The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows those wishing to extend their U.S. stay to file a request before their authorized stay expires. But this does not apply to all individuals admitted to the country.
No extension available for certain categories
The USCIS prohibits individuals who fall under any of the following categories from requesting an extension of stay:
- Visa Waiver Program (VWP): The program only allows travel to the U.S. for tourism, business or transit. Unless there are special circumstances that will allow for it, the USCIS will not extend the stay of VWP recipients.
- Crew members: This visa only allows for 29 days of stay and the agency expects crew members to depart the U.S. before then. Those who want to revisit the country have to apply for a new visa.
- In transit through the U.S.: Those who are in transit through the country have to go through the application process if they wish to visit the U.S. again. This applies to both those holding a nonimmigrant visa and those allowed to transit without a visa.
- Fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens: The K-1 fiancé(e) visa is not subject to extension since the USCIS expects visa recipients to marry their U.S. citizen partners within the visa period. Afterward, they must either request an adjustment of status or depart the country when the visa expires.
- Terrorism and organized crime informants: The S nonimmigrant visa available to terrorism informants has a three-year limit and the USCIS does not allow extension requests for it. However, adjustment of status may be available to them.
If you do not fall under any of these categories and meet the USCIS, you may request the agency for an extension of stay at least 45 days before your current visa expires. If you are unsure which category you fall under or whether your case falls under waivable exceptions, it may help to consult an immigration professional to know your next move.