People who get into the U.S. as non-immigrants can extend their stay in the country. To do so they need to file applications for an extension of stay prior to the expiration of their authorized period of stay. Non-immigrants who seek to extend their stay need to file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Non-immigrant Status.
Not all the non-immigrants can file applications with the USCIS to extend their stay. Only certain categories of non-immigrants can extend their stay and there are certain requirements they need to meet in order to stay back in the U.S.
People who entered lawfully into the U.S. as non-immigrants alone can apply for an extension of stay. They must not have committed crimes and must continue to be admissible into the country. They must not have violated the terms of the non-immigrant visas they hold. People who seek to extend their stay need to remember that their non-immigrant status must be valid while they file Form I-539. Likewise, their passports must be valid. Moreover, they need to submit their applications prior to the expiration date printed on their Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.
To extend their status, they need to file the USCIS Form I-539. They need to do so before they fall out of status. They cannot file applications to extend their non-immigrant status after their authorized period of stay expires. In case they fall out of status they will be deported from the country.
To be on the safer side, they need make note of the expiration date printed on their arrival/departure records. This will help them to determine the date on which they need to file their applications. It is recommended to file an application for an extension of stay 45 days prior to the date on which their authorized stay will expire.
Certain categories of non-immigrants are ineligible to extend their stay. Those who enter into the country under the Visa Waiver Program and crew members who hold D non-immigrant visas, cannot extend their stay. Those who enter into the U.S. with C non-immigrant visas and K non-immigrant visas, cannot file for an extension of stay. They need to leave the country prior to the expiration of their authorized period of stay.
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