Frequently Asked Questions

What is a visa?

A Visa is a stamp issued by a U.S. Consulate in one’s passport. A visa enables a person to travel to the United States and request admission during its validity period. It does not control one’s immigration status in the U.S. More information is available on the State Department website at website.

What is a Form I-94, Arrival-Departure card? 

The I-94 is a small rectangular form you are required to complete before you go through immigration inspection at the U.S. airport/border. A part of the form is detached and inserted into your passport upon entry. The form indicates the date you were admitted to the U.S., class of admission, and the date until which you are authorized to remain in the US. This is the document that controls your status, in the U.S., rather than your visa expiration date. For more information, view this government page.

Can I extend my visa in the U.S.?

No. At this time, visa applicants are required to visit a U.S. Consulate outside the United States in person, and apply for a visa. However, in certain circumstances, you may be able to extend your “status” in the United States.

My visa has expired. Can I remain the United States?

Yes. It is permissible to remain in the United States even if one’s visa has expired provided you remain in valid status, i.e. you have a valid I-94 card in your passport, or I-797 approval notice with an I-94 extending your stay. It is important to understand the distinction between a visa which permits you to request entry to the United States, and an I-94, which controls your stay in the U.S.

I recently moved. Do I need to notify U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services?

Yes. All non-U.S. citizens are required to report a change of residential address in the United States within 10 days of the move by filing Form AR-11 to USCIS. The change of address notification can be submitted online through USCIS’ website at Be sure to print a copy of the AR-11 as well as any confirmation for your records.