Students need to adhere to the following rules and regulations regarding B-1/B-2 status extensions:

  • Admission to the United States in Business (B-1) or Visitor for Pleasure (B-2) status is limited to 30 days, unless the individual provides evidence explaining why more time is needed (maximum admission is six months).
  • Extension of stay is limited to "unexpected events" and "compelling humanitarian reasons."
  • All prospective students must declare the reasons at the port of entry and have the I-94 Arrival/Departure Record marked accordingly.
  • If an individual files an extension, they must leave the U.S. at the end of the period requested, even if USCIS has not replied.

In addition to the Application to Change/Extend Status (Form I-539) and the associated fee, an individual who currently holds Business (B-1) or Visitor for Pleasure (B-2) status is required to submit:

  • A copy of the alien's passport and visa (if applicable)
  • Proof of financial support in the form of letters/affidavits of support, bank statements, etc.
  • A photocopy of the alien's Form I-94 and any other documentation establishing their current legal nonimmigrant status in the United States (e.g., a valid and unexpired Form I-20, Form IAP-66, Employment Authorization Document, etc.)
  • Any other supporting documentation establishing the alien's eligibility for either continued B-1 or B-2 status

The application package should be sent to the USCIS Service Center that has jurisdiction over the applicant's state of residence. The address of the USCIS Service Center where the applications should be sent for the state of Pennsylvania is included in the Instructions for Form I-539.

The decision to grant or deny a request for extension of stay is made solely by the USCIS. If the application for an extension is approved, the alien will be issued a replacement I-94 Arrival/Departure Record with a new departure date. If the application is denied and the alien's prior period of stay has already expired, the alien will be given a request for his/her voluntary departure.