USCIS: Special Consideration Possible for Late Filings

14. Apr. 2020

USCIS issued a Press Release indicating it will consider applications/petitions for Extension Of Stay (EOS) and Change Of Status (COS) that are filed late due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   

As noted on USCIS’ Special Situations page, if a petitioner or applicant requests EOS or COS (on Forms I-129 or I-539) after the previously authorized period of admission has expired, USCIS, in its discretion, may excuse the failure to file on time if it was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond their control, such as those that may be caused by COVID-19. The length of delay must be commensurate with the circumstances. The petitioner or applicant must submit credible evidence to support their request, which USCIS will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

Visa Waiver Program (VWP).  VWP entrants are not eligible to extend their stay or change status. However, under current regulations, if an emergency (such as COVID-19) prevents the departure of a VWP entrant, USCIS in its discretion may extend the period of satisfactory departure by up to 30 days. For VWP entrants still unable to depart within this 30-day period because of COVID-19 related issues, USCIS has the authority to temporarily provide an additional 30-day period of satisfactory departure. To request satisfactory departure from USCIS, a VWP entrant should call the USCIS Contact Center

For other COVID-19 related changes and information, please visit

On a related note, President Trump issued a memorandum on April 10th to impose visa sanctions on countries that "denies or unreasonably delays" accepting the repatriation of foreign nationals who are in the U.S. in violation of U.S. immigration laws.  See: Memo on Visa Sanctions