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Extend Your Stay in the US with Our Helpful Guide

— November 14, 2022

If you love your life in the Land of the Free, you may be able to apply for citizenship.

Much to your dismay, the expiration date on your visa is fast approaching. What can you do to extend your time in the United States? Here’s what you need to do to stay in the country longer. 

Check Your I-94 

Check your I-94 form before doing anything else. You received this form electronically when you applied for your visa. You can also access it online at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. The relevant dates should also be on your travel documents. 

As a rule, you should submit your extension forms 45 days before your visa expires. This will give them enough time to run through the system. But to find out what forms you need to complete, you may want an immigration lawyer free consultation. 

Submit Form I-129 or I-539 

After you check your I-94, you need to fill out forms to extend your nonimmigrant status. These come in two varieties: I-129 and I-539. 

These two forms are slightly different, so here’s a quick breakdown of which form(s) you should seek out: 

  • Form I-129 is for workers. It also covers entertainers, athletes, and foreigners with exceptional talents. Ask your employer about this form to extend your time in the United States. They will submit the form on your behalf. This form can also include dependents (such as family members), but you will probably need to fill out form I-539 as well. 
  • Form I-539 is for everyone else. Even though Form I-129 can cover dependents, the family should also submit Form I-539 as long as all of the family is in the same immigration group.
  • Many situations involve one family member filling out form I-129 while the rest of the household fills out I-539. Submit these two forms together for the best results. 

All forms require documentation and fees, so please look for what your form(s) need. Forms in other languages must be accompanied by an English translation. Do not send the originals; photocopies will do. 

Apply for Citizenship

Room full of people waving mini American flags; image by Kerwin Elias, via
Room full of people waving mini American flags; image by Kerwin Elias, via

If you love your life in the Land of the Free, you may be able to apply for citizenship. There are a few qualifications, such as being a permanent resident, but the biggest thing you need to do is fill out form N-400 online (with accompanying fees and paperwork). You will also need to…

  • Get a background check. 
  • Be interviewed by a United States Citizenship and Immigration officer. 
  • Pass an exam on US history and the workings of the US government.
  • Take a much shorter test where you read and speak a sentence in English. 
  • Pledge loyalty to the USA. 


If you want to extend your stay in the United States, you will need to fill out a lot of paperwork. This guide lists the necessary forms and a summary of what you will need to do for them. Please bear in mind that many of these forms require fees and extra documentation. The requirements will be either on the form or on the USCIS website. For more information about extending your visa or becoming a citizen, contact Nathanaveth & Associates Immigration Law Office today. 

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