B1/B2 Visa Extension – When & How to Apply For Stay Extension in the USA

B-1 & B-2 Visa Extension
B-1 & B-2 Visa Extension

If you are not a citizen of a country to which the United States extends a Visa Waiver Program, you need to get a visa to visit the USA.

You need to obtain either a non-immigrant visa for a temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence to enter the United States.

You can also apply for a visitor visa for your parents who are planning to visit you in the U.S. Before you even apply for a visa for them, the two most important things you need to arrange are your parents’ passports, and all the documentation needed to apply for the visa.

One of the things a US consular officer will check when you invite your parents or family is your current visa status and the supporting documentation for their visa application.

What is a B1/B2 Visitor Visa?

B1/B2 Visa Category
B1/B2 Visa Category

B-1 or B-2 visa is issued to nonimmigrants who wish to enter the U.S. temporarily for business (B1 visa), pleasure/medical treatment (B2 visa), or for a combination of both purposes.

USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) makes the following notes on its website for this visa type:

Aliens should be classified as B1 visitors for business, if otherwise eligible if they are traveling to the United States to participate in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences, or seminars, negotiate contracts, to consult with business associates.

The B2 Visa is for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for tourism, visits with friends or relatives, and medical treatments.

Also Read: Complete Guide to Visitors Visa

What is a Visa Extension for a Nonimmigrant Visa Holder?

It is a petition for an extension of stay beyond the expiration date of your current non-immigrant visa.

If you apply for an extension of stay on your non-immigrant visa, your departure date or admissions record number will change.

Ensure you know the initial departure date and your extension application is filed before it expires. Note the new departure date as per your requested extension and as approved by the immigration inspector at USCIS. Ensure your parents depart the USA on or before the stay date expires.

If your parents are in the U.S. and you want to extend their stay, they may be eligible to file a visitor visa extension application.

How Long Can My Parents Stay in the U.S. on B1/B2 Visa?

The B1/B2 visa is valid for ten years, but for each stay in the USA, a maximum continuous stay of 6 months is allowed for each entry. Please note that the stay period can be lesser as determined by the CBP officer at the port of entry.

If you need your parents for an extended stay then you need to apply for an extension. Always refer to the I94 records once your parents have entered the USA to ensure you know the date when the stay-approved status expires.

With U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approval, an additional maximum extension of up to six months may be allowed.

What Are The Requirements for B1/B2 Visitor Visa Extension?

If you are a B1 or B2 visitor multiple entry visa holder you may apply to extend your stay by filing a visa extension application with USCIS.

Generally, speaking visa holders need to consider some basic eligibility requirements and documents required:

  • They have a valid legitimate reason for requesting an extension under the visa category
  • They have been lawfully admitted into the United States
  • They have a nonimmigrant visa holder and the visa status is valid in the US
  • They have not committed any offenses that disqualify them from receiving a visa
  • They have not violated the conditions of entry to the USA
  • Their passport is valid and will remain valid for the duration of their stay
  • They have plans to leave the US at the end of the proposed visa extension period
  • They have proper evidence for financial support
  • They have the filing fees for the application

On top of the above criteria, they have proof of health insurance in the form of travel medical insurance. Please do note that though this is not a mandatory requirement, having travel medical insurance supports that you are not being dependent on the US healthcare system to bear your medical expenses in case something were to go wrong.

Also, Read: Travel Medical Insurance for Parents Visiting USA

However, individuals admitted to the U.S. in the following categories are not eligible to apply to extend their stay.

  • Visa Waiver Program
  • Crew member (D nonimmigrant visa)
  • In transit through the United States (C nonimmigrant visa)
  • In transit through the United States without a visa (TWOV)
  • Fiancé of a U.S. citizen or dependent of a fiancé (K nonimmigrant visa)
  • Informant (and accompanying family) on terrorism or organized crime (S nonimmigrant visa)

Pro-Tip: It is advisable to not apply to extend your stay for every trip. USCIS may not consider it justified and you risk being ineligible for a visa when you need to reapply for a B 1 or a B 2 visa on the expiry of your current visa. Frequent visits, many visa extensions, lawfully admitted but staying beyond admission dates are all reasons for being denied entry into the USA on your next visit.

How to Apply for a B1/B2 Visitor Visa Extension for My Parents?

It’s important to understand that if you don’t request an extension of stay and continue to be in the country after your authorized stay expires, you risk:

  • Denied Entry into the USA on your next visit
  • Be Removed/Deported
  • Have your Visa Revoked

Check the date in the lower right-hand corner of your Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, to find out when the approved stay expires.

They may be prevented from returning and/or deported from the U.S. if they stay in the country longer than is permitted.

To extend the stay of your parents in the U.S., you must file an I-539 form with the USCIS: Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status before their authorized stay expires.

The I-539 and I-94 forms are needed for visitor visa extensions in the USA.

Form I-539

The first step is to submit Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. Before sending the form, make sure it is correctly filled in and signed.

Filing Your Application for Extension of Stay

  1. You can first file a form I-539 for a visa stay extension online. You can only file online if you are filing for yourself and do not need legal assistance. If you are filing for your family, you can apply online individually but you will need to pay the fee for each application.Create a USCIS online account if you haven’t already. All information will be provided through your account.
  2. The second option is to file the completed form I-539 by mail. Depending on your “filing type,” or the kind of visa you are currently filing with, there are many filing addresses. For each type of visa, USCIS provides all filing locations.
  3. This can also be done in person at a USCIS office.

Important Requirements

  • If you file online, you must upload the supporting documents
  • Submit an application letter outlining your reasons for the extension
  • Provide a copy of your parents’ return airline or shipping tickets
  • Pay the $370 filing fees and any applicable biometric fee ($85)
  • Provide a copy of your parents’ I-94 form (not the original)

Note that the additional supporting documentation required varies depending on the kind of visa. For B1 and B2 visa holders, the necessary proof can, for instance, consist of a written statement (similar to a cover letter).

What you must submit with your request for a stay extension differs. To better understand, read the Visitor Visa (B2) extension checklist (M-752) and follow the sample cover letter for the US Visa stay extension that USCIS provides. Always check for the fees and other requirements on the USCIS website or with your immigrant attorney.

I-94 Form

What’s written on an I-94 Form?

You are given an I-94 date when you initially receive your visa. Form I-94, an Arrival/Departure Record, is given to people who are admitted to the U.S., change their status while in the U.S., or extend their stay.

You will either have a printed copy that you put on your passport, or an electronic form that reads “Admit Until Date”.

The only information on your visa—aside from your arrival date and the number of times you can apply for entrance to the U.S.—is your permitted entry dates. Your departure date is only displayed on your I-94 form.

If your request for a visitor visa extension is granted, a new I-94 card with an updated departure date will be given to you. We advise you to make copies of the approval letter and I-94 because you can use them as proof when you apply for your next visa.

Keep your old I-94 form because you’ll need to show both the new one and the old one when you leave the US.

Additional Important Forms

  • You can request a new Form I-94 card by submitting Form I-102 if your original was misplaced, lost, damaged, stolen, or interfered with.
  • Depending on your nonimmigrant status, your employer may need to file a Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, on your behalf to extend your stay before the expiration of your Form I-94. The Form I-129 filing fee is $460.
  • We advise you to discuss the specific requirements and duration of your stay with your employer and an immigration attorney.

When Should I File The US Visa Extension Request?

You should submit your request for a US visa extension at least 45 days before the visa expiration date of your current visa, according to the USCIS.

In general, the application must be completed and costs paid to USCIS by the time the authorized stay expires, but your application must be submitted before the original departure day.

You will be given a receipt number (also known as your case number), which indicates the length of time it will take to process your application. A biometrics appointment will also be set up for you.

What Happens After You File the Extension Request?

The USCIS will send you a receipt notice with a 13-digit case number. The approximate processing time will be indicated on the receipt notice.

A biometrics appointment will also be given so that your parents or anyone else on the application can be fingerprinted and photographed. The biometrics fee is $85.

Suppose you file the visa extension request on time. In that case, your parents may be permitted to stay in the US for up to an additional 240 days after the expiration date on your parent’s I-94, provided you filed the visa extension before the expiration of the I-94 and the application is still under review and also depending on the reasons behind the visa extension request and other factors.

You can check the status of your visa extension request online through the receipt/case number.

If the Visa Extension Request is Approved:

Visitor Visa Extension Approved
Visitor Visa Extension Approved

You will receive an approval intimation from USCIS. The new departure date will be updated on your online I-94 records. You can download your new arrival and departure record from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website:


Your parents can remain in the U.S. up until this new I-94 date. When they leave the U.S., they must submit both(old and new) I-94s to the airline staff at the check-in counter.

If the Visa Extension Request is Denied:

Visitor Visa Extension Denied
Visitor Visa Extension Denied

You’ll receive written notice of the denial that will tell you why the application was denied. You will need to leave the U.S. immediately if your extension request is denied or seek legal opinion from an immigration attorney.

Additional Information

  • A tourist visa/visitor visa holder is not allowed to accept a job offer or to work in the U.S.
  • A valid U.S. visitor visa is still valid while it’s in a passport that has lost its validity
  • A visa is valid until the expiration date unless it is canceled or revoked
  • Do not remove a valid visa from an expired passport
  • To travel and gain entry into the U.S., you may utilize the valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport

What if the I-94 has Expired and the Form I-539 is still Pending?

You are allowed to remain in the country for 240 days if you applied for an extension before the I-94’s expiration date and your application is still being processed.

You’ll need to continue to follow the terms of your status. You can stay in that period until the USCIS approves or denies your application.


Lastly, to avoid making common mistakes during the extension of your U.S. Visa process,  it is helpful to show a copy of your return tickets. Upcoming flights can demonstrate that you intend to stay only temporarily.

We recommend that you hold off on requesting a stay extension until the duration of your visa has expired. When you submit your application as soon as you land in the country, USCIS can see it as a pre-planned strategy.

Extending B1/B2 visa for your parents can be a complex process, But definitely possible if you meet the eligibility criteria and provide the needed supporting documents.

Read our guide on essential documents to travel internationally and travelers’ guide to taking prescription drugs to the USA. Bon Voyage!