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B Visa Extension: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Apply
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Foreign nationals on a B visa classification in the US, who seek to extend their stay beyond their currently authorized period of admission, may make an application with the USCIS seeking an extension of stay. For the benefit of foreign nationals filing for B visa extension, we have listed below 10 key things that you must keep in mind before you apply for extension of stay:

  1. You must apply for an extension of stay on Form I-539, along with the prescribed fee and necessary supporting evidence.

  2. You must submit your application for extension of stay before your current authorized stay expires. An application for extension of stay by a foreign national who failed to maintain his or her previously accorded B classification status, or whose I-94 has expired before the application was filed, may not be approved.

    Exception: Regulations provide a limited exception to the above where under, in the discretion of USCIS, failure to file before the expiry of previously authorized status may be excused, where it is demonstrated by the applicant, at the time of filing that:

    1. The delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond his or her control, and USCIS finds the delay commensurate with the circumstances;
    2. He or she has not otherwise violated his or her nonimmigrant status; remains a bona fide nonimmigrant; and is not subject to deportation or removal proceedings.

  3. Along with your application seeking B visa extension, you must submit a written statement explaining in detail:
    • the reasons for your request;
    • why your extended stay would be temporary, including what arrangement you have made to depart from the U.S.; and
    • any effect the extended stay may have on your foreign employment or residency.

  4. Along with your extension of status application, you must also include evidence showing that you have sufficient funds to sustain yourself while in the U.S.

  5. You must make sure that the purpose for which you seek extension of status is justified and your application is not frivolous.

  6. Your passport must be valid for your entire requested period of stay in the United States.

  7. Under current regulations, you may be granted extensions of temporary stay in B visa classification in increments of not more than six months each.

      Exception: An exception to the above rule is granted to members of a religious denomination coming temporarily and solely to do missionary work in behalf of a religious denomination, who may be granted extensions of not more than one year each. However, such work must not involve the selling of articles or the solicitation or acceptance of donations.

  8. You must always keep in mind that an extension of stay is not automatic, but may be granted at the discretion of USCIS. The USCIS will look at your situation, your status, the reasons for which you want to extend your stay, and decide on whether or not to grant you an extension. An extension of status may not be granted if the USCIS comes to a conclusion that the circumstances do not indicate that an extension is warranted.

  9. If the USCIS approves your extension of status application, it will also decide how long to extend your stay, and will only grant up to the time that you requested in your application.

  10. The normal processing time for B visa extension is generally about 2 – 3 months. However, processing times may vary, and you are advised to check the current processing times before deciding on when to file your extension of status request.

Foreign nationals in the US on a B visa classification, desiring a visitor visa extension, may keep in mind the above 10 key things, while making their application for extension of stay.

If you have any questions about what steps you should take in your particular situation, consult a VisaPro immigration attorney. We will be happy to guide you through the process.


The above article is brought to you by VisaPro.com. VisaPro’s US Immigration Lawyer Services include B-1 Visa, H-1B, L-1, E-2, Adjustment of Status, Green Card, and over 100 Immigration Services.

The information in this article is not intended to be legal advice. If you have questions specific to your case, we suggest that you consult with the experienced immigration attorneys http://consultattorney.visapro.com. Our experienced attorneys will be happy to assist you.

Visit VisaPro regularly for updates and the latest immigration news at:
http://www.visapro.com/Immigration-News/Index.asp

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