If you entered the United States under the VWP/ETSA program and your authorized stay will expire before you can leave the U.S., due to COVID-19, you may be able to make a Satisfactory Departure request directly with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a port of entry.
Individuals who enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)/Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ETSA) are authorized to remain in the U.S for 90 days. Failure to depart the U.S. within the authorized stay will be a violation of U.S. immigration laws which could result in the cancellation of the ESTA and future inability to use the Visa Waiver Program. Generally, a the VWP does not allow for an extension of stay, however, under extraordinary circumstances a traveler can request a Satisfactory Departure and may be granted an additional 30 days of authorized stay.
Satisfactory Departure requests are usually made with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), however, in extraordinary circumstances, requests can be made with CBP. Currently, CBP will accept requests at the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) or the Raleigh Durham International Airport (RDU), though this list continues to grow.
When you request Satisfactory Departure, you will be required to provide your name, date of birth and passport information. You may also be required to provide your original travel plans along with your new travel plans, if available or possible to obtain.
This situation is changing daily and we will continue to monitor and provide updates on this and related topics. We are happy to provide assistance with this and other immigration related questions.