We have recently had several inquiries regarding clients that are in the United States in ESTA status, approaching their 90 day stay, and are unable to return to their home country due to the Covid 19 pandemic. If you, or an employee, find yourself in that situation, based on recent announcements from the Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”), it is recommended that you contact CBP and request an extension of your allowable stay. This is an extraordinary step as under the terms of ESTA extensions are usually not permissible.
CBP has stated, when requesting extensions of ESTA status please be aware of the following:
All cases will be handled after review and on a case-by-case basis. There will not be a blanket extension or approval, as USCIS usually handles these and that they have to be cautious of what they approve, since this is outside of their norm and that if the requests become overwhelming, they will have no choice but to turn them away.
The procedure is to request the 30 day extension in writing.
Our office stands ready to assist you with requesting these extensions or whatever other immigration needs you may have.