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How Soon Should I Renew My Visa?

a stack of papers with a visa card and passport on top

Should your visa expire while you're still in the United States, you may face severe legal consequences such as deportation. As such, it's essential to know what next steps to take if you're looking to renew your visa or extend your stay. Here's what you need to know.

To Extend or Renew?

One of the first things you should do is determine whether a visa extension or a visa renewal is the right choice for you. A visa extension allows you to stay in the United States for a specific amount of time (usually up to 6 months). A visa renewal, on the other hand, gives you an entirely new visa and can allow you to stay in the country indefinitely.

If you're looking to simply extend your current visa, then the process is fairly straightforward. You'll need to fill out and submit Form I-539, along with the requisite documentation and fees. The application will then be reviewed by a USCIS official, who may grant or deny your request for an extension.

For those looking to renew their visa, the process is slightly more complicated. First, it's important to note that it's not possible to renew all types of visas. Generally speaking, nonimmigrant visas (such as work, student, or tourist) can be renewed. Those with permanent residence status in the US (i.e., green card holders) cannot renew their visa but instead must apply to remove their conditional residency status.

Learn More: What is “Conditional” Residency?

For those who can renew their visas, the process is as follows: First, you'll need to complete and submit Form I-90, along with all required documentation and fees. Once your application is reviewed by a USCIS official, they may grant or deny your request for a visa renewal. If your application is approved, you'll receive a new visa that will allow you to stay in the United States for another period of time.

When Should I Apply for Renewal?

It's important to note that the visa renewal process can take several months or even longer, so it's best to apply as soon as possible once you realize your existing visa is expiring. Additionally, it's important to be aware of any deadlines associated with your visa renewal or extension application, as these can vary depending on the type of visa you have.

Need Assistance? Call Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A.

Whether you are coming to the United States for the first time, need to renew your visa, or are pursuing naturalization, the team at Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. can help. Our attorneys have over a century of combined legal experience and can help you through the immigration process. Call (800) 708-4399 to discuss your options today.


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