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Author Topic: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)  (Read 2489 times)

Ex-Calif

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  • Dan from Dayton...
Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #30 on: September 05, 2020, 05:19:17 AM »
The worst part is that we cannot plan anything.
Whilst we have return flights booked for November that are still showing as scheduled, we cannot book a connection to the departure airport because we may need to book flights home sooner if the extension request is not granted. Still, as they say, nothing in life worth having is easy😏

If I read your prior correctly you are already overstaying as of mid-July?  Did you complete the appointment on 30th July?

At this point if I am reading it right you may as well ride it out till your original planned departure date. Continue to work the extension request, with the attendant risk of deportation (low probability IMO) and worry about a future visa later when you are back in the UK. I think you "reason" for overstaying (covid confusion) will be accepted as valid as you have attempted to do everything correctly.

So sorry you are stuck in this. My wife (non-us citizen) went to Colombia to take care of her mom on March 6th. She has been unable to come home due to Colombia's border lock down. This stuff sucks for so many people.
"Marvin" - 1997 Georgie Boy Pursuit 3150 - P30 Chev 454
Various classic MGBs
Ex-liveaboard boater - Class A newbie in sponge mode

Tom

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #31 on: September 05, 2020, 07:54:48 AM »
Quote
My wife (non-us citizen) went to Colombia to take care of her mom on March 6th. She has been unable to come home due to Colombia's border lock down.

So sorry to hear that Marvin.
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Tom

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #32 on: September 05, 2020, 08:59:46 AM »
Tony,

Re-reading your message and, after giving it some thought in the context of other I-539 and similar reports, I'm of the opinion that you have nothing to worry about. This seems like one of those cases where no news is good news.

All the stuff they told you about "technically overstayers" and forfeiting the B1/B2 visa is boilerplate bureaucracy-speak. The key here is demonstrated intent, and the letter clearly shows that your intent was to follow the rules.

One caveat - I'm not an immigration lawyer, just someone who's been tangled in various US bureaucracies, both personally and professionally, over many years.
Second caveat - I've witnessed (more than once) someone in bureaucracy having a bad day, potentially being a roadblock and/or derailing the process.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 09:02:34 AM by Tom »
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TonyL

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #33 on: September 05, 2020, 10:01:45 AM »
Hi Marvin, yes, we kept the appointment and on the USCIS check my status website it shows that our case was updated to show biometric interview was completed.
Tom, I kind of know that their warnings may be hard ball, but as someone just trying to do everything right in another country, it does make it a little concerning. As far as we are aware, we have no criminal record or committed any violations here, so we think we should be ok, but current issues with immigration, we take nothing for granted.
What I find strange is the time it takes, as a somewhat stranger first applying for a Visa it took only two weeks from form submission to being told the Visas were granted, but it could take five months to approve an extension.
It's a pity that I could not find out before we left the UK that entering Canada for a few months does not reset your I94, then we would have planned accordingly. Lesson learned.

Tom

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #34 on: September 05, 2020, 10:23:33 AM »
Quote from: TonyL
... as someone just trying to do everything right in another country, it does make it a little concerning.

I fully understand that, and have been there. Over the years of working with various US agencies, including professionally, the modus operandi becomes clearer with time. Definitely unsettling when you first experience it. 

Quote
What I find strange is the time it takes, as a somewhat stranger first applying for a Visa it took only two weeks from form submission to being told the Visas were granted, but it could take five months to approve an extension.


I'm not surprised, and I believe I've read of cases where the I-539 applicant didn't receive a response, at least not before they'd returned home.

Quote
It's a pity that I could not find out before we left the UK that entering Canada for a few months does not reset your I94, then we would have planned accordingly.


I believe I've mentioned that in various topics here (maybe not ones you were involved with), and some folks have challenged my statement. I'll see if there's somewhere I need to make that clear to potential visitors.
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jackiemac

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #35 on: September 05, 2020, 10:50:42 AM »
Tony, is it just Canada or did you say same applies even if you go to Mexico?  I thought during a discussion we had you had to return to home country?
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Back in the UK til who knows....

TonyL

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #36 on: September 05, 2020, 10:55:25 AM »
Jackie, what it says is you must leave North America, it does not stipulate you must return to your own country. However, by returning home might be a demonstration that you do have one, and are not an itinerant.

jackiemac

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #37 on: September 05, 2020, 10:58:46 AM »
Jackie, what it says is you must leave North America, it does not stipulate you must return to your own country. However, by returning home might be a demonstration that you do have one, and are not an itinerant.
Is Mexico still  classed as North America?  Probably is my thought.
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Back in the UK til who knows....

Tom

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #38 on: September 05, 2020, 12:32:55 PM »
Tony, (our) true story ...

We were at an immigration interview, 18 months into the process. One of the i's wasn't dotted correctly, so the INS agent slammed our file down on the desk and said "start the process all over from the beginning when you have all the right paperwork!".

We had an immigration lawyer with us, but he went into full panic mode and went to get his senior partner from another interview. The "issue" was that I had the short form of daughter's UK birth certificate, which doesn't prove parent/child relationship.

I rummaged around and found a letter from the (California) school referring to Chris as Debbie's mother. The senior partner put his arm around the INS agent's shoulder and said "Bill (or whatever his name was), can we put this letter in the file temporarily, and we'll get you the long form birth certificate by Monday?"

That did the trick, the agent's scowl turned to a smile, and all was well. It's all down to personalities and relationships.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 12:39:59 PM by Tom »
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TonyL

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #39 on: September 05, 2020, 12:46:17 PM »
If I could meet someone in person, I might stand a chance of charming them ( bet Jackie disagrees) but it is either telephone or internet. When we had the biometric interview I had hoped to glean a little more info, all they could say was that the application now goes to the FBI. Not sure if charm will work there🤔

Tom

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #40 on: September 05, 2020, 12:48:17 PM »
Hopefully the FBI doesn't find all those bad things about you  :)
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jackiemac

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #41 on: September 05, 2020, 12:48:53 PM »
If I could meet someone in person, I might stand a chance of charming them ( bet Jackie disagrees) but it is either telephone or internet. When we had the biometric interview I had hoped to glean a little more info, all they could say was that the application now goes to the FBI. Not sure if charm will work there🤔
I do 😂
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Back in the UK til who knows....

TonyL

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #42 on: September 05, 2020, 12:56:30 PM »
The I539 process is nothing like applying for the Visa, there's no office you can go to and be interviewed or discuss your case (as far as we know)
At the end of the day, if you want to visit another country for an extended period, you are the visitor and whatever bureaucracy is put before you is that countries right and privilege. Don't make it any less stressful though, but at least I'm not trying to communicate in a foreign language.

TonyL

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #43 on: September 05, 2020, 12:59:21 PM »
Hopefully the FBI doesn't find all those bad things about you  :)
Well the other half hasn't found out yet 😂

TonyL

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #44 on: September 05, 2020, 01:01:33 PM »
Hope the person dealing with our application isn't a forum member🙄

TonyL

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #45 on: September 05, 2020, 01:06:35 PM »
I do 😂
Just knew Jackie would have something to say 😁

Tom

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2020, 01:07:51 PM »
Having spent years working with US agencies, I understand only too well.

In a couple of cases we had teams of 100+ industry representatives that met regularly with agency personnel, often talking to a brick wall. Like we used to say in the UK, it was like dealing with the Wales Gas Board  :o except ...

At one large "reconciliation" meeting, attempting to bring industry and government together, one Dept Of Defense guy stood up and, with a red face, shouted "you're all crooks and we're going to put you all in jail!" Fortunately, a number of us had decent relationships with various DOD departments and individuals. We didn't go to jail (phew!), and we weren't crooks.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 09:11:46 AM by Tom »
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Boat Addict

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2020, 01:45:18 PM »
The I539 process is nothing like applying for the Visa, there's no office you can go to and be interviewed or discuss your case (as far as we know)
At the end of the day, if you want to visit another country for an extended period, you are the visitor and whatever bureaucracy is put before you is that countries right and privilege. Don't make it any less stressful though, but at least I'm not trying to communicate in a foreign language.

Well you must start out by telling the fine folks that you are driving a Ford and pulling a 5th wheel camper, and not some "caravan" :)

TonyL

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2020, 01:51:24 PM »
Well you must start out by telling the fine folks that you are driving a Ford and pulling a 5th wheel camper, and not some "caravan" :)
Ouch!!!!

jackiemac

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #49 on: September 05, 2020, 07:02:27 PM »
Ouch!!!!
These Americans forget where "English" came from  ::)  ;)
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Back in the UK til who knows....

Tom

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #50 on: September 05, 2020, 07:06:46 PM »
We speak Amlish  :)
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Boat Addict

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #51 on: September 05, 2020, 07:26:47 PM »
As a way not to distract from this thread, I will start another one pertaining to our local dialogue with a bit of English accent  and targeted words that's unique to the region.

Ex-Calif

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  • Dan from Dayton...
Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #52 on: September 06, 2020, 07:52:05 AM »
Government bureaucracy can be daunting. The rules are usually complex and the people administering those rules "generally" have to follow the rules. I never blame the bureaucrat - I tend to blame the bureaucracy.

My wife and I lived overseas for the first 5 years of our marriage and tried to get her a ITIN (tax number) by mail for all that time. I made mistakes but the biggest hang up was they wanted her passport mailed in or a certified document from the issuing agency that she was who she claimed to be. Anyone who has lived overseas knows that sending one's passport away is a very disconcerting thing to do. We had a document "original" signed by the minister of the passport issuing agent - think US secretary of state type person. It was also rejected - our third reject!

We finally returned home and when we got "in front of" a real person (at a real IRS office), he certified everything for us, in fact filling out an entirely new application and she had her number in 2 weeks. Ironically we had been to this office before and the "registrant" gatekeeper who decided if we "needed" to see a real person would not let us talk to the real process expert and told us to go away. 

The second time over a year later she also told us to go away and I insisted to hear it from the "process" person not her.  She was visibly P.O.'d and said, "There is only one person here today and you will have to wait." Which we did for almost 2 hours. 

When he showed up the process guy had our paperwork when he came to our booth and just started filling out forms. Kind a a book nerd guy - like an accountant - LOL.  I read his body language and did not disturb him. He then told my wife, "Sign here, here and here." - I had to ask what was going on.  He said, "All fixed. You should get your number in 2 weeks." - I took him at face value and once we were in front of him it took less than 15 minutes. - LOL... Yes I was frustrated that something solved in 15 minutes took 5 years but that's our world, I guess...

The point is there are a lot of good people in some very complicated and confusing bureaucracies. When/if OP gets in front of a real person I am hopeful all will be forgiven and understood due to the extreme mitigating circumstances this year.
"Marvin" - 1997 Georgie Boy Pursuit 3150 - P30 Chev 454
Various classic MGBs
Ex-liveaboard boater - Class A newbie in sponge mode

jackiemac

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #53 on: September 07, 2020, 06:56:26 PM »
Hope your wife gets home soon Dan, I'm sure you are missing each other.
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Back in the UK til who knows....

Ex-Calif

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #54 on: September 08, 2020, 06:17:37 AM »
Hope your wife gets home soon Dan, I'm sure you are missing each other.

Strange year for sure for everyone. She rocked up with "cold" symptoms last Thursday, so you know what a panic that created.  She is on the mend and feeling much better.
"Marvin" - 1997 Georgie Boy Pursuit 3150 - P30 Chev 454
Various classic MGBs
Ex-liveaboard boater - Class A newbie in sponge mode

jackiemac

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Re: UPDATE ON EXTENDING B2 VISA (I539)
« Reply #55 on: September 08, 2020, 09:11:16 AM »
Strange year for sure for everyone. She rocked up with "cold" symptoms last Thursday, so you know what a panic that created.  She is on the mend and feeling much better.

Well that is good! 
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Back in the UK til who knows....