My Peruvian 90-year old mother has a valid visa up to 2023. Her stay is ending June 19 of this year 2020. We feel it is not safe to go back to Peru and there is nobody who could take care of her there.

If she applies for extension of stay I-539 and the extension is denied OR if the extension of stay is approved but ends, what could we do? Can she apply for an humanitarian case?

  • 4
    The USA doesn’t exactly care about you saying Peru is not safe, particularly when it’s not true. Is Peru worse than USA where 1.7 million are infected and 102,000 have died? Your argument has no legs. You’re not going to get a humanitarian visa for that. Commented May 28, 2020 at 21:48
  • First read the official USCIS guidance uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/article/C1esp.pdf Commented May 28, 2020 at 22:14
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    @user56513: The daily infection rate in Peru is higher than it ever was per capita in the US, and it's growing rapidly. Peru may well be objectively worse than the US in the near future. However, I agree that's still probably not enough for a humanitarian visa. Commented May 29, 2020 at 1:05
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    One part of this question is easy to answer: if the extension is approved but ends, apply for another extension.
    – phoog
    Commented May 29, 2020 at 5:40
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    The question could be generalized to an at-risk individual who would have to return to a country with a high infection rate. Commented May 29, 2020 at 15:09

1 Answer 1


It's difficult to answer in the general case, and you may want to consult with an immigration attorney. But, some options to consider include:

  • Your mother is allowed to stay in the United States while her application for extension of status is being processed. If the application is ultimately approved but looks set to expire before she is prepared to leave, she can file another application.
  • If you are a US citizen, you can apply for permanent residence for your mother. It is allowed to submit this application while your mother is in the US.
  • If all other options fail, your mother (assuming she is not working or committing any crimes) may, as a practical matter, be at relatively little risk of being considered a deportation priority if she simply overstays her visa and remains in the US. Of course, this would be a violation of the immigration statutes and you need to consider the risks (e.g., likely a ban on further US entries).

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