Extending Non-Immigrant Visits
A non-immigrant is a foreign national who enters the United States temporarily for a particular purpose. Non-immigrants are allowed to enter the U.S. for a specified period of time, and during their stay, they are prohibited from participating in any activity contrary to the purpose of the visa.
Requirements for Non-Immigrant Status
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires those who qualify as non-immigrants to meet certain conditions before it will grant a non-immigrant visa. In addition to having a temporary purpose for their visit, foreign nationals must usually:
- Agree to depart at the end of the approved time period
- Own a valid passport
- Maintain a foreign residence
- Be admissible or have acquired a waiver for any inadmissibility
- Follow the terms and conditions of entry
Once a foreign national’s temporary entry has been approved, situations may arise where they would want to apply for an extension. A foreign national may apply for an extension as long as:
- Admission into the U.S. was lawful, and under a category where extensions are available
- They have not committed any act that would make them ineligible for an extension
- An extension application is submitted prior to the expiration of the current authorized stay
An application for extension can be filed late, after the non-immigrant’s authorized visit has expired. Under such circumstances, USCIS will require the foreign national to prove:
- The reason for filing late was beyond their control
- The time the application was filed was reasonably soon after the deadline
- They did not violate their non-immigrant status
- They are not trying to become a permanent resident of the U.S.
- They are not in deportation proceedings
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