Citizens of many countries qualify for the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”) which allows for visa-free entry upon approval of an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (“ESTA”). The maximum period of stay allowed for a VWP individual is 90 days.
For foreigners in the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”) who find themselves unable to depart before their current period of admission expires due to exigent circumstances such as the Coronavirus/COVID-19 event, there is an option to request relief in the form of a Satisfactory Departure request. Both U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) and Customs and Border Protection have the authority to handle these requests which grant an individual a period of 30 days in which to depart the U.S. without being considered to have overstayed their approved period of stay. The USCIS has indicated it will allow for a second request for Satisfactory Departure granting another 30 day extension of stay.
It is reported that USCIS offices are facilitating remote requests and adjudication of Satisfactory Departure requests at local USCIS field offices. If you need to make a request for Satisfactory Departure, try contacting the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 or contact us at Enterline Immigration if you would like help.