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My brother in law arrived in the USA as LA tourist and his visa expires in mid-August. Currently, the Trinidad airport remains closed with no opening dates set.

Does he fall under any exemption or does he still have to file for an extension? If so does he have to pay the fee?

  • Can't he use another airport? – Xnero Jul 29 at 12:50
  • @Daniil If the OP is referring to Trinidad & Tobago, the airport is closed until 30 Sep earliest universalweather.com/blog/… – Traveller Jul 29 at 14:00
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    The expiration of the visa doesn't matter. That just means you need to enter the US before the expiration. When do you need to leave the US again is determined by the border officer when they admit you and recorded in the I-94. So the key thing here is the "admitted until" or "duration of status" date. – TooTea Jul 29 at 14:33
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The US Citizenship and Immigration Services website [1] states that:

Most nonimmigrants can mitigate the immigration consequences of COVID-19 by timely filing an application for extension of stay (EOS) or change in status (COS). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services continues to accept and process applications and petitions, and many of our forms are available for online filing.

Essentially, if you are unable to return to your home country because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, you can apply for an extension to your visa albeit in a timely manner. The website also states that

Nonimmigrants generally do not accrue unlawful presence while the timely-filed, non-frivolous EOS/COS application is pending.

This information is also corroborated by other websites, such as OnlineVisa [2] and Quartz [3], who also say that you can extend your stay by applying for the EOS or COS.

However, according to the US State Department [4] the Visa Waiver Program only applies to 39 countries, which does not include Trinidad and Tobago. Therefore, his best option would be to apply for the EOS or COS in a timely manner and get an extension of 30 days.

Sources

[1] https://www.uscis.gov/news/alerts/covid-19-delays-in-extensionchange-of-status-filings

[2] https://www.onlinevisa.com/news/visa-extension-coronavirus/

[3] https://qz.com/1837907/what-to-do-if-you-risk-overstaying-your-us-visa-due-to-covid-19/

[4] https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visa-waiver-program.html

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