How to Extend Visitor Visa for Parents in USA?

Many non-immigrant visa holders in the US have to extend their stay duration for varied reasons. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says that the suspected rate of business travelers and international tourists’ overstay in the US was 1.33% in the year 2017, as published in an article on CNN.

The non-immigrant visa extension process begins with filing a request with U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Form I-539, before your authorized period of stay expires; post which, you will be deported from the United States. An additional extension of six months can be granted based on the approval from USCIS.

Required Conditions for Visa Extension for Parents

The following are certain conditions to be fulfilled, in order for parents to be eligible for a visa extension.

  • They have committed no such crime which can prohibit them from extending the visa
  • Their admission conditions have not been violated
  • The status of their non-immigrant visa is valid
  • They have a valid passport throughout their stay
  • They have a valid non-immigrant visa confirming their admission to the United States.

Their stay cannot be extended if admission to the United States has been done in these categories :

  • WT or WB : Visa Waiver Program
  • TWOV – Transit Without Visa
  • Alien in Transit
  • Crew Member ( D nonimmigrant visa )

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When should a visa extension be applied?

The application should be completed at least 45 days prior to their visa expiry date, to avoid any sort of risk of getting deported or banned from the US. You also need to show proof of the fact that initially, they wanted to leave the US by the mentioned date in their I-94 form, but eventually, you have to extend their stay for specific reasons.

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What documents are required for visa extension?

1) Form I-539 

All fields in the I-539 Form have to be filled accurately. The fee for visa extension is $370 which has to be paid only once, irrespective of the number of applicants. A biometric fee of $85 can be charged based on the type of Visa your parents are on.

2) Form I-94

In this, you need to clearly show the arrival and departure records, as proof of your parents’ visa expiry date.

3) Application for Extension

An application is required stating the reason(s) for extension and if the extension should affect your foreign employment and your residency.

4) Proof of Financial Means

Financial statements have to be submitted, as proof of their financial support during their extended period of stay.

5) Original Return Tickets and Revised Tickets

Return tickets’ copy as a valid proof of their intentions of temporary stay.

After your extension application has been filed, you will receive a receipt from the USCIS with a 13-digit number which is your case number. The approximate processing time of the request and other details will be mentioned in the receipt. A bio-metric appointment will be fixed for the fingerprint verification.

If your Visa extension is approved a new departure date will be issued in your I-94 form. Your parents can stay in the US till the new date. If rejected, a letter will be sent with concerned reasons, following which your parents will have to leave US soil on the original departure date.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Ex “NRI” and Founder of the “Back to India” movement. I share my experience about immigrating to USA here.