If you are visiting the United States on a B-1 or B-2 visa, you may be offered the chance to stay on a bit longer. Because these visas are issued on a temporary basis, you cannot simply stay on without making legal arrangements to extend your stay. That said, there are options by which you may be able to extend your B visa to accommodate a longer stay in the U.S.
You should file a request with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to extend your stay at the very first chance you have. The sooner you get a jump on this, the more likely you are to receive permission to stay longer. USCIS recommends you petition for an extended stay at least 60 days prior to the expiration of your B visa. This gives the office ample time to process your request.
To file to extend your stay, you will need to provide much of the same evidence as you did when initially applying for a B visa. This includes information such as how you will support yourself financially as well as a written statement explaining your reason for visiting the U.S. as well as an explanation for why you need to extend that visit. The USCIS is ultimately interested in seeing evidence you intend to return to your home country, so you will need to provide evidence of social and economic ties to that country.
However, many people do not have enough notice themselves and are unable to petition USCIS until the very last minute. In these situations, there is a good chance your B-1 or B-2 visa will expire while you are still in the United States. If your visa expires, you are technically considered “out of status,” meaning you are staying on illegally in the United States. At this point you will need to show that there were extraordinary circumstances beyond your control that required you to stay on. Extraordinary circumstances include events such as medical emergencies or loss or theft of your travel documents, including your passport.
If you are in Florida and need assistance extending your B visa, contact the experienced immigration attorneys at the Law Office of K. Dean Kantaras right away.