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The Ultimate Guide to Extending Your US Visa

The Ultimate Guide to Extending Your US Visa

How to Extend Your U.S. B-1 or B-2 Visa

B-1 and B-2 visas are visitor visas that are granted for entering the US for business, pleasure, or medical reasons. Typically, these visas are granted for a period of six months. However, a maximum extension of 6 months can be granted with approval from the USCIS.

If you need to stay longer than your original granted stay on a B-1 or B-2 visa, you can apply for an extension with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, before your authorized stay expires.  

USCIS recommends that you apply to extend your stay at least 45 days before your authorized stay expires. This is to ensure that you have ample time for your extension to be approved so that you are not staying in the U.S. unlawfully.

How to File a U.S. Visitor Visa Extension

There are several reasons why you may need to extend your visitor visa, including travel restrictions, continuation of business ventures, professional conventions, continuation of tourism, attending upcoming social events, and more.

What You Need to File for a Visitor Visa Extension

Here is everything you will need in order to file for a visitor visa extension with USCIS:

  • A filled out Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status
  • A written statement, or cover letter, explaining your reasons for an extension
  • A photocopy of a valid passport for each person included in the application
  • Supporting documents to prove that your extended stay is temporary
  • Copies of return flight tickets or other proof of arrangements you have made to leave the U.S.
  • Original I-94 Arrival/Departure Record Form
  • Documents showing that the effects of your extended stay on your foreign employment or residency
  • A demonstration of financial independence and proof that you will not become a public charge in the U.S.
  • Pay $370 for your filing fee for the Form I-539 plus an additional $85 for biometric services fee, depending upon your petition

Next Steps: After Filing Your Visitor Visa Extension Application

  • Once the extension application is submitted, the USCIS will give you a receipt notice with a 13-digit case number.
  • You can check the status of your application as well as the processing times using your case number.
  • You can also call their customer service center at 1-800-375-5283 to ask about your case.

Things to Remember When Filing a Visitor Visa Extension

  • If possible, file your extension application 45 days before your stay is set to expire.
  • You can stay in the U.S. for 240 days after the expiry date on your I-94 if you have proof of a filed I-539 application.
  • The 13-digit case number and receipt notice by USCIS acts as proof of an existing I-539 document in process.
  • Spouse and unmarried children under 21 years can be included on one Form I-539.
  • In order to qualify, you can not have violated your visa status in any way and may not be a potential public charge.

While the above step-by-step process will help you file your visa extension with ease, do not hesitate to contact a legal immigration expert if you need further assistance.  

We also recommend having a suitable travel medical insurance policy while you are in the U.S. to cover you financially in case you have a medical emergency or need to be hospitalized due to Covid or other illness/injury. If you already have a travel medical insurance policy, don’t forget to renew your travel medical insurance plan. If you need assistance in finding a suitable travel medical insurance plan, you can research and compare your options and pricing right here at VisitorsCoverage. Want to speak to a travel insurance expert? No problem! Our Customer Success team is happy to help.

Disclaimer: Information provided on this page is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice. Please consult an immigration lawyer for legal consultation. 


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