Quarantine has created many problems for those who are in the U.S. on nonimmigrant visas. What about those who can’t leave the United States, and the term of the visa ends, said honorary Consul of Ukraine in Philadelphia, immigration attorney Irina Mazur on the webinar for “Razom for Ukraine”.
At the moment the only way to legally remain in the United States — fill out the form on the extension status. It does not guarantee a visa extension, but will be proof that the person did everything possible in order not to violate the immigration laws of the United States. According to rumors, the States automatically extend the visa to everyone who filed such an application, but official confirmation of this information.
Who can apply for extension of status
Holders of nonimmigrant visas. Such visas are issued to foreign citizens for a certain time. For example, when you want to visit friends or just see the country, get a guest or a tourist visa. Fall into this category and student visa.
How to fill out a form
You need to go to the official website of citizenship and US immigration (USCIS) and go to form I-539. It can be submitted either electronically or on paper.
Immigration fee for filing the forms for adjustment of status is $370. For each person included in the form, you need to pay the $85 biometric fee.
In order to avoid difficulties with filling in the form on the website provided instructions.
It says to send the application preferably 45 days prior to the expiration of the current status, but because of the pandemic, COVID-19, complicate our life, this recommendation is irrelevant.
In the present circumstances the application can be submitted even a day before expiration of current status, but you need to be sure to explain in writing the reasons for the delay in the US and the fact that you deliberately delayed the submission of the form, not committed crimes, have not worked illegally, did not violate the rules of stay in the country and are in the process of deportation from the United States, and also to emphasize that the reasons for your delay out of your hands.
Every member of your family who is with you abroad and entered into your form, you must also complete the form I-539A and submit it together with the main I — 539.
Also, the applicant must prove that he did not use state aid and was not a “public burden”.
Most people in former Soviet countries come to the United States on non-immigrant visas type B-1 and B-2, that is, the business of travel and tourism.
Important! Together with the form for reclassification must be submitted form I-94 (it fixed the date of entry into the United States).
In addition, all stuck in the United States the Ukrainians, who sought help at the Consulate of Ukraine, will receive a cover letter confirming the fact that they tried to leave the country, but now no such possibility. And this letter should also be submitted along with documents as proof of your attempts to leave the United States.
Persons located in the United States on a student visa, with your application you need to submit the form I-94, student form I-20.
Also there are many persons in the United States on the basis of the visa exchange J-1. It can be education, work or training. These people need to contact the representative of the exchange program and obtain detailed information about their further actions.
Who can not apply for extension of stay in the United States of America
There are 3 categories of people who are not eligible to file form I-539:
People who are in USA on a visa of the bride or groom, or child of the groom/bride (visa category K-1 and K-2)
Sailors (category D)
Persons in the United States in transit (category C or TWOV)
It is quite a complicated visa, so it is advisable to contact a lawyer and resolve the issue individually.
If children under 14 years of age, the parents do sign their form. Photocopies attached to the application form documents must be clear and of high quality.
All documents should be submitted in English or provide English translation to the person who has the special certification of an interpreter.
All documents written by hand, be sure to fill in black pen.
If you help the interpreter or lawyer, he is obliged to write your name and sign the form.
Confirmation of acceptance will be sent to the email (if filing online) or by regular mail to the address specified in the application. If you have changed your place of residence, you must inform USCIS within 10 days.
How to fill out form I-539
For this, we need your foreign passport and form I-94 (record of arrival in the country), which can be found on the website of the Border service of the United States.
Download form I-539 to your computer from the USCIS website. If you print the form, the page should be placed on only one side of the sheet.
To answer questions, you only need the truth, carefully read each question to avoid error. If you’ve ever violated the rules of stay in the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa (which can play you on the hand), in the specific field will explain the reasons why it happened. A reasonable explanation will help you to the renewal status.
Where to send completed form
If you are sending the application by post, the address where you want to send documents, you can find the link.
Order sent with tracking shipping, and you will receive a number with which I can find out whether realized your documents to the destination and not lost in the way.
You will also receive a tracking number the status of your application and can check it from the link.
If you are submitting the application online, then your email will receive a confirmation letter about the dispatch and acceptance of documents for consideration.
Terms of consideration of documents no one can tell, but for a positive result collect as complete as possible a package of documents, it will help USCIS to make a decision quickly without requiring from you additional documents, which lengthens the period of consideration of the application.