Individuals looking to extend their student visa or visitor visa for business or pleasure can now file online through the eProcessing system.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently launched its online eProcessing system with Form I-539 (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status). Now, you can renew the following visas online:
- B-1 temporary visitor for business
- B-2 temporary visitor for pleasure
- F-1 academic student
- F-2 spouse or child (only if the expiration date is different from the F-1 student)
- M-1 vocational student
- M-2 spouse or child (only if the expiration date is different from the M-1 student)
Each year, USCIS states it receives more than 8 million requests for immigration benefits. USCIS expects to process more requests through the eProcessing system. The online system will also allow USCIS to begin creating digital immigration records for individuals and access applicant data more quickly.
Filing online will get your application into the processing system faster than mail delivery, according to USCIS. Moreover, filing online will enable applicants to communicate electronically with USCIS. However, processing times remain the same for both online and paper Form I-539.
Currently, you can only file Form I-539 online to extend your stay if you’re applying as a single applicant without co-applicants or legal counsel. The online form gathers the same information and costs the same to file as the paper form. To file Form I-539 online, you will need to:
- Use a desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet.
- Sign in to your USCIS online account or create one.
- Complete the relevant sections of online Form I-539
- Pay the $370 application fee and the $85 biometrics services fee.
- Submit your application online to USCIS.
If you do not finish completing the form, your responses will be saved for 30 days. You can sign into your account to continue the form where you left off. However, if you do not work on the form for more than 30 days, the data you entered on the form will be deleted.
Once your application is received by USCIS, you will get a notification in your USCIS online account. Through your online USCIS account, you will also:
- Receive your biometrics appointment notice.
- Get status updates about your case.
- Receive Requests for Evidence (RFEs) and file a response online.
- Update your contact information if it changes.
Expansion of eProcessing
Shortly, USCIS will offer the ability to file Form I-539 online if you:
- Need to extend your H-4 visa.
- Have other nonimmigrant (temporary) visas.
- Seek to change your status.
- Use a legal or accredited representative.
- Are applying with a co-applicant.
Eventually, USCIS will expand the eProcessing system to allow individuals to apply for all immigration benefits and receive a decision.
Reach out to us if we can help you extend any visa or find other visa or green card options.