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How can overseas nationals extend their US Visa?

Posted on June 1, 2019
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US Visa

Overseas nationals who arrive at the United States with a non-immigrant US Visa would sometimes like to extend their stay in the nation. This is longer than approved by the officials after admission at the US border, seaport, or an airport.

The time length that can lawfully stay does not always concur with the validity of their US Visa. However, one of the major US laws is to not overstay the period mandated by an officer of US Customs and Border Protection after arrival. It holds good even if the Visa still has validity, as quoted by the Miami Herald.

It is for this reason that US Citizenship and Immigration Services permits overseas nationals to request an extension of their stay. This is as long as their purpose for continuing remains the same for which their US Visa was offered and approved.

The DHS Department of Homeland Security constituent agency has now announced the launch of e-Processing. It is a digital system for processing immigration that expands online submission of US Visa applications.

The new technology system handles immigration benefits requests from overseas nationals. This is for those who arrive for business, tourism, or even as overseas students. They can now file their applications for extending their stay through e-Processing.

USCIS said that e-Processing connects technology systems within the agency that were previously separate. It is to ultimately better the timelines for decisions and enhances application process transparency. This is also to speed up the availability of online submissions for all immigration benefits, it added.

USCIS receives 8 million plus requests on a yearly basis for immigration benefits said the agency.

Overseas nationals who would like to extend their stay in the US can file Application to Change/ Extend Non-immigrant Status Form I-539 online. This is if they have any one of the below categories of non-immigrants US Visas:

  • F-2 Spouse or Child of an Academic Student with a specific expiration date
  • F-1 Academic Student with a specific status expiration date
  • B-2 Temporary Visitor for pleasure
  • B-1 Temporary Visitor for business
  • M-2 Spouse or Child of an M-1 Student
  • M-1 Vocational Student

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