On January 24, 2024, USCIS issued a policy guidance in the USCIS Policy Manual to address when USCIS may, in its discretion, excuse untimely filed extensions of stay and change of status requests – if the delay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the person.
Generally speaking, examples of what USCIS considers extraordinary circumstances beyond the control of the person may include, but are not limited to:
- Where the person remained in the United States after the expiration of the period of admission due to a slowdown or stoppage of work involving a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute; or
- Where the primary reason for the late filing is the inability to obtain a certified labor condition application or temporary labor certification due to a lapse in government funding supporting those adjudications.
If USCIS approves an untimely filed application or petition to extend an applicant’s or beneficiary’s stay, the approval is effective as of the date of the expiration of the prior nonimmigrant admission period.When USCIS approves a late filed application for a change of status, the change of status takes effect on the approval date. USCIS considers the applicant or beneficiary of an approved untimely change of status request to have maintained lawful status during the period USCIS excused