How to Extend Your Visitor Visa in the United States

When a person from a foreign country wants to come into the United States for any reason must first apply for and get a visa for permanent residence or a temporary stay visa. A visitor visa is obtained when someone wants to enter temporarily for personal or business reasons. A business visa is classified as a B-1 while a visitor visa is a B-2. A dual visa can also be obtained which is a B-1/B-2.

Permitted activities for the holder of a B-1 visa would be to attend an educational, business, scientific, or professional conference or convention. They may also consult in business meetings, negotiate business contracts, or settle a real estate transaction. Anyone wishing for a visitor visa extension must have this approved by the USCIS prior to the expiration date on Form I-94, or the stamp of admission on the visa. If a foreign citizen does not leave the United States before this departure date without approval, they will be deported and may be ineligible in the future to apply for another visa.

Obtaining a visa is not a sure thing to get into the United States. When a foreigner travels to the U.S. port of entry, it is to ask permission to enter, and it is the responsibility of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Department of Homeland Security to allow or deny entry. They also can determine the length of stay.

An admission date for duration of visit will be stamped on the visa: Form I-94 may be given in lieu of the stamp, and this will be your proof of your approved stay. It is an official document, and should be kept in a safe place.

To apply for a visitor visa extension you must fill out Form I-539 prior to the expiration date on your visa or Form I-94. It is best to apply at least forty-five days before this expiration date. To apply there are certain criteria that must be met. As long as your nonimmigrant visa is still valid, you came to the U.S. lawfully, you committed no crimes, and did not breach the orders of admission, you are eligible for an extended immigrant visa.

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