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Immigration Newsletter

Extension of Non-Immigrant Status

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

Extending a Non-Immigrant Stay

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

Extending Stay After Authorized Visit Period Has Expired

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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