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Author Topic: visa renewal  (Read 2000 times)

steve chapman

  • Posts: 2
visa renewal
« on: July 27, 2014, 11:18:42 AM »
We are English, we arrived in America a month ago, we have a six month visa. We understand that if we go into Mexico or Canada before the visa runs out we can get our visa extended on the way back in. Is there anyone that has already done this, if so can you explain any difficulties in doing this. And has anyone been refused back into America. We have an RV is it best to take this over or fly in to Mexico for a week, do we need to return before or after the 6 months has run out. Any advice on this would be great fully received as we dont want to leave the country and find we cant get back in. Also do we need to book a new flight back home for six months on to get the extended visa. We really want to stay longer if possible. Please can anyone advise. Many Thanks


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Re: visa renewal
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2014, 11:40:04 AM »

You probably have B1 &/or B2 visas stamped in your passports, good for multiple entry over 10 years. When you arrived in the U.S. you completed (on the plane) an I-94 form which was approved by the border agent who allowed entry for the maximum of 6 months. What you're needing to do is extend that 6 month stay, and there are a couple of ways to (legally) do that:

1. Exit the U.S. before the 6 months is up and re-enter to re-start the clock. Don't overstay your 6 months, as that will not help you when you re-enter. Also, be aware that leaving and coming back merely for the purpose of extending your stay may be frowned upon. The longer the time before coming back, the more credible is the "new" entry. There's no magic time to be away from the U.S., whether you go to Mexico, Canada or the UK, and it's all up to the discretion of the border agent at the port of re-entry.

2. Before your 6 months expire, file a form I-539. More info at this USCIS page. This option does not require leaving the U.S. and re-entering.

We have anecdotally heard of one British couple who were refused re-entry, apparently because they tried visiting Canada and extending their stay in the U.S. twice in succession. It was "obvious" to the border agent that they were doing this merely to get around the 6 months rule.

Edit: There are numerous discussions on this and similar questions on this Visitors to the USA message board, many with links to answers on U.S. government web sites.

Please come back and share your re-entry experience with us so we can be more current when responding to others in the future. TIA.

Edit: Added clarification to option 2.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 07:37:18 AM by Tom »
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