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Immigration Update - Stranded Passengers to Europe - April 20, 2010

A quick update regarding the effect of the recent flight cancellations to Europe.

Persons who entered on visas will need to file for an extension of stay if they cannot leave on their expected departure date and their I-94 cards will expire before they can leave. The extension must reach USCIS BEFORE the expiration of the I-94 and be filed correctly to obtain this approval. We can help if needed.

Persons entering on the visa waiver program (the green I-94s) cannot extend their stay beyond the 90 days that is initially granted upon entry.

However, USCIS should be able to provide "satisfactory departure" to those who cannot leave for reasons beyond their control. You can request "satisfactory departure" by making an InfoPass appointment at a local USCIS office. I-94s will be annotated for satisfactory departure (or "SD") by ______ (date - usually 30 days after regular end date). The computer system should be updated with the new departure date.

You should make a copy of the back and front of your I-94 before surrendering it upon departure to make sure that you have a record in case the computer was not updated correctly.

The USCIS in our region has not formally acknowledged the SD process, but it is available in other parts of the U.S. We believe it should be granted here and could assist you in requesting it if needed.