What is An Extension Of Stay?
An extension comes into play with people that are temporary visitors to the United States. They are typically admitted as either B-1 or B-2, which are non-permanent visitors, which could also be used for business or non-business purposes in the United States. The visas traditionally, are issued by embassies abroad and are usually given in increments of ten years. Once they are used to enter the United States at a port of entry, temporary visitors will be issued temp stays in the United States anywhere from a few weeks, a few months to, usually, a maximum of six months. Traditionally, those are the people that will seek to extend their stays. Either because of unforeseen circumstances, or they just want to spend more time than initially thought they could spend.
Why Does Someone Need To Extend Their Non-Immigrant Status?
You would only do so if you are seeking to stay in the United States for a longer stay than what the airport officer granted you when you arrived in our country. For example, you want to come here and you want to attend a wedding. You tell the officer at the airport, “I’m here for my friend’s wedding.” They issue you a stay for thirty days, but then, after the wedding, you meet all these other people. They invite you to other states and you want to extend your trip a little bit, that would be a circumstance where you would file the extension of status. The extension does need to have supporting documents.
Traditionally, it includes financial support. How you would be able to maintain your stay here without having to work. If you are here as a temporary visitor, a tourist, you are not allowed to engage in employment in the United States. Traditionally, immigration would want to see that you have a means to support yourself during the extension that you are seeking. They ask for a proof of return trip that you have already purchased a ticket within that time frame of that extension that you are seeking. It is very important to file the extension.
If you do not file the extension and you overstay even by one day, the amount of time that you were allowed to be here, that was granted to you when you arrived at the port of entry, then, your visa is revoked. It will be cancelled, you go back home, and then, you try to re-enter the United States. They can say, “Oh, last time you were here, you overstayed so we’re revoking your visa. We’re cancelling it and we’re putting you on a plane back home.” It is very important if you are going to stay longer than the stay you were given by the officer at the port of entry that you must file this extension.
What Penalties Other than Deportation Can Someone Who Has Overstayed Face?
Right now, there are no real tracking mechanisms in place. Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not have the technological or capacity to track, monitor, and “prosecute” overstays. If you appear in custody or to the attention of law enforcement or Immigration and Customs Enforcement and you are not in lawful status and you have overstayed your visa, then you will face the risk of removal proceedings and being removed from our country.
Where Do I Go To Apply For An Extension?
Most extensions are filed by mail, with a form. Usually, it is the 539 and that is sent to immigration. They issue you a receipt and then, they will issue you a decision by mail. Sometimes, before they issue a decision, they will also issue a request for evidence asking for additional documentation in support of your extension request. There is no local office processing it. You would not be able to go to the immigration office and have them adjudicate it. It is an application that you submit by mail.
How Far In Advance Of The Expiration Date Should Someone Apply For An Extension?
Ideally, as soon as possible. As soon as you know that you are going to be seeking an extension. It varies because there are so many different visa categories. There are so many different circumstances under which one would seek an extension. Usually, you should try to do it as soon as possible. As soon as you know that you are going to want to extend your stay, do so.
Does Every Person Have To Apply Separately From An Extension?
Usually, the I-539 includes the children and it will have a part of the form where you list the children’s names. You also want to include their supporting documents, their entry documents, their authorized stay, passports and the proof of the familial relationship. Either the birth certificates or the marriage certificate will work. Usually, you have one application, and then, the children are derivative beneficiaries on that application.
How Do I Find Out If The Extension Has Been Approved?
There are two ways to find out. You can just wait for the mail and immigration will send you the decision this way or you can also sign up for email updates. There is a form that will let you know via email or text once a decision has been made on your application. When you first apply, you are issued a receipt notice with a case number on it. You can go online with that receipt number, periodically, to see if there have been any developments on the case.
Do I Need An Attorney To Apply For My Extension Of Stay?
An attorney is not required. You can file without an attorney. The benefit of having an attorney would be to make sure that you have all the supporting documentation that USCIS wants to see and increase your chances of being approved. Another benefit would be if you have an attorney who has done this kind of work before and in addition to knowing what supporting documentation to file. The will, know where to file it. Sometimes people file without an attorney and end up being prejudiced, because their application gets filed with the wrong office. Then it gets returned or rejected. Sometimes, by that time, their status has expired. You do not need an attorney, but you could benefit from an attorney to help you with this entire process. Make sure everything is completed correctly and sent to the correct location. Send it with all the supporting documents this will maximize your chances of being approved.
Additional Information Regarding Extension Of Stay
The most important thing is, do not wait until the last minute. Because, as an attorney, I have seen that a lot of people end up in very difficult situations that could have been avoided if they had just started the process a little earlier.
For more information on Extension Of Stay, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling [number type=”1″] today.