How to legally extend the stay in the U.S. if you come on a tourist visa

Foreign nationals entering the United States with a tourist or business visa for a temporary stay, sometimes want to stay in the country longer than the permitted time. The Miami Herald tells how to do it legally.

Как законно продлить пребывание в США, если вы приехали по туристической визе

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Regardless of whether there is a problem, because of which foreigners cannot return home, changes in the status of a nonimmigrant visa petitions or family relationships with US citizens, there are many reasons to try to extend the stay legally.

Lawyer immigration angel Lilo talked about how to stay legally in the United States after entering on a tourist or business visa.

Conditions for a tourist visa

B-1 visa for business and B-2 for tourism is exclusively for foreigners who have a permanent intention to return home abroad, where they came from. These types of visas do not accept immigration of intentions when applying for a visa and enter the United States.

If there is a suspicion that the foreign national wishing to enter the country, intends to remain in the United States, may be refused a visa or entry.

Foreigners must demonstrate that they plan to return to their countries because of real estate, families, and other factors. It is also important do to go to those places in the United States, a visit of which the tourist speaks during the interview of SVR in checkpoints at the border.

The use of a tourist visa is illegal, if your goal is immigration, because it violates the conditions of entry on the visa.

The first 90 days after arrival in the country

Immigration officials closely monitoring the behavior of the foreigner who came on a tourist visa, during the first 90 days of stay in the United States.

If they notice that during this period the foreigner has studied or worked without authorization or has allowed the authorities to assume he’s going to settle in the United States, a tourist runs the risk of being accused of immigration fraud.

It is important to be very careful during these first 90 days, although most individuals with B-2 visa is generally provided a six-month stay.

In some cases, a tourist visa can be extended

Extension of stay in the United States longer than authorized is possible for short-term circumstances such as the need for emergency medical care, recovery after such incidents, the inability to fly, family problems or situations where the alien plans to return home, but he needs more time to solve unforeseen problems.

Service citizenship and immigration USA recommends that those who wish to extend their stay in the country, apply at least 45 days prior to the expiration of the permitted period of stay. Citizens of countries that participate in the visa waiver Program are not eligible to apply for an extension.

Change of student status

If foreign nationals arrive on tourist visas and then have the opportunity to continue their studies in the United States or get professional education in the United States, they can request an extension to their tourist visas at the same time with applying for a student visa or a visa exchange.

This allows the applicants to remain in the country legally, waiting for change of status of reemigrants.

Caution: the green card

If a foreigner enters the USA with a tourist visa and wants to apply for the status of a lawful permanent resident in one of 8 categories, the worst thing he can do is to ask for extension of tourist visa.

The query in this case, evidence that a person came to the United States with a tourist visa and the purpose to immigrate.

There are those who recommend still apply for extension of visa to avoid illegal stay in the United States, but sometimes it is tantamount to recognition of immigration fraud.

How to apply for extension of tourist or business visa

You will need form I-539 “Application to extend / change nonimmigrant status” (Form I-539, Application To Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status), which is easy to fill out and submit online.

What other options are possible

In addition to academic visas F-1 and M student visas foreigners can apply to change their legal status to other nonimmigrant category, such as:

  • J-1 exchange visitors;
  • H-1B for temporary workers in specialty;
  • H-2A for temporary agricultural workers;
  • H-2B temporary non-agricultural workers;
  • L-1A for executives or managers of the receiving company.

These changes allowed if the person had been admitted to the country legally and their status as reemigrate remains in force.

The relationship of foreigners with the American citizens

If a foreign citizen has relatives who are US citizens — spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21 and parents of US citizens who turned 21 — the law allows them to apply for lawful permanent resident status on the basis of their family relationship, if they entered the country legally and are entitled to it.

If the petition is filed for other family members in accordance with a preferred immigration classifications, such as unmarried children of legal age, spouses and children of permanent residents or the siblings of U.S. citizens, the law requires not only that they entered lawfully, but that they remain in a legal status all the time until adjustment of status, in addition to other requirements.

Romance and green card

Key questions are how the foreigners entered the country, how long and with what intentions. Suppose a man has just arrived in the United States, he has a long-standing relationship with American, and now have the opportunity to register them. In this case, they must be careful within 90 days, not to live together and not marry so quickly. But they must apply before the expiry of the term, not to be in the country illegally.

If foreign partners were in the United States for many years, and even if gone beyond the allowed period, usually will not have problems with marriage and applying for adjustment of status — unless there are other problems that cannot be approved by the authorities.

If the relationship is already there, it’s time to start planning for applying for permanent residence. Immigration officials are trying to confirm the validity of the marriage, focus on intentions when entering into marriage. The lawyer recommends that you retain all proof of joint financial responsibility.

Develop a good plan

If a foreign national arrives in the country without a clear plan, it can violate the immigration laws of the United States, create conditions, such as immigration fraud, or make unfounded applications for asylum. It is best to tell the truth and to apply for a visa that matches your purpose.

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