Special Procedures to Extend Your Stay Under Visa Waiver Program Due to Coronavirus

March 18, 2020 | Immigration

Many foreign nationals who were admitted into the United States through the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) cannot leave due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the related travel restrictions announced by President Trump last week.

To remain in the United States longer than authorized through the VWP requires obtaining special permission called “Satisfactory Departure”.  Requests for Satisfactory Departure are usually made by mail to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  But those admitted to the United States at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) can now extend their stay through a special procedure at these airports through United States Customs and Border Patrol.  Here are the key features of the special procedure:

  •  Foreign nationals who cannot return to their home country before their stay expires can contact the Deferred Inspections office at JFK at (718) 553-3683 or (718) 553-3684 on Monday-Friday between 9a.m. and 4p.m. EST to request Satisfactory Departure.
  • Satisfactory Departure will extend the period of stay for up to 30 days.
  • Satisfactory Departure can only be requested if the foreign national’s period of stay will expire in 14 days or less.
  • Foreign nationals will need to provide  his or her name, date of birth and passport information at the time of the request. Foreign nationals may be asked to provide the original departure flight itinerary along with the new flight itinerary.

For individualized advice about maintaining lawful status contact your immigration counsel.

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