Form I-539, Nonimmigrant Visa Extensions

If you are in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa and would like to extend your stay, you should file Form I-539 with your local USCIS office.

Last updated on May 16th, 2019

Form I-539 is the form for you if you are in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa and would like to extend your stay.

Am I Eligible to Extend my Stay in the U.S.?

You may file Form I-539 to extend your stay if you:

  • Are in the United States lawfully;
  • Have not committed any crimes that would make you ineligible; and
  • Are not required to leave the United States before applying for an extension

You must also be in the U.S. under one of the following categories:

  • A-3: Attendants and servants
  • B-1 and B-2: Visitors
  • E-1/E-2: Treaty Trader or Investor
  • E-3: Skilled workers
  • G-5:Domestic employees
  • H-4: Dependents of H-1B visa holders
  • K-3 and K-4: Spouse and children of U.S. citizen
  • L-2: Dependents of L-1 visa holders
  • M: Vocational students
  • N: Dependents of Special Immigrants
  • NATO-7: Domestic employees of NATO reps
  • O-3: Dependents of O-1 or O-2 visa holders
  • P-4: Dependents of P-1, P-2, or P-3 visa holders
  • R-2: Dependents of R-1 visa holders
  • V: Second preference beneficiaries
  • TD: Dependents under NAFTA

You may not apply to extend your stay if you entered the United States on any of the following categories:

  • C visa: Alien in Transit
  • D visa: Crewman
  • K-1/K-2 visas: Fiancé or dependent
  • S visa: Witness or informant
  • Transit Without Visa (TWOV)
  • WT/WB: Visa Waiver Program

Where can I find the application?

Form I-539 can be found on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.  If you have a B-1, B-2, F-1, M-1, or M-2 visa, you can also file your Form I-539 online using USCIS ELIS.

How long does it take?

Applications are processed on a first come, first serve basis and there are no set processing times. USCIS suggests that you file your Form I-539 at least 45 days before your visa expires. 

If your visa or stay expires before you hear anything back, you may be subject to removal proceedings. Typically, the USCIS will defer your removal proceedings until after they come to a decision on your Form I-539 application.

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