Can you extend your visa status?

| Apr 30, 2021 | US Immigration Law

The United States has options for those who want to change their visa status, extend it or obtain permanent residence in the country. You should know what the different types of visas are to ensure that you’re on the correct one if your circumstances are changing. When you need to renew your visa in Texas, it’s important to do so promptly. You should apply for an extension at least 45 days before your visa expires.

Who can extend their visa?

Immigration law states that visa holders can only apply for an extension if their visa is still active. You cannot have any violations. Something that visa holders often overlook is their passport; immigration law requires that you have an active passport during the duration of your promised visa stay. You can check the date your visa expires on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

The U.S. allows many different types of visa holders to extend their status, including B-1/B-2, F and M visa holders with family members, L-1 visa holders with family members, H1B visa holders with family members, and E visa holders with family members. P visa holders and their family members, TN visa holders and their family members, and O-1 visa holders with their family members also have the option to extend their visas.

Unlawful immigrant status

If your visa expires while your extension application is pending, you go into unlawful immigrant status. USCIS typically doesn’t start removal proceedings unless the country denies your extension. However, you still want to avoid unlawful immigrant status as it will be stressful on you. Always apply as early as possible to reduce the chances of that happening. Some visa holders can work for up to 240 days while their extension application is pending at a previously authorized employer.

Extending your visa is possible, but you shouldn’t wait until the last second to submit your application. The U.S. sometimes experiences high volumes of visa applications that can slow down the process. You would go into unlawful immigrant status if your visa expires while you are still in the U.S. despite having an extension pending.