I have received several calls recently from people in the United States on B-1/B-2 visitor status asking what they must do if they are not able or not advised (due to Corona Virus concerns) to leave the United States before their authorized period of stay expires. This may include retired people or others who have second homes in the U.S. and are approaching the end of their six-month period of authorized stay.

Notwithstanding immigration regulations, clearly the best piece of advice to anyone in the U.S. right now, and definitely to people at or near the age of retirement (65+), is not to travel at all. The shelter-in-place rule is active in upward of 40 states at last count. Although nearly everyone is aware that travel is currently unsafe, there hasn’t been any specific guidance issued by the Department of Homeland Security stating that people may disregard their I-94 expiration dates and overstay their authorized period of stay with impunity.

Thus, it is best not to risk it, and for those who feel they should not travel, they must file an I-539 application with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requesting that their authorized stay in the U.S. be extended by a specific period of time in light of Covid-19 travel advisories. USCIS must receive the form, the attached filing fee, and all supporting documents BEFORE the day the I-94 at issue expires. If the I-539 is properly filed, the applicant(s) may stay in the U.S. until they have received a response from USCIS.

If you require assistance in preparing and filing your application, The Law Offices of Marla Schechter is available to assist you. Please contact us at info@getausvisa.com or call at 310-614-6514 for a free consultation.

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