Can you extend Visa Waiver program once in the US on the grounds that you were arrested and awaiting trial?

My court date is coming up at a time when I would have exceeded 90 days allowed and I am distraught at the implications of further violating immigration laws.

  • 7
    The short answer is no, you can't extend your stay. The long answer (what to do instead) is probably best put to your lawyer.
    – user105640
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 20:36
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    @Arthur'sPass is correct. Your lawyer (or you, if you do not have a lawyer) should explain to the court that you are required to leave the US by a certain date. If the court won't allow you to do that, then I don't think you have much choice but to overstay. An immigration lawyer ought to be able to confirm that.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 20:38
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    @Arthur'sPass Could you make that an answer? Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 3:28
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    @Bright An unfair rule to foreigners visiting the country as a whole or just to those who have been arrested and are awaiting trial?
    – Traveller
    Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 7:48
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    @GiacomoCatenazzi there is no such principle in US law.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 20, 2020 at 15:08

1 Answer 1


You can't extend your stay in the US if you've been admitted under the visa waiver program (source)

Note that there are limited circumstances in which a short extension might be granted, but these relate to things outside your control that render it impossible for you to leave.

I speculate that the judge is planning to lock you up to ensure that you can't be deported for overstaying.

In any case, it's not travel advice you need, but legal advice. You should ask your lawyer.

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