Sample Instructions for Form I-539 to Extend a USA Visitor Visa

Many people have questions or doubts on how exactly to fill out a I-539 form to extend or change non-immigrant status in the U.S. This form is required for any non-immigrant visa, such as a Visitor Visa or Business Visa, for whom you would like to extend their stay in the U.S. This page describes in detail how exactly to fill an I-539 for extending a visitor visa (B2). Of course, you will have to fill in your specific details, and depending upon your circumstances, you may have to answer the questions differently than shown in this generic sample application.

Look at this Sample I-539 to get an idea how a typical application may look like. 

Step by step instructions for each field in the I-539:

Part 1: Your name and address. It is self explanatory. For ‘In Care of’ field, you can write the name of the person with whom you are staying.

Social Security Number: Unless you are changing from a visa status that allowed you to work, you don’t have a social security number. Don’t write anything in there in that case. Visitors are not given a social security number. 

A#: A# number stands for eight-digit alien number. You will have an A# number only if you filed certain immigration petitions, such as an I-485, EAD, etc. Visitors don’t have an A# number and you can write “None” in this field. 

I-94#: This number is on the Form I-94 that you can print from the CBP website. If this date is already in the past, you are already out of status, and you cannot apply for this extension. If you entered the US on a  visa waiver program, it is an I-94W, but you can’t extend your stay in the U.S. and therefore cannot file this form. 

Current Nonimmigrant Status: “B2” if you are on a visitor visa. “B1” if you are on a business visa. 

Passport: Enter details about the passport’s expiration date and country of issuance. If your passport is not going to be valid for the entire duration of the extended status requested, you should first get it renewed before filing this extension application. 

Foreign Consulates in the USA

If you wait for a passport renewal, it will delay your application, and you may lose your eligibility to apply for an extension. You can just write the current passport expiration date, and then add the words “renewal pending”. Of course, you can write those words only if you have already applied for the passport renewal, and it is actually pending.

Part 2: Application Type

1. Since you are applying for the extension of a B1/B2 visa, check “2”. 
2. If you are applying only for yourself, check “4”, otherwise check “5a”. If you checked “5a”, write the total number of applicants in this form, including yourself. You have to complete the I-539 Supplement A for each co-applicant. You can include your spouse and minor children in one application form.

Part 3: Processing Information

1. Mention the date to which you would like to extend your stay in the USA. Provide copies of air tickets that match this date. The maximum duration is up to 6 months from the date on your current I-94 card. 2. No. 3a. No. 4. N/A.

Part 4: Additional Information

1. The country from which your passport was issued. e.g., “India”. You need to mention this only if it is different from Part 1. 

2. Self explanatory. Your foreign address. 

Answer the following questions. If you answer “Yes” to any question, explain it on a separate sheet of paper. 

These questions are asked to determine whether you are inadmissible. 

3. Are you, or any other person included on the application, an applicant for an immigrant visa? 

If you or any family member in this form have applied for an “immigrant visa”, it is quite obvious that you have no intention of going back to your home country, and that you want to stay in the U.S. forever. Therefore, your application for an extension will be denied. There is nothing you can do about it. 

4. Has an immigrant petition EVER been filed for you or for any other person included in this application? 

If someone has filed an immigrant petition for you or your family member in this application, you have to answer “Yes”. Even though it may take many years before you actually get an immigrant visa, USCIS still may deny your application. 

5. Has a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, ever been filed by you or by any other person included in this application? 

This is pretty much the same as Question 3. I-485 is filed in the U.S., while consular processing is done overseas. 

6. Have you, or any other person included in this application, ever been arrested or convicted of any criminal offense since last entering the U.S.? 

If you were just arrested but were not charged, say “Yes”, but attach a detailed explanation of the situation. If you were arrested, whether found guilty or not, consult an immigration and criminal lawyer first before filing this application. If you were never arrested, of course say ‘No. 

7.a. through 7.e., 8 through 11. Answer accordingly. If the answer to any of them are “Yes”, please consult an immigration attorney before applying. 

12. Have you, or any other person included in this application, done anything that violated the terms of the nonimmigrant status you now hold? 

Violating the terms means doing something you were not supposed to do. If you are a visitor, you are not supposed to work, and if you worked, you have violated the terms. If you have not done anything like that, say “No”. 

13. Are you, or any other person included in this application, now in removal proceedings? 
If you are in “removal proceedings”, don’t file this application without talking to an immigration lawyer first. If this is not applicable to you, say “No”. 

14. Have you, or any other person included in this application, been employed in the U.S. since last admitted or granted an extension or change of status? 

You should not have been employed in the U.S. as a visitor; therefore, the answer would be “No”. If you have been working in the U.S. as a visitor or business visa holder, you are already in trouble.

Part 5: Signature

Sign here, write your name, and write the date. If you are illiterate and cannot sign, put the finger print of the index finger of your right hand, and get this application filled by someone else, such as your son/daughter. 

Answer whether you can read and understand English and whether you have answered the questions in the form yourself, or whether someone translated the questions for you. If the latter, please write the language you can read questions in, e.g., “Tamil”, “Telugu”, “Chinese”, etc.

Part 6: Interpreter’s Statement

If someone else interpreted the questions and answers in this form, they should mention the language used for interpretation other than English; Write their name, date, and contact information. Now, sign accordingly.

Part 7: Signature of person preparing form, if other than above.

If someone else helped you prepare this application, that person should write his/her name and address. Otherwise, leave it blank.

Step by step instructions for each field in the I-539 Supplement A:

This form needs to be filled for your spouse and minor children who are applying along with the primary applicant. Only one form needs to be filled for your spouse and any minor children.

Date of Arrival: Date of your last arrival into the United States.
Current non-immigrant status: B2 for a visitor visa or B1 for a business visa.
Expires on: Date when the current status will expire. i.e., the date in the I-94 card.
Expiration date: Expiration date of the passport.

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