Form 1-539 How Much Would it Cost to Extend or Change Your Visa Status

Form I-539 Attorney Alexandria VA

Form I-539 Attorney Alexandria VA

People coming into the U.S. temporarily are issued with non-immigrant visas. These visas allow foreigners to be in the country for a specified time for a specific purpose.

However, if such a visa is nearing its expiry, and you are not done with your stay, you can apply for a change of visa status, or to get an extension on your visa.

This is done via a document known as Form 1-539.

Are you in the U.S on a temporary visa and eager to know your options? Here is a complete guide to help you with this process.

When Is This Application Made?

Often, people wait until their current permit expires to make an application for an extension or to attempt to change their status. This is a mistake.

This application should be filed before your current authorized stay expires.

As much as possible, make the application as soon as you realize you need to stay longer. The most advisable timeline is to apply 45 days before your current visa expires.

You might be excused if:

  • Your delay resulted from circumstances beyond your control. Note that you might have to provide details and evidence this in your application
  • You have not violated your status in any other ways for example, by committing a crime
  • You’re not entangled in removal proceedings
  • Your delay is not unreasonably long
  • your passport is valid and will be valid for the duration of your entire stay (including the extended duration)

Ensure to keep records of your application. This comes in handy when issues arise with the authorities.

What Is Required to Change Status/ Extend Stay?

Applications made by certain A and G non-immigrant visa applicants are free. All other applicants pay $370 depending on their current status and the new status they seek to acquire.

A and G non-immigrant visa holders comprise of employees of international organizations, diplomats, government officials, and so on.

When biometrics are required, an applicant also pays an $85 biometric fee. V non-immigrants and CW-2 non-immigrant require to have their biometrics taken.

The V non-immigrant visa is issued to allow families to stay together as their immigrant visas are processed.

The CW-2 non-immigrant visa, on the other hand, is given to dependents of people who are in the U.S. on an only transitional worker visa.

Applicants can also fill in Form 1-192 to apply for waivers.

You will also require to have:

  • Copy of your passport’s identity page
  • Front and back copies of your latest 1-94 card (this is an arrival/departure record)
  • A copy of your most current non-immigrant visa as indicated on the passport
  • Paystubs form current authorized employer or a letter from an employer confirming employment
  • For dependents, documents showing proof of the relationship, for example, birth certificates for spouses and birth certificated for children
  • You also need to show approval notices and paystub copies when changing from a work-authorized status

Eligibility Exceptions

Not all non-immigrant visa holders in the U.S. can apply for a change of status and extensions. There are also prohibitions on the type of changes in status you can make. You are not eligible for an extension if:

  1. You came to the U.S. on a Visa Waiver Program
  2. have a class D non-immigrant visa for crew workers
  3. Are transiting through the U.S. without a visa
  4. Are a fiancé of an American citizen or a dependent of a fiancé
  5. Are an informant, with your family on organized crime or terrorism
  6. Are in transit through the U.S. on a class c non-immigrant visa

Restrictions on the status you change to apply as well. For example, if you are in the U.S. on a tourist visa, you can not apply to switch to a student visa, unless a note had been made of this on your tourist visa.

The public charge rule applies, as well. For you to be granted an extension, you must show yourself as financially self-supporting. Without this, you are deemed as a ”public charge”.

Essentially, this means that you are likely to rely on the government during your stay.

The Takeaway

While filling in the 1-539 might not be all that complicated, there is more to this process. There are numerous exceptions on who can make such applications and restrictions on which changes in status are possible.

Instead of going out on a limb, you can leverage counsel from a reputable immigration attorney.

Go about your 1-539 application in a stress-free manner by letting the experts handle it. Call us at Mughal Law firm on (703) 672-2165 and let us do what we do best.