Thursday, February 29, 2024

USCIS Updates Guidance on Late Applications for Extensions of Stay and Change of Status

US Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced an update to its Policy Manual stating that USCIS, at our discretion and under certain conditions, may excuse a nonimmigrant’s failure to file an extension to stay or change the status request if the delay is due to extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the applicant or petitioner.

The update (PDF, 312.15 KB) clarifies that exceptional circumstances may include, but are not limited to, when the delay is due to a slowdown or work interruption involving a strike, lockout or other dispute in labor, or if the main reason for the late filing is the failure to obtain a certified labor status application or temporary labor certification due to the interruption of government funding that supports such awards.

This update to the Policy Manual addresses a commitment made in the report of the Working Group for the Protection of H-2B Workers (see pages 6-7 of the Report (PDF) – Action 1.1.). The report requires DHS to clarify that a worker who remains in the United States after the expiration of his admission period identified on his Form I-94 due to a workplace labor dispute will not be adversely affected by only for these reasons. when requesting “a subsequent visa” or change of immigration status.

While USCIS does not issue visas, we do adjudicate requests for extension of stay and adjustment of status. In general, some nonimmigrants who have been admitted to the United States for a certain period, or their petitioners, may request an extension of their period of admission to continue participating in those activities permitted under the nonimmigrant classification to which they were admitted. In addition, some nonimmigrants already in the United States, or their petitioners, may seek to change their status to another nonimmigrant classification if they meet certain requirements.

In general, USCIS will not approve an extension of stay or change of status for an individual who is unable to maintain previously granted status or when such status has expired before the date of filing the application or petition. However, if certain conditions are met, USCIS, at its discretion, may excuse the failure to file while the status is maintained or before the period of authorized status expires.

World Nation News Desk
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