USCIS Provides New Guidance on Late Filings for Extensions of Stay and Change of Status Requests

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The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced an update to its Policy Manual that, at its discretion and under specific conditions, it can pardon the untimely submission of an extension of stay or change of status request by a nonimmigrant if the delay is caused by extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the applicant or petitioner.

This amendment requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to explicitly state that an individual remaining in the United States beyond the expiration indicated in their Form I-94 due to a workplace labor dispute will not incur adverse consequences solely based on these circumstances when applying for a subsequent visa or pursuing a change in immigration status.

What are the Key Takeaways from this new policy?

  • USCIS may now excuse late filings for extension of stay or change of status.
  • The update addresses concerns for workers affected by labor disputes, ensuring no negative consequences for their immigrant status.
  • Regular procedures for extension of stay and change of status still apply, but some leniency is provided for late filings under qualifying circumstances.


What are the extraordinary circumstances that warrant a pardon for an untimely submission of an extension of stay or change of status request?

Extraordinary circumstances may include:

  • Work disruptions due to labor disputes like strikes or lockouts.
  • Inability to obtain a certified labor condition application or temporary labor certification due to government funding lapses.


Who is Affected by the USCIS Policy Update?

This can impact various nonimmigrant categories, including but not limited to:

  • H-1B visa workers impacted by delayed certification of LCAs.
  • H-2B visa workers impacted by labor disputes.
  • Nonimmigrants facing unforeseeable delays genuinely impeding timely filing.


Written by Taleen Khleifat and Julia Bernardo Costa.

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