Green Cards (Common)
National Interest Waivers
Professors & Researchers
Executives & Managers
PERM Labor Certification
Investors (EB-5 visas)
Family (Spouse, etc.)
Work Visas (Common)
O-1 Extraordinary Ability
TN Canadians & Mexicans
J-1 Visa Holders
Nurses & Physical Therapists
Extensions of Stay
If you are in the United States as a visitor, student, temporary worker, or other nonimmigrant visa category, you are only allowed to stay in the United States for a specific purpose and for a particular time. The date of authorized stay is generally shown on your Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. If you would like to extend your stay in the United States beyond the date shown on your Form I-94, you must request an extension of stay from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before your authorized stay expires. You should apply for your extension of stay with USCIS well in advance of the date specified on your Form I-94.
Some students, exchange visitors and diplomats are admitted for “duration of status,” If you have "duration of status" or “D/S” on your Form I-94, you may remain in the U.S. as long as you continue your course of studies, remain in your exchange program or continue your qualifying employment.
It is very important to maintain valid immigration status while you are in the United States. If you wish to travel to the United States in the future, you must be able to show that you are willing to obey U.S. immigration laws. If you no longer have valid status in the United States, you may also be ordered removed or deported from the United States.
You may apply to extend your stay if you were lawfully admitted into the United States with a nonimmigrant visa, your nonimmigrant visa status remains valid, and you have not committed any crimes that would make you ineligible. For your nonimmigrant status to be valid, you must submit the application for an extension of stay before your current authorized stay expires. You must also keep your passport valid for your entire stay in the United States.
You may not apply to extend your stay if you were admitted to the United States in the following visa categories:
VWPP - Visa Waiver Pilot Program
For the following categories of nonimmigrant workers, your employer must file an extension of stay petition with supporting documentation on your behalf:
E - International Traders and Investors
You may file an I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status and supporting documentation if you are in the following nonimmigrant categories:
A - Diplomatic and other government officials, and their
families and employees.
The application and correct fee should be mailed to the CIS Service Center that serves the area where you are temporarily staying, or the area where you work for employment-based visas.
If you are in E, H, L, O, P, Q, R or TN visa status and your employer is filing a Form I-129, your spouse and children must submit a Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status) and any required supporting documents to extend their stay. It is best to submit both forms at the same time.
If you are in A, B, F, G, I, J, M or N visa status, you may include your spouse and any unmarried children under the age of 21 in your I-539 Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status if you are all in the same nonimmigrant category, or if their nonimmigrant status is based on your nonimmigrant status. (For example, dependents of H-1B visa holders are given H-4 visa status as derivatives).
The USCIS must receive your application no later than the day your authorized stay expires. In most cases, it is best to apply several weeks before the date shown on your Form I-94.
If your authorized stay has already expired and you have not filed an extension, you may be eligible for a late filing. To file late, you must prove that:
You can check the status of your application to extend status online on the USCIS website. You must have the receipt number from the I-797 notice sent to you by the USCIS.