In the past couple weeks various countries have introduced travel restrictions in an effort to combat the spreading of the COVID-19 virus. The U.S. has introduced a number of restrictions that have halted travel from Europe, China, and Iran, while other countries have additionally enacted similar policies.
Many foreign nationals currently in the U.S. are unable to leave the country to return home, an event that could possibly complicate future travel plans.
For those foreign nationals who are currently in the United States, and face the prospect of overstaying the length of their Visa Waiver Program or ESTA timetable, there are options to lengthen the duration of your stay in the U.S.
If you are currently in the United States through a work visa or green card, this information does not apply to you. Though if you are afraid of overstaying your visa during this time, we do recommend scheduling a consultation with our team to start on your visa renewal or extension.
To review, the Visa Waiver Program, also known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (or ESTA) is a program that allows for citizens from 38 countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for up to 90 days.
So if you’re currently in the U.S. through the Visa Waiver Program, are unable to leave due to travel restrictions, and are running the risk of overstaying your admission period, it’s important to know your options for extending your admission period.
The government allows for certain extensions of a foreign national’s admission period, and is granted on a case-by-case basis to account for various emergencies or unforeseen circumstances that hinder a foreign national’s ability to return home. Extensions granted are generally for up to 30 additional days, though there are effort being made to increase the duration of these extensions.
It is important to note that several factors can determine your eligibility for these extensions, and that there are only certain ports of entry that will allow you to move forward. If you are currently in the U.S. through the Visa Waiver Program, reach out to D’Alessio Law Group to inquire more about pursuing this extension.