If you want to stay longer in the United States on your current non-immigrant visa, you can apply for an extension. It's important to know that getting an extension is not guaranteed. It depends on meeting the requirements and showing a valid reason for staying longer.

Here's what you need to do:

  1. Check if you're eligible: Make sure you can apply for an extension based on the rules of your specific visa category.

  2. Fill out Form I-539: Complete a form called "Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status" (Form I-539). This is the form most people use to request an extension.

  3. Gather your documents: Get the necessary documents to prove that you still qualify for the extension. Examples include your valid passport, your arrival/departure record (Form I-94), and evidence that you have enough money to support yourself during the extended stay.

  4. Pay the fee: There is a fee for the application. Check the USCIS website to see how much you need to pay and how to pay it. Some people might qualify for a fee waiver.

  5. Send in your application: Mail the completed Form I-539, along with the supporting documents and fee (if applicable), to the correct USCIS address. Try to do this before your current authorized stay expires.

  6. Wait for a decision: USCIS will review your application. If they approve it, they will give you a new Form I-94 with a new expiration date, allowing you to stay longer in the U.S. If they deny your application, they will explain why. If that happens, you might need to leave the U.S. before your current authorized stay ends.

While your application is being processed, you can stay in the U.S. even if your current authorized stay expires. Avoid traveling outside the country during this time because it could affect your application.

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Last Reviewed: July 20, 2023