The Coronavirus COVID-19 crisis and subsequent travel bans in the US and abroad, they have made it very difficult for tourists to return to their country of origin before the expiration date of their tourist status. Alternatively, some tourists would prefer to stay in the U.S. to wait for the crisis to pass, since the crisis is currently worse in its country of origin. As a result, questions arise about how to do it and whether it makes sense to do it.
The options for visitors under a B-1 / B-2 visa are very different from those for visitors under the ESTA Visa Waiver Program. Visitors on a B-1 / B-2 visa can apply to USCIS to extend their status up to 180 days (6 months), or to request a change to a different status.
Visitors under the ESTA / Visa Waiver Program cannot extend or change their status. Only in emergency circumstances, as determined at the discretion of the local CBP office that has jurisdiction over where the visitor is (or may also be the place of entry), visitors may request an additional 30 days to leave without who are deemed to have exceeded their ESTA Visa Waiver Program status. This is called “Successful exit”. Since the various travel bans and cancellations of most international flights to and from the United States were declared, some CBP district directors across the country have announced their procedures for visitors to request approval of a departure satisfactory. CBP generally asks the visitor to request a satisfactory departure at least 14 days before the expiration of the current situation. CBP has stated that it can approve the Satisfactory Exit even after the condition expires, on a case-by-case basis.
It is important to note that not all CBP district directors have agreed to approve the Satisfactory Departure because international flights are still available from certain designated airports in the United States, and they expect visitors to conduct their own research and find solutions to exit the States. United before their visitor status expires.