December 3, 2023

Immigration Green Card

Immigration Is Good For You

visa: NRI Helpdesk: Can I extend my US visitor visa before it expires?

9 min read
With immigration rules constantly changing with the pandemic situation, it is difficult to keep up to date with it all.

For our NRI readers, we have started an immigration helpdesk. Write to us at [email protected] and our team of experts will address the most pressing issues.

*Please note that questions have been edited and/or clubbed so that we can address similar queries at once and that the answers are clear and relevant to our audience.

I have a visitor visa for the USA for multiple visits up to June-2023. Can I apply for an extension of the visa before the expiry date? Also, advise procedure for extensions and where I can get the application form, so I can keep all details ready.

I am not aware if there is a procedure to apply for a visitor visa extension before expiration. You can send an email to the consulate to confirm. There is, however, a restriction under the consular standard operating procedures on holding concurrently valid visas of the same type.

Reissuance of a visa is subject to the same procedures and requirements as the first time issuance, except that you may be eligible for an interview waiver under the current policies. Check the consulate

For visa applications, the US State Department advises:

Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:

  • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements).
  • Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview.
  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.

Additional Documentation May Be Required

Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:

  • The purpose of your trip,
  • Your intent to depart the United States after your trip, and/or
  • Your ability to pay all costs of the trip.

Evidence of your employment and/or your family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your trip and your intent to return to your home country. If you cannot cover all the costs for your trip, you may show evidence that another person will cover some or all costs for your trip.

Note: Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a visitor visa. If you choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember it is not one of the factors used in determining whether to issue or deny the visa.

I am getting married in May. My fiance is a green card holder yet his US citizenship is awaited. I need a suggestion regarding which visa should we apply for my fastest arrival in US. As some attorneys suggested that student visas will be issued faster as compared to any other visa category. Is that true? Also, my other query is will there be any issue if he applies for a Fiance visa after getting married?

There is no easy answer. A student visa will likely not be granted if your husband lives in the USA, but you can try, and the consulate may expedite if your academic session commencement is imminent.

You can review the option of a K-3 visa. You can also try applying for a visitor visa. Whichever visas you attempt, please be sure to be meticulously accurate about your intentions. Applying for a K-1 visa after getting married can be considered fraud, which is a permanent bar from entering the USA.

I got my B1/2 visa stamping for my clinical rotations last week by applying emergency request. Within how many months must I travel? Please clarify this issue.

I am not aware of any time restrictions as long as you travel within the visa’s validity period. However, note that you must carry evidence of the start date of the clinical program. That will probably be required at the US port of entry.

I am a medical student, and I have been accepted for an elective of 2 months at a top-notch US university. I have worked really hard to get the acceptance, it’s like a dream come true. I want a fresh B1/B2 visa. There are no slots available, my elective is scheduled for 2 months from August. Will I be able to get an emergency slot if no newer slots open before 60 days of my start date?

The US consulates in India currently have the following policy:

Applicants can request an expedited appointment through the online appointment system at You must already have a confirmed interview appointment date in order to request an expedited appointment. If your expedited appointment request is approved, you will be notified with instructions via email. You should not cancel your existing appointment unless you receive a confirmation that your request for an expedited appointment has been approved. If you have not yet received an approval or denial, your request is still under consideration.

Expedited appointment slots are very limited. Please note that due to the high volume of requests, the consulates cannot accommodate all travelers prior to their planned travel dates, even if the purpose of travel is time-sensitive.

I have a US travel visa. I want to convert into a student visa or work visa. What is the possibility of it? Could you update me as soon as possible?

I assume you are asking about changing your status after you enter the US. I am against trying to convert a tourist visa entry into a longer-term status such as student. You can run into two kinds of difficulties. First, when you try to change status from visitor to student or work visa, the USCIS can decline because the purpose of a visitor visa is just that, visiting. Second, even if you obtain a change of status within the United States, if you must travel outside the US in the future, you will need to get a visa from a US consulate. The consulate can decline to issue the visa based on your status change.

There are news articles that say that America is considering removing the 7% per year per country cap for green cards. As an Indian for whom immigration is a priority, should I make my future plans to target the US on the basis of this news?

It is impossible to predict if or when a law is likely to be passed.

I am on an F1 visa and when I was working in a gas station I was caught for illegal distribution of cigarettes to underage customers. They issued a notice to attend the court. I went to court and pled guilty. I paid the fine on that day only. Later on, the case was shown on my SSN. Here are my questions,

  1. Will it affect my OPT EAD card? Because I am going to apply in May.
  2. Can I go and return from my home country?
  3. In the future, do I need to face any issues regarding immigration?
  4. Do I need to contact an attorney regarding this case? About any documentation.

You have two problems: criminal conviction and status violation because of unauthorized employment. First, talk to an immigration lawyer who practices deportation defense in the State where you pled guilty. I do not think your plea should lead to deportation, but get it confirmed. Second, discuss your status violation with your lawyer, and if they so advise, speak with your DSO. Disclose what happened and make sure that you are in valid F-1 status for one academic year, without which you cannot obtain your OPT. I think you have a difficult problem because of a violation of status. I believe an H-1B type visa could be your best future option. Additionally, do make sure you have paid the appropriate income taxes

What happens when someone holding a student status works without authorization intentionally or unintentionally? One of my friends worked in a restaurant because of dire economic circumstances. Also, as I was preparing the information for my H-1B filing, I discovered I have worked for 10 days without authorization during OPT.

If you work without authorization intentionally, this is a clear violation of your student status. If your friend is not yet close to getting an H-1B, they may need reinstatement into student status. That might be quite difficult. Your friend will need to consult an immigration lawyer. Note that if your friend tries to conceal their unauthorized employment in any immigration petition or proceeding, they would be guilty of committing a serious crime and can also be permanently barred from entering the US. Your friend should also make sure that they have paid the appropriate income tax.

What happens when you worked without authorization unintentionally, as you did for ten days? You discovered the problem only now during your H-1B filing. Because this was a relatively minor infraction, the USCIS might condone it. Your lawyers should disclose all the facts in your H-1B petition. Even in the worst-case scenario, you will only have to go outside the US for H-1B visa stamping. There, the employment history is not an issue. Unauthorized employment is not a valid ground for denial of your H-1B visa.

  1. I-140 didn’t get approved but received an I-485-based EAD card approved for 2-years along with Advance Parole. Is it okay to travel to India for 2 months on my EAD?
  2. I didn’t need to worry about having a valid visa while returning to the USA, just Advance Parole will suffice for return
  3. Prior to getting GC-EAD I was on H4-EAD, due to family issues I may seek a divorce. Now that I have GC-EAD will divorce affect my current status or upcoming Green Card? or should I wait until the Green card is through?
  4. I have been an Owner of an Inc company while on H-1 and H-4 and H-4 EAD, but I haven’t taken any profits or pay-stubs, except for signing on Company Tax returns. Does this situation restrict me from getting a Green Card? or since I have already received GC-EAD under the EB3 category, should I stay positive that I will receive GC in the near future?

Note the correction. EAD allows you to work, but it is the Advance Parole that enables you to come back to the US. If you are not quitting your job, a two-month stay should be acceptable.

You do not need a visa when you have an Advance Parole. Also, you are considered to be still holding H-1B status if you return to the same job that you were doing while in H-1B status, although you used your Advance Parole to enter the US.

I assume that the green card was filed by your employer and not your wife’s employer. In such a case, the divorce does not affect you. However, if you are dependent on her employer’s green card petition, you will lose your eligibility upon divorce or legal separation.

Regardless of whether you withdrew any money from your business, there could be a violation of the law if you actively engaged in business while holding H-1B status. But, while in H-4 EAD status, you can both own and run any business.

RajivET Online

Rajiv Khanna, Managing Attorney,

The author’s views do not necessarily represent the views of ET Online nor do they constitute legal advice or representation. Practice tips provided in the written materials are based on the author’s experiences and the current state of the law and regulations. Please be sure to conduct legal research and analysis, or engage independent counsel for your unique situation as the law and requirements change quickly and the author’s experiences may differ from your own.

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