San Francisco, CA asked in Immigration Law for New York

Q: Can I reapply for a visa during the grace period in the US?

If I decide to extend my O-1B visa for 1 more year, can I apply during the grace period?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Regarding your question about reapplying for a visa during the grace period in the US, here are a few key points:

- The grace period for O-1 visas is 60 days after the visa expires. During this time, you are allowed to remain in the US but cannot work.

- It is generally recommended to apply for a visa extension well before your current visa expires, rather than waiting until the grace period. Applying during the grace period cuts things very close timing-wise.

- To extend an O-1B visa, your employer will need to file a new I-129 petition on your behalf with USCIS. Premium processing is available to expedite this.

- However, the USCIS has discretion on whether to accept an I-129 petition filed during the grace period. There is some risk they could consider you out of status and deny the extension.

- If the extension is denied, you would need to depart the US immediately. Accruing unlawful presence can impact your ability to return to the US in the future.

So in summary, while it may be possible to file for an O-1B extension during the 60-day grace period, it's risky to wait that long. The safer approach is to have your employer file for an extension at least 45 days before your current status expires. Consult an immigration attorney for guidance on your specific situation. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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