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B1/B2 Visitor Visa Extension, Reasons, Sample Letter & Processing Time

B1/B2 Visitor Visa Extension & Reasons: The B1/B2 visitor visa typically allows you to stay in the US for up to six months, or sometimes less. However, there may be situations when you want to extend your B1/B2 visitor visa to stay beyond 6 or even 12 months in the US.


But before we proceed let's confirm two things:


  • B1/B2 Visa Renewal: Note that B1/B2 visa renewal is different from extending your permitted stay in the US. If you are looking for a B1/B2 visa extension (after 10 years of validity), or want to renew your expired B1/B2 visa, the process is the same as applying for a new B1/B2 visa.


  • Indian Passport Renewal: Also, If your passport is expiring soon, then you can follow this blog to renew your passport in India. Although it is written specifically for parents' passport renewal, the steps will be the same for you. Alternatively, if you are in the US and want to renew your passport, you can apply for passport renewal in the US.


In this post, I will explain the process of extending your stay on a B1/B2 visitor visa in the US, including the number of times you can extend it, common reasons for extension with sample letters, the possibility of extending a visitor visa beyond 6 months, the average processing time for B1/B2 extensions, and key considerations for a successful extension.



Table of Contents: B2 Visitor Visa Extension & Reasons



B2 Visa Extension

The first question that might arise in your mind is how many times a B2 visa can be extended after 6 months of authorized stay in the US, or if it's even possible to do so. The answer is there is no specific limit on how many times you can extend your stay on a B1/B2 visa.


As of June 2024, Form I-539, which is used to apply for a change or extension of stay, has a rejection rate of 11.03%. This includes all types of visas, not just B1/B2, for either change or extension of stay. Out of a total of 122,401 completed applications, 13,506 were denied.


However, it is essential to note that each extension request is evaluated individually, and you must provide a valid reason for needing an extension.



Irrespective of the fact of how many times you request an extension, personally, I have not seen any B1/B2 visa going beyond the stay of 12 months. That being said it's not impossible to extend beyond 12 months but you would need a solid reason for that.


Visitor Visa Extension Reasons

Typical reasons for extending your stay on a B1/B2 visitor visa include medical treatment, attending family events or functions, continuing tourism, coping with natural disasters like COVID-19, etc.


  • Medical treatment: If you require ongoing medical treatment that cannot be completed within the initially approved stay then you can request for a B2 visa extension of stay. You would need a letter from the doctor as a supporting document for form I-539 to make your case stronger.


  • Family events: If there are important family events or celebrations, such as weddings or graduations, that require your presence, you can also request a B2 visa extension for your stay. Sharing the date and venue of the event will strengthen your case, and having an invitation card as proof is even better.


  • Tourism: If you were unable to explore all the intended attractions due to unforeseen circumstances, you can request an extension. In the case of requesting an extension for your parents' B2 visa, you can mention their limited physical mobility, which resulted in a longer stay than initially anticipated. Supporting documents, such as your travel itinerary, bookings, and return air tickets, would help your extension request.


  • Unexpected events: If you experience unexpected delays or disruptions in your travel plans, such as a natural disaster or flight cancellations, you can request a B2 visa extension of stay. This applied to situations like COVID.




B2 Visa Extension Sample Letter (Medical)

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[City, State, ZIP]

[Email Address]

[Phone Number]

[Date]


[USCIS Service Center Address]

[City, State, ZIP]


Subject: Request for B2 Visa Extension for Medical Treatment


Dear Sir/Madam,


I am writing to request an extension of my stay on a B1/B2 visitor visa to receive ongoing medical treatment in the United States. I am currently in the United States on a valid B1/B2 visa, my stay is valid until [add date].


I have been undergoing medical treatment for a serious health condition at [name of medical facility] under the care of [name of attending physician]. The treatment plan, as recommended by my healthcare provider, requires an extended duration beyond my original authorized stay.


I kindly request your favorable consideration of my application for a B2 visa extension. I am attaching the following supporting documents:


  • Detailed medical reports and documentation outlining the nature of my medical condition and the necessity for continued treatment.


  • A letter from my attending physician, [physician's name], explaining the need for ongoing medical care and the anticipated duration of treatment.


  • Financial records to demonstrate my ability to cover the cost of the extended stay, including medical expenses, accommodation, and other necessary expenses.


  • Copy of my valid passport, Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record), and current B2 visa.


  • [Any additional supporting documents].


I assure you that I will strictly adhere to the laws and regulations governing my stay in the United States. I understand that the purpose of my visit is solely for medical treatment, and I will not engage in any unauthorized activities during my extended stay.


I kindly request your prompt attention to this matter as my medical treatment is time-sensitive. If there are any further documents or information required, please contact me at [your contact number] or [your email address].


Thank you for considering my request. Your understanding and assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.


Sincerely,

[Your Name]




B2 Visa Extension Sample Letter (Tourism)

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[City, State, ZIP Code]

[Date]


To,

[USCIS Address]

[City, State, ZIP Code]


Dear Sir/Madam,


Subject: B2 Visa Extension Request for Tourism


I am writing to request an extension of my parent's B2 visitor visas, their stay is set to expire on [Insert Date], due to unforeseen circumstances.


During their stay, my parents experienced limited physical mobility because of their age and existing health conditions. This has resulted in a slower pace of travel, making it challenging to cover all the attractions they initially intended to visit within the original visa validity period.


I kindly request an extension of their B2 visas for an additional [Number of Months] months, allowing them more time to complete their travel plans and spend quality time with family and friends.


Supporting documents, including copies of their B2 visas, a detailed travel itinerary, and proof of financial ability, are enclosed for your reference.


We appreciate your consideration of this request and hope for a positive response. If you require further information, please contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address].


Thank you for your attention to this matter.


Sincerely,

[Your Name]

[Your Signature]




B2 Visa Extension Beyond 12 Months

Extending a B2 visa beyond 12 months can be challenging. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) generally expects visitors to adhere to the initially approved duration of stay, which is typically up to six months.


Extending beyond a year requires exceptionally compelling circumstances and strong supporting documentation. If you have a serious health condition and can provide sufficient evidence, you may consider applying for a visitor visa extension.


B1/B2 Visitor Visa Extension Processing Time

As of Jun 2024, the processing time for a B1/B2 visitor visa extension can take between 3.5 to 6 months (for 80% of the cases), depending upon which service is handling your request. 100% of the B1/B2 extension I-539 cases are approved within the following time frames.



You can bookmark⭐ or share this page for future reference. You don't need to worry about extension processing time as long as you have filed the extension before your permitted stay expires. If your extension application is denied, you will have sufficient time to leave the country.


It is crucial to plan and submit your extension request at least 45 days before your authorized stay expiration date to allow sufficient processing time.




How to Extend a B1/B2 Visitor Visa in the USA

To extend your B1/B2 visitor visa in the USA, you will need to file Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status). Here is a step-by-step guide to extend your B1/B2 visitor visa:


b1/b2 visa extension

  • Complete Form I-539: Provide accurate information about yourself, your current status, and the reasons for the visa extension. You can do this online or through mail. I have explained in this blog how to complete Form I-539.


  • Pay the required fee: Include the fee of $470 with your I-539 B1/B2 visa extension application. Refer to the USCIS website for the most up-to-date fee information.


  • Supporting documents: Gather the necessary supporting documents, such as your passport/visa, cover letter stating the reason for the extension, Form I-94, financial records, flight itinerary, and purpose of extension supporting documentation.


  • Submit your application: Mail the completed Form I-539, supporting documents, and fee to the appropriate USCIS Service Center. You can find the addresses here.




Successful Visitor Visa Extension

To increase the likelihood of a successful B1/B2 visa extension, consider the following:


  • Valid reasons: Clearly articulate your valid reasons for needing an extension, providing detailed information about your circumstances and how the extension aligns with the purpose of your visit.


  • Supporting documentation: Include all required supporting documents, such as medical bills or records, wedding invitations, business contracts, financial proofs, any bookings, or event tickets, to support your extension request.


  • Timely submission: Submit your extension application well in advance (minimum 45 days) of your authorized stay expiration date to allow sufficient processing time.



Conclusion

Extending your B1/B2 visa beyond the initially approved duration is possible under specific circumstances, provided you have a reason and can provide supporting documentation. Remember to submit your application well in advance, as B1/B2 extension processing times can be lengthy.


By following this blog post, you can navigate the B1/B2 visa extension process more confidently and increase your chances of securing an extended stay in the United States for tourism, business, medical treatment, family events, or other valid reasons.



FAQs on B1/B2 Visitor Visa Extension

Can I use pregnancy as a reason for a B1/B2 visa extension of stay?

Yes, you can use pregnancy as a reason, but remember that there is a high chance of denial due to concerns about birth tourism.


If you are over six months pregnant and your doctor advises against travel, you can use that document to support your case, as this request appears genuine.


However, if you traveled with the intention to give birth in the US, your case might be considered birth tourism, which has a high chance of denial.


Can I extend my parent's visa based on pregnancy to support my child?

You can use a life event as a reason to request a B1/B2 visa extension. However, it's not recommended to mention that your parents will be babysitting your child, as that is not the purpose of a tourist visa.


Instead, request an extension on the basis that your parents' presence is needed for the baby's birth as a significant life event and for some additional tourism. Clearly state that they will travel back afterward.


Should I extend my parent's health insurance along with the B1/B2 visa extension request?

Yes, it is recommended to extend your parents' health insurance, as this can also serve as financial proof for your extension request in case something goes wrong and your parents need medical coverage.


Medical costs in the US are very high, and extending their insurance will help your case as well. You can buy health insurance here.


Next: Form I-539


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