To extend a tourist visa in the USA beyond 6 months for parents, you must file Form I-539 online or by mail, an application to extend/change nonimmigrant status with USCIS, at least 45 days before their authorized stay expires (determined by I-94 or D/S on passport stamp). In this blog, I'll walk you through Form I-539 for US Visitors Visa Extension for Parents.
Table of Contents: Visitor Visa Extension for Parents
US Visitor Visa Extension for Parents - When to Apply?
If your parents are in the United States on a B2 tourist visitor visa and you wish to extend their stay beyond 6 months, it's important to apply for Visitors Visa Extension in a timely manner.
First of all, please check the admit-until date or D/S (meaning Duration of Stay) on your parent's passport admission stamp or Form I-94 to determine their authorized length of stay (B2 visa) in the US.
You can get the most recent I-94 using this link where you would need to enter your parent's name, DOB, and passport number. Your visa expiration date which is typically 10 years does not determine your permitted length of stay in the US.
Do not assume your parents can stay for 6 months without checking the admit-until date on their passport or Form I-94. Typically, it's 6 months but it totally depends upon the officer who interviewed your parents at the port of entry in the US. Officers can stamp for less than 6 months as well.
Now, once you know your parents authorized length of stay, here's when you should apply for a visitor visa extension for parents:
Before Your Current Visa Expires: You should apply for an extension before your current B2 visa status expires. Late applications are typically rejected.
At Least 45 Days Before Expiration: It's advisable to apply for a B2 tourist visa extension at least 45 days before it expires to allow sufficient processing time for USCIS.
Unlawful Presence: If you stay in the U.S. after your B2 tourist visa has expired and you haven't applied for an extension, you risk accruing unlawful presence, which can have serious consequences.
Emergencies or Unforeseen Circumstances: In some cases, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to extend your stay due to an emergency or unforeseen circumstances. If this happens, you should apply for an extension as soon as possible and provide a clear explanation of the situation in your I-539 application.
US Visitor Visa Extension for Parents - Who Can Apply?
Either you or your parents can apply for a visitor visa extension but extending a B2 visitor visa in the USA after six months can be a complicated process, and approval is not always guaranteed. But as long as you have filed a visitor visa extension before your parent's authorized stay ends, you are safe.
To apply for a visitor visa extension, your parents should have entered the country with a B2 tourist visa and currently be in the United States under the B2 status. Next, we will discuss in brief what reasons you can provide to request a visitor visa extension for parents.
Visitor Visa Extension for Parents' Reasons
Typical visitor visa extension reasons for parents include:
Medical treatment: If your parents require medical treatment in the U.S., they can apply for a visitor visa extension to ensure they receive the necessary care.
Further tourism: Parents might decide to visit more places or engage in additional tourist activities beyond the original visa duration.
Family events, or some special occasion: Extensions are often requested for attending family events like weddings, graduations, or important celebrations.
Unexpected events, or travel delays: Unforeseen circumstances or travel delays can also necessitate a visa extension to cover the extra days needed in the U.S.
For all the visitor visa extension reasons, you must be able to demonstrate that your extended stay is for a temporary purpose only. You can read about B2 visa extension reasons in detail here.
Visitor Visa Extension for Parents Sample Letter
This is one of the sample letters of visitor visa extensions for parents. You can find more samples here.
[City, State, ZIP]
[USCIS Service Center Address]
[City, State, ZIP]
Subject: Request for Visitor Visa Extension for Parents
I'm writing to request an extension of my parents' visitor visas. Their visas are set to expire on [Current Visa Expiration Date], and I'd like to extend their stay by [Number of Months Requested] months.
My parents, [Parent's Name] and [Parent's Name], came to the U.S. on [Date of Arrival] for tourism. They've had a great time exploring the country, but they haven't seen all the places they wanted to visit due to travel delays and the size of the U.S.
I'm requesting an extension to give them more time to complete their travel plans. They will continue to follow the visa rules and leave the country when the extension ends. I've enclosed the required documents, including:
Copies of my parents' valid passports.
Their travel itinerary for the extension period.
Proof of their financial ability to support themselves.
Documents showing their ties to our home country, [Parent's Home Country].
Your quick consideration of this request would help fulfill their travel aspirations in the U.S.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you need more information, please contact me at [Your Contact Information].
How to Apply for Visitor Visa Extension for Parents
To extend a visitor visa for parents you must submit Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, along with any required documentation and the appropriate filing fee.
Either you can hire an attorney or you can file it yourself, the process is very simple. I have discussed filing by mail below but you can also file it online, the overall process remains the same.
How to Fill I-539 Form for B2 Extension?
Here's a general guideline on how to fill out Form I-539 for a tourist visa extension:
Download the Form: Download the most recent version of Form I-539 from the USCIS website.
Read the Instructions: Before filling out the form, read the instructions. This will help you understand the requirements, supporting documents, and any special instructions for your specific situation.
Part 1. Information about you
This part is self-explanatory. Provide your parent's full name. Enter your current U.S. physical and mailing address where USCIS should send all correspondence related to your application.
Enter the country of birth, citizenship, date of birth, and date of last arrival into the US.
Provide the I-94 arrival-departure record number and passport number.
Note: You can mention your name 'In Care Of Name' if your parents are staying with you.
Part 1. Information about you (continued)
14 a. & 14 b. Enter the country of passport and expiration date of your passport
15 a. & 15 b. Check your visa stamp to see the visa type. Select from the drop-down menu "B2 - Temporary Visitor for Pleasure" or "B1 - Temporary Visitor for Business" based on your visa type.
Part 2. Application Type
As you are applying for an extension, check box '2'.
If you are applying for the extension of one parent, check box '4'. If both parents or more family members are applying for an extension then check box '5a', and write the total number of applicants in '5b', including yourself.
For example, if your mom and dad, both need an extension then write '2' in '5b'. You have to fill out supplementary Form I-539A for each co-applicant.
Part 3. Processing Information
Mention the date to which you would like to request the extension. Remember that you can not request an extension beyond 6 months. In the above example, I have requested 4 months of extension i.e. from 06/30/2023 (mentioned in 15 b.) to 10/30/2023.
Provide return air tickets matching the requested extension dates. This will help your application show your intention to go back to your home country, and you have a fair chance of getting extension approval.
Assuming you are requesting an extension for the first time and you don't have any pending cases with USCIS, check 'No' for 2 a. and enter 'N/A' for 4.
Part 4. Additional Information about the Applicant
Item 1. Provide passport details only if it's different from Part 1. Otherwise, leave it blank.
Item 2. Provide your foreign address, basically your home country address.
For Items 3 to 15. For these questions, mostly your answer should be 'No'. But if you choose 'Yes', provide additional information in Part 8. Be sure to reference the page number, part number, and item number in Part 8 while providing an explanation.
Part 5. 6. and 7.
Item 1 a. Check this box if your parents can understand English, provide contact information, sign the form, and leave parts 6 (Interpreter's detail) and 7 (Preparer's detail) blank.
Item 1 b. Check this box if your parents can't understand English and you helped them interpret the form. Mention the language your parent is fluent in, and fill out part 6 (Interpreter's details).
Item 2. Check this box if someone else prepared the form other than the above two options, and fill out part 7.
I-539 Supporting Documents for B2 Extension
You would need to mail the following supporting documents for a B2 visitor visa extension for your parents.
Completed form I-539 with a filing fee of $370
Completed supplementary form I-539a [if any]
Cover letter explaining your reason
Photocopies of parents' passports and visa
Financial proof to support your extended stay
Documents to support your visitor visa extension request based on your reason like
Letter from physician
Medical bills or reports
Event ceremony proof
Return flight ticket
Extended stay hotel bills
You can find the I-539 mailing addresses here. After mailing your documents to USCIS and receiving a receipt number, your stay in the U.S. remains in good standing. While approval may take a few months, it should not pose any issues for your lawful stay.
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