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RVing message boards => Visitors to the USA => Topic started by: Tom on May 30, 2016, 07:33:32 PM

Title: Extending your B2 visa stay
Post by: Tom on May 30, 2016, 07:33:32 PM
The US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) have done a nice job of consolidating/delineating the procedure for extending your stay if you arrived in the US using a B2 (tourist) visa. B2 entries are limited to 6 months maximum for a given stay, but some visitors wish to stay longer. An extension allowing up to 18 months total, without the need to leave the US (for Canada or Mexico), is available by filing Form I-539, details here ( Be sure to read all the linked pages in their entirety.

Remember, this procedure is not available to anyone entering the US via the Visa Waiver/ESTA program which has a 3 months maximum stay limitation.

Also, please be aware that the rules change, so be sure to visit the relevant official sites to get the latest rules & information.
Title: Re: Extending your B2 visa stay
Post by: ceejayt on May 30, 2017, 06:41:18 PM
Hi Tom

I know I was told that simply leaving the US and going into Canada then back to the US would not extend my tourist visa.

However, I met sonekbe on their way back to Europe with their RV in Baltimore. He said that they left the ZuS just before their visa expired and then re entered after it had expired and that worked for them.  I believe they had their flight home booked and their shipping details.

What do you think?  Does this work?  My visa expires October 10th but I would like to stay at least until end October.

Title: Re: Extending your B2 visa stay
Post by: Tom on May 30, 2017, 07:02:06 PM
It's possible you or your acquaintance may be mixing Visa expiration and I-94 (permission to enter the US) expiration.

Unless coming under the ESTA visa waiver program, you'll need either a B1 or B2 visa in your passport. That essentially gives you permission to land in the US before the visa expiration date. Permission to enter the US and the length of stay is determined by the Customs & Border Patrol agent at the port of entry, but usually not longer than 6 months. (The latter permission to enter is documented via an I-94, which used to be a paper form stapled in your passport, but I understand it's now electronic.)

If the I-94 has expired, you can show up at a port of entry with a valid (non expired visa) and will likely be granted fresh entry with a new I-94. It used to be that you didn't need to wait for the I-94 to expire to re-enter, but the rules changed.

If your (B1 or B2) visa has expired, I'm not aware that you'd be allowed in. But, since the rules can and do change (I haven't kept up), do some reading/searching on the CBP web site:

Title: Re: Extending your B2 visa stay
Post by: ceejayt on May 30, 2017, 10:19:04 PM
I guess I have a safety net.

I entered on April 10th and have 10 year visa valid for 6 months at a time so this visit will expire on October 10th.  I can be in Toronto on 10h when it expires and perhaps on 12th see if ~I can come back to the US and be extended for another 6 months.

If they refused entry I could take the motorhome up to Nova Scotia 9Bit of a trek but interesting) and ship it home from there.

A;lternastively, I get the forms mentioned to extend the 6 months.  Will take a look at the forms and see how easy it would be.

Title: Re: Extending your B2 visa stay
Post by: Tom on May 31, 2017, 12:35:56 AM
Aye, the I-539 can extend your stay by up to 18 months, but it must be filed while you're still in the US. Be sure to read the rules here (