Asked in Immigration Law for Hawaii

Q: Can Canadian citizens leave and return to the US if they are in the process of a visitor visa extension?

I am a Canadian citizen and have been in the US for just over 12 months. I have applied for a visitor visa extension before my 6 months expiration date and was given a biometrics interview, however, at the time my daughter's passport expired and we had COVID and we re-scheduled the appointment. I was told the next appointment will be scheduled or I will be contacted, however, no one has contacted me. In the meantime, I am going to apply for an Education Visa through a school I have applied for but recently I learned my father was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and has 2-3 months of life. I want to go and visit him before he passes, but I am not sure if we can return with the visa status we currently have.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kevin L Dixler
Kevin L Dixler
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Milwaukee, WI

A: There is something odd about this situation. Usually those who file for an I-539 extension are not required to do biometrics. I sense that the wrong form was filed out, but more information is needed!

Canadians usually have a unique relationship with the U.S. The entry is often viewed as duration of status or visa waiver.

If you were not given a form I-94 for 180 days for whatever reason, you ‘will likely’ trigger a ten year bar, perhaps an indefinite challenge to lawfully returning to the U.S., again.

As a result, I strongly recommend an appointment or teleconference with a competent and experienced immigration attorney ‘before you depart’ the U.S. otherwise, you ‘may be’ inadmissible for ten years.

The above is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

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