USCIS Updates Guidance on Delayed Change of Status and Extension of Stay Requests

Last Updated on February 8, 2024

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced updated guidance on nonimmigrants’ failure to file a timely change of status request or extension of stay.  

Under certain conditions, USCIS will excuse late filing for the requests above. The new guidance specifies that untimely filings may be forgiven under “extraordinary conditions” beyond the applicant’s or petitioner’s control. Those conditions include the slowing or stopping of work caused by a lockout, strike or labor dispute, or if the applicant cannot obtain a temporary labor certification or certified labor condition application (LCA) due to lack of government funding for those certifications. Other conditions may also qualify based on USCIS’s discretion.  

The updated guidance, which is reflected in the USCIS Policy Manual, follows a report created by the H-2B Worker Protection Task Force. This report instructs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to clarify that H-2B workers remaining in the U.S. after their Form I-94 validity period expires due to a workplace labor dispute will not be penalized when they apply for a change of status or subsequent visa.  

Although USCIS has updated its guidance to provide some exceptions, it reminds applicants and petitioners that exceptions for late filings will only be granted in certain cases, and at USCIS’s discretion. USCIS does not typically approve change or status or extension of stay requests for individuals who failed to maintain their status or whose status expired before they filed a petition or application.  

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Envoy is pleased to provide you with this information, which was prepared in collaboration with Anne Walsh, who is a Partner at Corporate Immigration Partners, P.C., a U.S. law firm who provides services through the Envoy Platform (the “U.S. Law Firm”).   

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