If you are a foreign citizen, you’ve probably heard of the I-539 form by now. It is one of the most important documents issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS. Foreign citizens on a temporary visa should fill in the form in order to change their status. Otherwise, it can be used to extend a person’s stay in the States.
With this type of form and these visas, foreigners are able to solve numerous issues. For the longest time, foreign visitors had a certain issue when visiting the USA. They would come to the country in order to finish a certain business and before they manage to perform the task, their visa would run out. If you fill in this form and apply for an extension, you don’t have to worry about going back to your home country without finishing the business you had.
I-539 is used for all those unpredictable situations where a regular visa is simply not enough.
How is this visa different from a regular visa?
There are lots of differences in applying for a regular visa and applying for an extension. First of all, you have to understand that different bodies are handling each case. In case of your first visa, it will be approved by a consulate in your home country. Extension visa is handled by USCIS.
In most cases, the first visa is much harder to get (although this isn’t always the case). The background check is much more thorough especially if it’s your first time visiting the States. Extension visa is usually easier to get as you’re already in the country doing your business. As long as you can confirm the information and show USCIS that you require that extension, there shouldn’t be any issues.
Keep in mind that leaving the country will force you to get a new visa. That being said, this is an optimal solution for all those who need it.
The most important thing you need to consider is whether or not you’re even eligible for an extension. Of course, if you have a good case, there shouldn’t be many problems. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people who take advantage of this opportunity even though they don’t have the real reason for it.
Before anything else, you need to check whether your particular visa allows you an extension. Certain types of visas have special terms so you won’t have an opportunity to extend your stay.
If you think that the initial time period is not enough for closing a deal or performing a task, it is very important to plan for this contingency in advance. The worst thing you want is to visit the USA, spend so much time and money and still cannot finish what you came here to do. If you need some information, it is best to contact a proficient immigration lawyer who can help you with small intricacies.
The best way to apply for the visa
Of course, there are also certain rules when it comes to applying for this extension.
It is crucial that you apply for extension or change of status at least 45 days before it expires. You will also have to keep the document that will show how you followed the right procedure. It might come in handy if one of the departments want to run a background check or if you encounter any other type of issue.
No matter the case, it is best if you run it through your immigration layer. These professionals know everything there is about the change of status and visa extension so you will be able to save a lot of time and reduce stress if you hire them.
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