Providing permission to foreign nationals holding a nonimmigrant visa in the U.S. to extend their stay in the U.S. is called Extension of Stay.
As a nonimmigrant you temporarily enter into the U.S. for a specific purpose such as business, study, or pleasure. When you enter the country as a nonimmigrant, a U.S. immigration inspector examines your passport and visa and gives you the Form I-94 (Arrival-Departure Document). This document tells you (in the lower right-hand corner) when you must leave the U.S. In order to extend your stay in the U.S., you must ask for permission from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before your authorized stay expires.
Who is eligible for Extension of Stay?
You may be eligible to extend your stay in the U.S. if:
- You have lawfully entered into the U.S. with a nonimmigrant visa
- Your nonimmigrant visa status remains valid
- You have not committed any crime that would make you ineligible for an extension
Note: You must submit your Extension of Stay application BEFORE your current authorized stay expires. You must also keep your passport valid for your entire stay in the U.S.
Who is not eligible for Extension of Stay?
You may not apply to extend your stay if you have entered into the U.S. under the following visa categories:
You may not change your nonimmigrant status if you have entered into the U.S. under the following visa categories:
VWPP-Visa Waiver Pilot Program (or the Guam Visa Waiver Program)
D-As a crewman
C-As an alien in transit or in transit without a visa
K-As a fiance or spouse of a U.S. citizen or dependent of a fiance or spouse
S-As an informant (and accompanying family) on terrorism or organized crime