By Kieran C. O’Sullivan, Immigration Counselor
We don’t often see Irish people entering the US on the B visitor’s visa anymore. The visa has to be filed for at the US Embassy in Dublin. It usually allows a person to enter the US for up to six months. Today, most people enter the US using the visa waiver program which allows people to enter for up to 90 days and it does not require a formal application or interview at the US consulate.
This week I had a call from a person on the B visa, and his six months is up in August. He was thinking of going back to Ireland and then reentering the US to continue his visit. He was not aware that he could file for an extension to allow him extra time to tour around the US.
The B-1 or B-2 visa holder, once admitted to the United States, can apply for extensions of stay that may be required by business circumstances or desired for family or other reasons. If a tourist decides to visit different locations, or to spend more time with relatives, an extension can be sought. The Form used to apply for an extension is the I-539.
Evidence of non-immigrant intent showing ties to your home country is important to a visa extension application. Ties to your home country could include having immediate relatives, home ownership, car ownership, apartment leases, utility bills, a letter from an employer indicating that you have been granted a temporary leave or vacation from your job.
Citizenship help available
This week I also had a call from Sinead since her green card was expiring in August. She had often thought of applying for US citizenship but never got around to it. We told her this was still possible and encouraged her to proceed with completing her N400 US citizenship application. We proofread all completed applications at our monthly clinics each month. However, readers with any type of arrest/conviction/IRS tax related complications are reminded to bring the relevant paperwork with them so we can ensure they are eligible for citizenship before they go near applying for such a benefit. We have had immigrants attend our clinics over the years who applied for US citizenship without first getting legal advice, and have ended up in Immigration and Customs Enforcement removal proceedings.
August Legal Clinic
We will be having a legal clinic on Aug. 6th at 6:30 PM in The Banshee, 934 Dorchester Avenue. Immigrants have the opportunity to get free one to one confidential consultation with experienced attorneys at the clinics. In the meantime email me with any questions on immigration and citizenship related topics – [email protected]
Disclaimer: Please note that the information contained in it is provided to inform generally, and is not intended as a substitute for individual advice. Immigration law is subject to frequent changes and individual circumstances can affect the application of certain legal provisions. For individual legal advice, please contact the Irish Pastoral Centre directly regarding upcoming legal clinics or consultation with an immigration attorney.