Visitors Visa Extension Denied

When you apply for visitors visa extension, it can either be approved or denied.

If you would like to leave the U.S. before you get the receipt or before your application is approved(or denied), you can simply leave the U.S. as normal. Your relative in the U.S. should keep the receipt date and later approval/denial letter.

Approved
If you are approved, you can simply stay until the date you are granted an extension. The approval letter will have a new I-94 card that you should tear off and staple it in your passport. When you leave the United States, give both I-94 cards (one which you got when you entered the U.S. and another one when you got the extension) to the airline staff when you check in at the airport. You should save the approval letter, boarding passes and copies of airline tickets with you. They will be useful when you want to visit the U.S. next time. It will prove that you left on time and you were not staying unlawfully.

Sample Approval Notice

Denied
If your visitors visa extension is denied, there are several consequences depending upon various situations.

Prior to I-94 Date
If your visitors visa extension is denied prior to the expiration date of the CURRENT I-94 date, there are no consequences and you should leave normally before it expires.

Past the I-94 Date
As long as you filed the extension application before the expiration date of the current I-94 form, you are in legal status as long as the application is pending or 240 days, whichever comes first.

However, if you are still in the U.S. when your extension application is denied, you immediately go out of status. You will have to leave immediately. It is understood that there are practical difficulties in leaving on the same day. It takes time to arrange the air tickets, pack the bags and so on, but legally, there is no grace period.

You may consult an immigration lawyer to see if they can negotiate with USCIS for you to depart voluntarily by a certain date that is practical so that you can make tickets and other arrangements. You can NOT appeal this rejection decision. A senator or congressman can NOT help in this case.

10 Years Multiple Entry Visa Void
If you are in the U.S. past your I-94 date, and if your visitor visa extension is denied and if you have any 10 year multiple entry visa, that visa is considered automatically cancelled under section 222(g) of the INA.

When the visa is cancelled, they don't have to stamp or strike off the actual visa stamp in the passport. They just make an entry in their computer. That means, if you try to enter the U.S. with that visa stamp again, you will not be allowed.

Even though some people have reported that they were allowed entry into the U.S. after such an incident, there are others who have been denied.

This issue has been discussed numerous times in the discussion forum. However, some people are not willing to accept the fact and continue to argue and take whatever position is convenient to them. However, the fact remains that your visa is void. You will have to apply all over again at the consulate when you want to visit next time. Don't risk your elderly parents to 25 hours flight only to be returned back right away.

30 Days Grace Period
If the response is a denial, and your I-94 has expired, the USCIS generally allows you 30 days to depart the U.S. starting from the date on the letter notifying you of their decision to deny an extension. If you do not depart within 30 days, you will be considered deportable.

Many people confuse this matter. Thirty days grace period is only before you are considered deportable (they forcefully, sometimes in embarrasing manner, throw you out of the country) and is not actually an authorized stay. Whatever time you spend beyond the denial of visitors visa extension is still unauthorized stay (out of status). If it were actually an authorized stay, practically, no one would be considered denied and everyone would get at least 30 days of authorized stay extension, but that is really not the case.

Post Denial Communication
If your extension is denied, following documents need to be sent to the USCIS after you exit the country after an extension denial:

  • Original denial letter
  • Original boarding pass
  • Copy of biographical page of passport
  • Copy of entry stamp in new country
  • Letter saying that applicant overstayed because he/she was awaiting a decision on an extension application
Applicant should carry copies of all above documents on his/her next visit to the U.S.

Subsequent Visa Application
The USCIS cautions that if you are refused permission to extend your stay, you may encounter problems with the Consulate overseas the next time you apply for a U.S. visa because their computer records will indicate that you did not leave the U.S. within the time frame of your initial period of entry. Be sure to keep your rejection letter and proof of the date of your departure (a boarding pass is the best thing, but passport stamps showing entry into another country is also helpful) to give the consulate the next time you apply for a new visa. Having those may mitigate your apparent overstay and could improve your chances of renewing your visa without the five year restriction usually applied to people that have overstayed their visit.