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I-539 (extension of nonimmigrant visa)

#1 thetwin

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:36 PM

Hi all,
I am here in the US on a B2 visa. My stay expires on Jan 18th 2011. I applied for an extension of stay on 12/03/2010. I sent my application with all other docs and money order to lewisville, TX lockbox (express). The USPS proof of delivery states it was delivered and signed by someone called *****...I did not get an e-notice of receipt or an I 797C either. It's been 25 days now so I called the US immigration and they told me my name was not in the system and that I should check if the money order was cashed or not. I went to the bank and tracked the money order..they told me at the bank that it was no cashed. I call the IMMIGRATION office again and this time the officer tells me that I should wait cuz there is a delay. Ok the question is "shouldn't have I received a receipt number by now?" and then wait? since when applicants wait for a receipt number? I am worried cuz now my only proof to stay beyond the 18th of jan is a receipt number...please advise!
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#2 Boiler

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 11:00 PM

Well unless you ahve good reason, they you are filing to keep you in status so the longer they take the better.
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Nothing I say should in any way be construed as a breach of VJ TOS.

If you misread it that way, read again and do not put any spin on it.


#3 thetwin

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 12:08 AM

Well unless you ahve good reason, they you are filing to keep you in status so the longer they take the better.


First thanks for the reply....well the longer the better only if I have a receipt number, but I don't have any!
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#4 viernes

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Posted 05 January 2011 - 10:17 PM

I also have a question regarding the I-539 extension. If your i-94 is about to expire and you are awaiting a response-- USCIS seems to think it is fine to overstay while you wait for a response (but I'm unsure)--What's the final word? Will your visa be voided?? for sure?? Anyone on here who's done this?? What happened?? was your visa voided??

Thanks.
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#5 Sober

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 02:49 PM

I also have a question regarding the I-539 extension. If your i-94 is about to expire and you are awaiting a response-- USCIS seems to think it is fine to overstay while you wait for a response (but I'm unsure)--What's the final word? Will your visa be voided?? for sure?? Anyone on here who's done this?? What happened?? was your visa voided??

Thanks.

Date: Jan 06 2011
If you applied for an extension of stay (I-539) before it expires and has not committed any kind of violation then you are good to stay until they send you a decision. Once you get the decision: if allowed to stay then np, but if denied then it will specifiy when to leave (Probably 30 days from decision day and not from letter receipt). If you obey this ruling and leave before the 30 days then your B2 visa on your passport will NOT be void and you can reenter. If you tend to abuse this visa and return very fast to the states, then the officer at Point of entry can deny your new I-94 and return you to where you came from. Also, in case of denial make sure when you come back (preferably min. 6 mths if not a year) to have all the docs you used to extend your stay with you..i.e. bank statements, proof of work and the whole nine yards. Be prepared and Good luck. Also to reply "thetwin", note that it sometimes takes around 30 days for USCIS to send you the e-notification, sometimes they experience delays. (N.B. am not a lawyer and have never been to law school but I read a lot and I like to help) Good luck
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#6 benmariela

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 06:37 PM

well actually since yesterday I've finally found where USCIS gets the stuff they say from. In their "How do I extend my nonimmigrant status in the US" guide, it says the following:

What if I file on time but USCIS doesnt make a decision
before my I-94 expires?
If we receive your application before your status expires, and if you have not violated the terms of your status and meet the basic
eligibility requirements, you may continue your previously approved
activities in the United States (including previously authorized work) for a maximum period of 240 days, or until the first of the following occurs:

We make a decision on your application; or

The reason for your requested extension has been
accomplished.
If your application for extension is denied after your previously approved stay has expired and you are still in the United States, you will be considered out of status as of the date your original period of stay expired. You must cease employment (if such employment was authorized) and depart the United States immediately. In addition, any nonimmigrant visa in your passport granted in connection with your classification becomes void. Once your visa is void, you must submit any new visa application at a U.S. consulate in your home country (not a third country, except in rare instances as determined by the U.S. Department of State).

So yeah, you can stay over and you'll be fine, but only if they accept it. because if not, you're visa will be voided and you may have issues even applying for one in the future. Thanks a lot.....
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Applied for K-1 visa - Feb 26, 2009
Recieved K-1 Visa - Aug 6, 2009
Married - Oct 23, 2009
Applied for AOS, i-485, i-765, & i-131 - Dec 6, 2009
i-765 & i-131 approved - Feb 1, 2010
I - 485 approved - Pending

#7 Sober

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Posted 06 January 2011 - 06:45 PM

well actually since yesterday I've finally found where USCIS gets the stuff they say from. In their "How do I extend my nonimmigrant status in the US" guide, it says the following:

What if I file on time but USCIS doesnt make a decision
before my I-94 expires?
If we receive your application before your status expires, and if you have not violated the terms of your status and meet the basic
eligibility requirements, you may continue your previously approved
activities in the United States (including previously authorized work) for a maximum period of 240 days, or until the first of the following occurs:

We make a decision on your application; or

The reason for your requested extension has been
accomplished.
If your application for extension is denied after your previously approved stay has expired and you are still in the United States, you will be considered out of status as of the date your original period of stay expired. You must cease employment (if such employment was authorized) and depart the United States immediately. In addition, any nonimmigrant visa in your passport granted in connection with your classification becomes void. Once your visa is void, you must submit any new visa application at a U.S. consulate in your home country (not a third country, except in rare instances as determined by the U.S. Department of State).

So yeah, you can stay over and you'll be fine, but only if they accept it. because if not, you're visa will be voided and you may have issues even applying for one in the future. Thanks a lot.....


Note: This form is dated 2008. The info I provided is up to date. I have read the new updates concerning the 9 FAM section 222(g) in the immigration laws...and I have also read the latest manual for officers. Please, make sure your info is updated. Search for 222(g) and read the law from a trusted site. So I repeat your visa does NOT become void. Not unless you did not comply to the order of departure.
Thanks
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#8 vegavega

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 02:27 AM

Once my I-539 is denied, how much time do I have to leave the country? 180 days from the time the date on my I-94?

Is the date printed on the I-539 denial letter automatically 180 days from the I-94 date, or even earlier?

Can I marry a US citizen (girlfriend of several years) during the period following the denial of my I-539? Is this allowed?

The reason I ask is that I am foreseeing a denial of my I-539 and wondering when I should plan to leave the US. My expectation of the time the I-539 decision will be received, is based on the average processing times that the USCIS website mentions.
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#9 Sober

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:47 AM

Once my I-539 is denied, how much time do I have to leave the country? 180 days from the time the date on my I-94?

Is the date printed on the I-539 denial letter automatically 180 days from the I-94 date, or even earlier?

Can I marry a US citizen (girlfriend of several years) during the period following the denial of my I-539? Is this allowed?

The reason I ask is that I am foreseeing a denial of my I-539 and wondering when I should plan to leave the US. My expectation of the time the I-539 decision will be received, is based on the average processing times that the USCIS website mentions.


How much time do you have to leave once your I-539 is denied? answer: they will specify in the letter: usually it is 30 days from the time of the USCIS decision. You do not want to leave after that because you will then enter into the 3 and 10 year bar period hence, the less than 180 days and more than 180 days.

Can you marry a US citizen? well of course you can. The institution gives you the right to get married right?:) so yeah you can get married but if you break any law or stay unlawful then this will affect your change of status through a US citizen not unless you submitted a strong explanation on why you stayed beyond the time allowed. The best time for you to get married is right away since you forsee a denial, just make sure not to get married after the time allowed for you in the US. Meaning if you want to do something legal like marriage then try not doing it when you are staying unlawfuly. If you get married then your gf can apply for the I-130 (visa) and I-485 (change of status) at the same time. If she does that then you will be able to lawfully stay until they make a decision. Again, am not a lawyer or have nothing to do with giving legal advise. I am just telling you my opinion that might be wrong, however, it is based on strong experience. I would still advise you to get more info from the USCIS page, as well as the US immigration law website (cant remember which) ..you can also seek free immigration advise for one time from a lawyer. Good luck
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#10 Harsh_77

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 06:34 PM

To my understanding SOBER is right, but at the same time once the I-539 is denied, they would consider the person as illegal from the day the I-94 got expired.

Assuming that the person will have really hard time entering the US.
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#11 Sober

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 09:23 PM

To my understanding SOBER is right, but at the same time once the I-539 is denied, they would consider the person as illegal from the day the I-94 got expired.

Assuming that the person will have really hard time entering the US.


I will first talk about the accruing unlawful presence:

1) http://www.americanl...awfulmemo5.html

"26. The law also exempts periods of unlawful presence accrued by certain
aliens with bona fide asylum applications pending, beneficiaries of family
unity protection, and battered women and children. See
212(a)(9)(B)(iii)(II)-(IV). In addition, 212(a)(9)(B)(iv) suspends the
clock -- for purposes of 9B1 but not/not 9B2 -- for up to 120 days for
aliens with pending applications for extension of stay or change of status,
provided the application has timely filed and non-frivolous and the alien
did not take up unauthorized employment prior to or during the pendency of
the application.


However:

2) In a memorandum dated March 3, 2000, the INS has recently acknowledged the fact that extensions of stay and changes of status exceed the 120 day tolling period mentioned in the INA. It has now designated the entire period during which a timely filed, nonfrivolous application has been pending with the Service as a "period of stay authorized by the Attorney General," provided the alien has not engaged in any unauthorized employment. This period of stay authorized by the Attorney General covers the 120-day tolling period described in INA 212(a)(9)(B)(iv) and continues until the date the Service issues a decision. The Department of State has issued similar guidance in STATE 102274.

Conclusion:

(II) Alien admitted for duration of status, violates status, e.g., by
working without authorization, is out of status for any period of time,
applies for a change of status (COS), which INS denies on the ground that
alien was out of status. Unlawful presence begins to accrue on the date of
the denial. The alien departs voluntarily on his own prior to commencement
of removal proceedings 180 days or less after INS decision: not subject to
9B because alien did not accrue more than 180 days of unlawful presence
after INS decision; however, alien is subject to 222(g).

(III) Same facts as (II) but alien requests voluntary departure, which INS
grants 180 days or less after the denial of COS, and the alien departs
within the time granted: not subject to 9B because alien did not accrue
more than 180 days of unlawful presence; however, alien is subject to
222(g).

Now speaking of 222(g)

1. Original Section 222(g), i.e., Immigration and Nationality Act 222, part g,
says that if you stay beyond the day I-94 expires, your visa gets void.
2. Apparently, there is an Insert, which is more like an internal memo sent
to all the Immigration officials (this is not made available to public although
you can find it on the Internet...see end of email) that amends the original
section 222(g) to the following effect: Your visa will not automatically be
void just because you stayed beyond I-94's expiry. Whether or not the
visa is cancelled is determined as follows:
(a) If you have filed for an extension before I-94 expired and if the
extension is approved, then you get a new I-94. This new I-94
overrides the old one. Thus, there is no penalty for staying beyond
the old I-94's expiry date as Section 222(g) does not apply to you.
(b)If the extension is denied, then you will not get a new I-94. Since
you have stayed beyond old I-94's expiry date, you are subject to
Section 222(g) and thus your visa is void.

http://www.shusterma...enceeoscos.html
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#12 vegavega

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 11:13 PM

Thank you so much for your detailed responses, Sober and Harsh_77, that was most helpful.

So am I right in understanding the following then: after my I-539 is denied, I have 180 days in which I need to leave the country if I do not want to accrue any ban on future visas. So the denial letter from USCIS may say 30 days, but I should really be counting 180 days from the expiry of my original I-94?

And, if I marry within these 180 days (from the expiry of my original I-94) then I will no longer be subject to removal proceedings based on my I-539 denial. In other words, once I am married to my US citizen girlfriend within these 180 days - and lets say for argument's sake, more than 30 days after the USCIS decision - the I-539 denial is no longer relevant because my girlfriend (at that point, my wife) will immediately file the I-130 and I-485 applications?
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#13 Harsh_77

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 12:20 PM

If you get married to USC - does not bring you in the status immd and when you go for your AOS interview I am sure they would be asking you lot more question as to why you decided to marry while you are on B2.
They might event want to investigate if you solely married for the purpose to stay in US.

My personal thought is when anyone married on B2 they add more complications to their case - however there are other ppl on this forum who think otherwise. So it comes to your personal call.

All the time in US I have found is never violate a visa regulation - you might think you have bypassed a rule now and will have no prob, but htat is not the case it can came and bite u years down the road.
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#14 thetwin

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 10:14 AM

UPDATE: Thank you all for the info. I received the confirmation of receipt on 3d of Jan (a month later)..there was no activity online for my case number but on the 19th they approved my I539 for another 6 months. by the way there is nothing wrong from changing status from B2 to greencard by getting married since you are really getting married...only the hard complicated time will be felt by lairs but ppl who have nothing to hide will never feel the hardship...this is america remember?:)
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