When a person comes to the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa, there is a time limit to how long their visa lasts. This limit is influenced by various factors, including the type of visa they have. Now, sometimes, circumstances come up for a person who is in America on a nonimmigrant visa, such as business or family circumstances, which give rise to a need to lengthen their stay. Individuals in such a situation may qualify for a visa extension which would allow them to legally extend their stay in the United States.
As a note though, not all nonimmigrant visas are eligible for extensions. Here is a list of the visas which are generally ineligible for extensions:
- C visas. These visas are for transit through the U.S.
- D visas. This is the visa category for crewmembers.
- K visas related to fiancés or dependents of fiancés.
- S visas. These visas regard informants and their accompanying family.
Also, certain immigration statuses not involving a visa, such as statuses related to the Visa Waiver Program or visa-less transit through the U.S., are ineligible for an extension.
Now, just because a person is in a visa category in which extensions are available doesn’t automatically mean they are eligible for an extension. There are a variety of other requirements an individual has to meet beyond just being in a qualifying visa category to be eligible to apply for an extension. Also, the process of applying for an extension can have its challenges and complexities.
Skilled immigration lawyers can assist individuals who desire to extend a stay in the U.S. with looking into whether a visa extension might be an option for them. They can also help such individuals with the process of pursuing a visa extension or other legal options that might help them with achieving their immigration goals.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “Extend Your Stay,” Accessed Dec. 14, 2016