Dear Sophie: How do I extend my visa status without leaving the US?

Here’s another edition of “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at technology companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people all over the world to rise above borders and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re in people ops, a founder or seeking a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to answer your questions in my next column.”

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Dear Sophie:

I’m an E-3 visa holder and I usually go back to Australia to extend my visa.

Given the COVID-19 travel restrictions, how do I extend my immigration status from inside the U.S.?

— Aussie Programmer

Dear Aussie:

Thanks for your question. The extension process from inside the U.S. is similar for you and anyone on a working visa, such as H-1B, H-1B1 (from Chile or Singapore) or TN (from Canada or Mexico). You might be used to traveling back home, or to Canada, to renew your visa. However, there’s another way to do it.