Immigration Q&A: How long can a non-resident stay in the country?

Question: I am visiting here in Miami on vacation with my husband and 2 kids and we want to find out how to increase the time we stay here. If you apply for me to get more time to stay in America, does that include my husband and the kids or are you going to have to file for each of us separately. Also, how long is the extra time going to be and how long is that going to take for you to get our approval?

Answer: An application to extend your stay in the U.S. to “Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status” will include you and your family together. One parent is the primary applicant and we provide information about the spouse and children to be included in the extension. Extensions of stay are normally approved for the time requested to accomplish those things for which the stay is to be extended. For instance, if you have planned an extended vacation and intend to visit more places and attend more parks or attractions during your intended visit which would span the time of four months or so after your normal stay (I-94) would have expired, then the USICS will normally grant a six month extension and issue a new I-94 Arrival/Departure card with the new expiration date on it for you and all your family members. The USCIS usually processes these cases in approximately 60 to 90 days. As a result, visitors should never wait until the last moment to apply, in case the request denied for being filed improperly or for other reasons.

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