I used the "Change of Status to B-1 visa" tactic which bought me an additional 6+ months in the country while I started Ellis, raised $5.6M for the business, and secured my O-1 visa.
I recommend this to anyone looking to buy more "time runway" while they figure out a more permanent solution to their immigration problems.
If you are nearing the end of your permitted stay in the U.S., and you wish to extend it, you can file for a change of status via the “Application for Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (I-539)." You are permitted to stay in the U.S. until you have a decision on your case + the 180 days for the B-1/B-2 visa.
To check the interview wait time for your specific embassy or consulate, enter your city in this handy State Department tool under the section “Appointment Wait Time.” Note that if you are applying for an interview in a country other than your home country, wait times may be longer.
If you are currently in the U.S., you are permitted to stay in the U.S. after you have filed for a change of status via the “Application for Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status (I-539)." You may stay in the United States legally until you have been approved.
If you enter outside the U.S., you must have an approved B-1/B-2 visa to enter the country. A customs officer will give you authorization to stay in the U.S. for up to six months.
If you are a citizen of one of the 38 countries that are part of the ESTA program, then you have the option of applying for an ESTA instead of a B-1 visa or B-2 visa. Both allow you to enter the U.S. for the same reasons of tourism or business. Entering the U.S. with ESTA only permits you to stay for up to 90 days, however, if you would like to stay in the U.S. for travel or business purposes for longer, the B-1/B-2 visitor visa may be an option for you.
You must pay the USCIS filing fees of $370 and $85 with a valid credit or debit card. After you make a payment, the Form I-539 will be submitted.