If you are a nonimmigrant who is currently in Pennsylvania under a valid visa, you may want to know your options. You can extend your stay in the country if you wish to remain for a longer period. It’s important to know what steps you have to take when extending your nonimmigrant visa.
When should you apply for an extension?
It’s important to apply for extensions on nonimmigrant visas at least 45 days before the visa is set to expire. Failing to do this in a timely manner can result in your removal from the United States and even being barred from returning at all.
How are you eligible for extending your nonimmigrant visa?
There are certain criteria that make people eligible for extending their nonimmigrant visas. If you’re currently in the United States and hold such a visa, the following can mean you are eligible for an extension:
• Your current visa status is still valid
• You haven’t committed any crimes that would render you ineligible
• You haven’t violated any of the conditions of your nonimmigrant visa
• Your passport is up to date and will continue to remain so throughout your stay
If you’re uncertain about the date that your nonimmigrant stay ends, you can check it on your Form I-94. It’s located on the bottom right corner of the form.
How can you file for the extension?
You have two options for filing the extension of your nonimmigrant visa. You can do so either online or by paper. However, be aware that not all nonimmigrants can file online right now. You can check online to see whether you are eligible to file online. If you are, you can create an account on the USCIS website and follow the instructions.
If you can only file by paper, be sure to carefully read all the instructions on Form I-539, complete and sign the form, including all necessary documents, and pay for filing and services fees.
After you have filed and your application is received, you will get confirmation. You may also get a biometric services notice and a notice to appear for an interview. Finally, you will receive notice of the decision.