I came to the US from Jamaica on a visitor visa to spend some time with my daughter and see my grandchildren. Three months ago month my daughter slipped on ice and broke her leg and now she relies on me to move around and go with her when she goes out. The doctor treating my daughter said her leg will take two more months to heal but only one month remains on my I-94 form.
How do I extend my stay in the United States?
To keep your non immigrant status you must file an application for extension of stay before your current period of authorized stay, on your I-94, expires. It is important that you file immediately.
The application process to extend your stay depends on the type of non-immigrant status that you have. In your case because you have B2 non-immigrant status you must use USCIS Form I-539 with the required fee and supporting evidence. You should direct the application to the USCIS service center with jurisdiction for your area.
- Original or Photocopy (front and back) of your I-94 Arrival-Departure document. If your I-94 is lost you must file and send USCIS Form I-102 with the proper fee together with Form I-539.
- Photocopy of your passport showing that it is valid for the period of your intended stay.
You must also send a written statement explaining in detail;
- The reason for the extension,
- Departure arrangements, and
- Any effect the extension would have on your permanent residence and employment in Jamaica.
A signed affidavit from your daughter explaining why you are seeking to delay your departure would be persuasive. Your daughter should also get a letter written by a recognized, licensed health care practitioner treating her. The practitioner should write the letter on his or her own professional letterhead stationery and it should state the specific (explained) medical condition that has caused you to seek an extension to spend more time with your daughter and grandchildren.The letter should also specify the dates involved in your daughter’s injury and that the practitioner expects the medical condition to end at a specified time.
You should also send a copy of your return ticket to Jamaica showing the date of your intended departure. You should show that you have funds to support yourself for the period of the intended stay in the U.S. If you have a job in Jamaica you should send a letter from your employer temporarily excusing you from work for the extra time you will spend in the United States.
What if authorized stay has expired?
The USCIS may exercise discretion to excuse your failure to apply before the end of your authorized when;
1.the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control
2. the delay is right for the circumstances
3. you have not violated your non-immigrant status in other ways (e.g. unauthorized work)
4. you are still a good faith visitor to the United States, and
5. you are not in deportation or removal.
Processing time and effect of prompt application
The processing time for I-539 applications can take up to 3 -4 months. The time in which your application is pending will continue your authorized stay in the United States. The current filing fee for a Form I-539 application is available here. If USCIS approves your extension of stay application it will do so in six month increments.