There are many types of work visas that are issued to foreign nationals who are looking to work in the U.S. temporarily. While work visas do vary by type as they are issued based on your experience and the industry you want to work in, one thing that is the same among all visa types is that they each carry an expiration date. Once a visa nears that expiration date, an individual must either prepare to depart and return to their home country, renew their visa so they can continue working, or apply to have their stay extended if their employer wishes to have them work for a longer period of time.
How does a temporary foreign worker extend their stay in the U.S.?
If your work visa is approaching its expiration date yet your employer wishes to extend your stay, he/she will need to file a request before your authorized stay expires. The cost to file the request is $370 and the length of time you can stay will vary. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has outlined who is eligible to have their stay extended and we have provided you with this information below for your convenience.
Employers can apply to extend their employee’s stay if:
The “employee was lawfully admitted into the United States with a nonimmigrant visa.”
The employee’s nonimmigrant visa is valid.
The employee has not committed any crimes that would make him/her ineligible for a visa.
The “employee has not violated any of the conditions of his/her admission” and;
The “employee’s passport is valid and will remain valid for the duration of his/her stay.”
USCIS goes on to explain that an employer cannot apply to extend their employee’s stay if they were admitted to the U.S. under any of the following categories:
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).
The fiancé of a U.S. citizen or dependent of a fiancé (K nonimmigrant visa).
An informant (and accompanying family) on terrorism or organized crime (S nonimmigrant visa).
It is extremely important for an individual whose work visa is expiring to take immediate action if their employer needs them to work for a period longer than they anticipated. If an employee stays in the U.S. longer than authorized, they are then at risk of being barred from returning or could be deported from the United States. If an employer isn’t sure when they should apply to have their employee’s stay extended, he/she can apply at least 45 days before their authorized stay expires.
Tip: If you aren’t sure what your temporary work visa expiration date is, refer to the lower right-hand corner of your Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, to determine the date of when your authorized stay expires.
Don’t let your work visa expire.
Speak with a work visa lawyer in New Brunswick, NJ who can help you and your employer apply for an extension of stay.
In order for a foreign national to have their stay extended, their employer must fill out the correct paperwork and submit it to USCIS. The forms your employer will need to file depends on what your nonimmigrant status is. To ensure the forms are filled out properly, we recommend you contact a New Brunswick, NJ work visa law firm such as The Law Office of Eric M. Mark for help. If you fail to file the necessary forms in time, that is before your visa expires, you must leave the U.S. to prevent from becoming ineligible to receive a work visa in the future.
Now, once USCIS receives the required forms, the employee will receive notice that their application was received followed by a notice of a decision in writing. In order for an employee to remain in the U.S. legally and work, USCIS must approve the extended stay application. If you are looking to increase your chances of having your application approved, it is best you have a skilled work visa lawyer in New Brunswick, NJ helping you. USCIS forms can sometimes be difficult to fill out and to avoid making any mistakes that could cause your request to be denied, it is recommended you have a legal professional who understands how to fill these forms out assisting you and your employer.
The Law Office of Eric M. Mark is an immigration law firm that provides legal advice, guidance, and representation to those in New Brunswick, NJ who are looking to have their stay extended on their temporary work visa. If this is something you need help with or you have questions regarding a work visa, don’t hesitate to contact our office today.