Should I Stay or Should I Go? U.S. Immigration and COVID-19

With all the travel restrictions due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, many people in the U.S. on temporary visas such as tourists, exchange visitors or students, are wondering what to do when the expiration on their authorized stay is about to expire and traveling is not yet safe.

These individuals can apply for an extension or change of their status with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for extension of visa waivers or ESTA. Applying for an extension of status for someone here on a tourist visa can allow one to stay another 6 months.

The applicant does have to provide the reason for seeking the extension – and COVID-19 is considered to be a valid reason. Apart from this, the applicant must show that they are self-supporting. Alternatively, the applicant can ask someone who is a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident to provide a form called an Affidavit of Support stating that they are willing to support the applicant financially during the extended stay. Finally, the applicant has to show that they intend to return to their home country eventually.

Pearson Butler can help you navigate through the extension process. With years of experience in Utah immigration law, our attorney Marlene Gonzalez can counsel you through your specific situation in a telephone appointment.

Contact us today at (800) 265-2314 to schedule a consultation.