During the Coronavirus Pandemic, extension of visas has become one of the most requested immigration services in the United States. The Victoria Law Group has seen a considerable increase in requests for these kinds of services: extensions, renewals, and/or change of states. We are happy to discuss your situation with you and see if we can figure out a way to keep you in the United States. In the meantime, here are the Top Questions we receive from time to time regarding visa extensions, renewals, or change of status.
A lot of individuals and families are asking whether or not they are eligible to apply for a Visa Extension. We are happy to help you determine if you are eligible to apply for a Visa Extension. Once we determine that you are eligible, we would start by applying with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It must be applied for before your authorized stay expires. Any individual who remains in the United States longer than what is authorized may be removed from the United States and barred from returning for an extended period of time.
To be eligible for a visa extension, you must comply with the following requirements:
You are not eligible for a Visa Extension if you were admitted under the following visa categories:
If you comply with any of the above requirements, you may apply for a visa extension as you are eligible for it.
If you have been granted a United States Visa, your visa expiration date is shown along with the visa issuance date. Your United States visa should also show the visa validity. This is the most important part of your visa – the visa validity. It determines the length of time that you are permitted entry to the United States. Depending on different circumstances, an individual will be issued different entry levels to the United States such as a single entry or with multiple entries.
A visa expiration date means that the period beyond the visa validity, the individual is no longer eligible to enter the United States. Again, a United States visa does not guarantee entry to the United States. It is the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of entry each time that you enter the United States who determines the length of your authorized stay within your visa validity.
It is important, however, to keep in mind that being granted a visa does not mean that you will be granted a visa extension. Visa extension is also strict. Your visa validity is also not a guarantee that your visa will stay valid during the period. It can get voided or cancelled by the United States authorities.
If you decide to stay longer in the United States, you should keep in mind the following important points:
If you are looking for a reason why you have been denied for a visa, or why you have been denied a visa extension, the following are the “ineligibilities” that you may encounter when applying for a US Visa under the US Immigration and Nationality Act (INA):
As required by Section 212(a)(4) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(4), and by this final rule, when making a public charge inadmissibility determination, a USCIS officer must consider the following requirements:
Generally, there is no single factor that would make an alien inadmissible based on the public charge ground. It is based on a lot of factors as well as the kind of public benefits that the individual would receive such as the supplemental security income, temporary assistance for needy families, food stamps, rental assistance, public housing, and federally-funded medicaid. However, if the individual will only be receiving the following, it is not considered as public charge: disaster relief, national school lunch programs, emergency medical assistance, children’s health insurance program, energy assistance, and food pantries and homeless shelters among others. Benefits received by United States service members are also not considered as public charge.
If you are seeking clarification on whether or not your ineligibility may be waived, the answer is yes. However, waivers of ineligibility are limited. These waivers are not available for most of the security grounds. An alien who has committed acts that constitute murder, torture, or an attempt thereof are not eligible for waiver of ineligibility. Before any kind of waiver, however, the reviewing officer must recommend the waiver to the DHS while the DHS still has the ultimate authority to grant or deny the waiver.
The USCIS has adjusted to cover the coronavirus situation. USCIS announced that they will consider a response that they received within 60 calendar days after the due date. In cases of the following requests or notice issued by USCIS between March 1, 2020 and September 11, 2020:
You may apply for a visa extension under special circumstances if you are stuck during the coronavirus pandemic. The USCIS recognizes that the applicant may need to extend his stay. If you are holding a temporary VISA and you need a Visa extension, you should apply for an extension or a change of status as soon as possible. The USCIS allows for online filing of the forms necessary and changes have been made in order to comply with the quarantine rules and the physical distancing rules.
According to the USCIS website whenever “a petitioner or applicant files an extension of stay or change of status request after the authorized period of admission expires, USCIS may excuse the failure to timely file if it was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond their control, such as those that may be caused by COVID-19. The length of delay must be commensurate with the circumstances. The petitioner or applicant must submit credible evidence to support their request, which USCIS will evaluate in its discretion on a case-by-case basis. These special situations have been used at various times in the past, including for natural disasters and similar crises.”
The expedited processing of visa and visa extension is frowned upon by the USCIS. It is not part of their mandate to expedite the processing of visas. In the following circumstances, however, the USCIS may expedite the processing for visa extension:
Other than the above circumstances, the USCIS will not expedite processing of the Visa Extension.
In case of denial of your request for a visa extension, there are two consequences that you need to know about:
Yes, you may appeal a denied visa extension. However, if you are already beyond the visa validity, you should leave the United States and then re-apply for a visa in your home country. Why? The United States system would show that you stayed beyond your authorized stay and you may end up getting denied for a new visa. Hence, while you can appeal your visa extension denial, make sure that you will do your best to leave the country as soon as possible so you can protect the possibility of coming back.
The Victoria Law Group consists of competent and dependable attorneys and legal professionals who are highly knowledgeable in the field of real estate law. Our team of legal professionals has assisted several residential and commercial clients with various legal matters associated with real estate including but not limited to the preparation and revision of contracts, acquisition of properties, refinances, foreclosures, deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, short sales, landlord tenant disputes, eminent domain, leasing as well as enforcements and evictions.
There is no case too complex for The Victoria Law Group to handle. We understand Miami Real Estate; we were built for Miami Real Estate. We know how important the real estate industry is to the global economy and we work hard to provide our clients with the best solution for all their legal needs.
Representation in our Real Estate Practice Area includes sales, leases, title insurance and other transactions in addition to structuring complex sale and acquisition agreements and negotiating and closing complex mortgage financing on behalf of lenders and developers.