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Form I-539, extension of status (B1) over 6 months up to 1 year
Posted: Monday, February 15, 2016 2:12 PM
Joined: 09/02/2016
Posts: 1

Our yacht has been in the US in refit for almost 6 months. Our 6-month stamps in our passports will be about to expire and I hear some bad stories about the ol' visa run to the bahamas just to get a new stamp.

Now, I see legally I can apply for an extension on my stay with a form called I-539.

However, I don't want to run the risk of losing my B1B2 all together, being barred from the US or be part of any other yachtie horror story for that matter.

Is anyone familiar with this procedure and can you share your experiences?


Posted: Monday, February 15, 2016 5:28 PM

You are correct I have done this on occasions.  You can apply for an extension for a total of 12 months but will need to show that the vessel is in extended refit.  It is worth notting that while the vessel is in refits you should only be there as a supervisory role not doing the refit!  Also worth noting is that you will be liable for US taxes if you pass the 183 days as the table below shows.

You will be considered a United States resident for tax purposes if you meet the substantial presence test for the calendar year. To meet this test, you must be physically present in the United States (U.S.) on at least: 

  1. 31 days during the current year, and
  2. 183 days during the 3-year period that includes the current year and the 2 years immediately before that, counting:
    • All the days you were present in the current year, and
    • 1/3 of the days you were present in the first year before the current year, and
    • 1/6 of the days you were present in the second year before the current year.

 Average 5 out of 5