Facts on Form I-539 Visitor Visa Extension Approval Requirements

Getting Visitor Visa Rejection At Office

Form I-539, officially known as the Visitor Visa Extension Approval Notice, is used to apply for an extension of stay for certain nonimmigrant visitors. The form is also used to change or extend the status of certain nonimmigrant visitors. To be approved for an extension, the visitor must meet all of the requirements set forth by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The following is a brief overview of the Visitor Visa Extension Approval Notice (Form I-539) and the requirements that must be met to be approved for an extension.

What is Form I-539?

Form I-539 is the application for a visitor visa extension. This form is used by individuals who are currently in the United States on a visitor visa and would like to request an extension of their stay. Several eligibility requirements must be met to qualify for a visitor visa extension. The most important requirement is that the individual must have a valid reason for requesting an extension. Some valid reasons include;

  • Medical treatment
  • Academic research
  • Business purposes

Who needs to File Form I-539?

Not everyone needs to file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. The individual must be in a nonimmigrant status and is seeking to extend or change their status. The form is used to request an extension of stay or change of nonimmigrant status for an alien already in the United States. There are several categories of people who are not able to use this form, including those in the H, L, O, P, Q, and R visa classifications.

What are the Requirements for Approval of Form I-539?

If you’re applying for a visitor visa extension, you’ll need to meet certain requirements to be approved. The requirements for approval of Form I-539 include;

  1. Providing current biographic information.
  2. Proving the validity of your passport.
  3. Demonstrating that you’re not inadmissible to the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
  4. Demonstrating that you can support yourself and your dependents while in the United States.

Form I-539 must be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) within the specified period to be eligible for approval. If approved, your visa will be extended. However, if denied or if you fail to meet the requirements or submit timely documentation, you may face additional immigration enforcement actions such as deportation.

What is the Length of Time for Approval of Form I-539?

The length of time for a decision on Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, is generally a matter of weeks. While there is no exact timeline for when the USCIS will make a decision, it is typically processed and approved within the standard processing times, which can be checked on the USCIS website. In any case, applicants must respond promptly to any requests for additional information or evidence from the USCIS to expedite the processing time. Furthermore, factors like an applicant’s immigration history and the completeness of their application will determine how long it takes to receive an approval notice.

Qualifying for I-539 Visitor Visa Extension

There are a few basic requirements that applicants must meet to qualify for a visitor visa extension. 

  1. The applicant must maintain a valid nonimmigrant visa status. 
  2. The applicant must demonstrate that they have strong ties to their home country and that they have a compelling reason to stay in the United States beyond their original visa expiration date. 
  3. Applicants must provide evidence that they will not overstay their authorized stay in the United States.

Application Materials and Documentation

When applying for a visitor visa extension, you will need to provide certain documentation to support your request. This may include evidence of your ties to the United States, such as employment, family ties, or assets in the country. You may also be asked to provide a letter from your employer detailing your role at the company and how long you have been employed.

Furthermore, you will need to show that you have enough money to cover your expenses while in the United States. This can be demonstrated by providing recent bank statements or other financial documents. You will need to submit a copy of your passport and visa stamp.

Factors That Impact Approval for I-539 Visitor Visa Extension

Several factors could impact the approval of an I-539 Visa extension application. Some of these include:

  • The purpose of the visit and the evidence submitted to support it
  • The traveler’s current immigration status and history
  • The traveler’s previous U.S. visa history
  • The traveler’s current country of residence

How to Prepare for an Interview?

Once an individual has filed an I-539 application for a Visitor Visa Extension and has been granted an interview, there are several steps they should take to prepare. It’s important to bring all of the original documents that were submitted with the form, as well as any relevant evidence of ties to their home country, such as; 

  1. evidence of financial stability
  2. property ownership
  3. family connections

It’s also important to review their application and be prepared to answer any questions about it. Moreover, providing additional evidence such as invitation letters from family or friends in the United States can also help demonstrate the visa applicant’s ability to support themselves financially or have established ties in their home country that will guarantee their return. With adequate preparation, applicants can increase their chances of having their I-539 Visitor Visa Extension approved by demonstrating that they are eligible and intend to follow all laws while in the United States.

Common Questions about the I-539 Extension Process

There are several common questions about the I-539 Visitor Visa Extension approval requirements. 

  • How long is the extension process? The extension application process typically takes a few days to several weeks to complete. The application fee for I-539 is $370 and payment must be made at the time of filing. Extensions can be filed up to 120 days before the end of the validity period indicated in your current nonimmigrant visa status and must include supporting documentation, such as a valid passport and evidence that you meet all requirements for an extension.
  • How much does filing an I-539 cost? Certain requirements need to be met for an I-539 visa extension application to be approved. Some of these requirements include demonstrating that the foreign national has a residence in a foreign country that they intend to return to, having a valid passport and visa, and demonstrating that they have enough funds to support themselves while in the United States.
  • When can an extension be filed? Meeting all of these requirements is important to have a successful visa extension application.