process. Being well-informed about the rules and regulations surrounding visa extensions empowers individuals to make informed decisions and take necessary actions to maintain lawful status during their stay in the US.

Please be aware that processing times and regulations mentioned here are subject to change. For the most up-to-date information on visa extensions and related procedures, we recommend checking the USCIS website or consulting with an immigration attorney.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Please consult an immigration lawyer for proper legal consultation.