USCIS Introduces New Guidelines for Untimely Extension of Stay and Change of Status Requests

Untimely extensions ? Check USCIS guidelines

In a recent development, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued an update to its Policy Manual, addressing the timely filing of extension of stay and change of status requests for nonimmigrants. The announcement emphasizes USCIS’s discretion to excuse delays under certain conditions, particularly when caused by extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the applicant or petitioner.

The revised Policy Manual now explicitly outlines those extraordinary circumstances may encompass various scenarios, such as delays resulting from labor disputes, strikes, lockouts, or other work stoppages. Additionally, it recognizes situations where late filings are attributed to the inability to obtain a certified labor condition application or temporary labor certification due to a lapse in government funding supporting these certifications.

This update is in response to a commitment made in the report by the H-2B Worker Protection Task Force, which called for clarification from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The report highlighted the need to ensure that individuals staying in the United States after the expiration of their admission period, due to a workplace labor dispute, would not face adverse consequences when applying for subsequent visas or a change of immigration status.

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USCIS’s Role:

While it is essential to note that USCIS does not issue visas, the agency plays a crucial role in adjudicating extension of stay and change of status requests. Nonimmigrants, admitted for a specified period, or their petitioners, may seek an extension to continue engaging in authorized activities. Similarly, certain nonimmigrants or their petitioners may pursue a change of status to another classification, provided they meet specific requirements.

General Guidelines:

Typically, USCIS does not approve extensions or changes of status for individuals who failed to maintain their previously accorded status or whose status expired before the application or petition filing date. However, the recent update clarifies that, under specific conditions, USCIS retains the discretion to excuse late filings even after the authorized stay period has expired.


The USCIS’s updated guidelines represent a significant step towards providing flexibility to nonimmigrants facing delays in filing extension of stay or change of status requests. By recognizing extraordinary circumstances, including those arising from labor disputes or funding lapses, the USCIS aims to ensure a fair and just evaluation of cases. These changes align with the commitment to protect workers involved in labor disputes, as outlined in the report by the H-2B Worker Protection Task Force. As individuals navigate the immigration process, they can now find reassurance in knowing that USCIS may exercise discretion in considering their circumstances when adjudicating untimely filings.



The new guidelines by USCIS focus on Untimely Extension of Stay and Change of Status Requests.

It is crucial for applicants to be aware of these guidelines as failure to comply may result in the rejection of Untimely Extension of Stay and Change of Status Requests.

Untimely submission could lead to delays or outright rejection of extension requests or change of status applications as per the new USCIS guidelines.

Applicants should carefully review and adhere to USCIS timelines, ensuring timely submission of Extension of Stay and Change of Status Requests, and stay informed about any updates to the guidelines.

The new guidelines may outline certain exceptions or special circumstances under which untimely submissions may be considered, and applicants should thoroughly review the guidelines for such provisions.

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