Many people visit the US, and upon arrival are allowed to remain for six months. Near the end of that six months, some people decide they want to stay longer, either to spend more time with family, or visit other places within the United States. Accordingly, they file for an extension.
If the extension is approved, there is no problem. The person is allowed to visit for another six months. But what if the request for extension is denied?
Recently, several people have consulted with me, where they applied for either an extension of status or change of status, and the request was denied. They were then sent an appointment notice to go to an Application Support Center for fingerprinting, at which time they were served with a notice to appear (NTA), placing them in deportation/removal proceedings. Other people did not bother showing up for the fingerprinting appointment, and the NTA was mailed to them.
The NTA notes that they had entered as a visitor on a particular date, and were authorized to stay until a particular date. They filed for an extension (Form I-539) which was later denied. As a result, the person is alleged to have remained in the US beyond their authorized stay “without authorization“ from USCIS, and they no longer possess a valid visa or other entry document allowing them to enter or remain in the US.
They are also assigned a hearing date before a judge. If they decide to leave the US before the hearing, it could be considered that they have “self deported.” If they attend the hearing, they may not have any “form of relief” to enable them to remain in the US and might have to take “voluntary departure.“
This seems to be a new development under the Trump administration, because in the past, if someone’s application for extension or change of status was denied, all the person received was the denial. Now, they’re also being placed in deportation proceedings. Therefore, if anyone is thinking about applying for an extension, be aware of these new developments. If you have already been placed in deportation, you may want to consult with an attorney, to determine if you have any forms of relief or if there are any other options available to you.
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