I Overstayed my J-1 Visa. Can I return to the US?

What to do if you overstay your J-1 Visa?

I overstayed my J1 visa (for 14 months) and was granted a voluntary departure in 2001. By that time I was a Chilean citizen. Now I am a Canadian citizen and have a good job in Toronto. I would like to go to the States for vacation sometime. However I am not sure if I have to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility. And if I have to do so, I would like to know what my chances are to be admitted? Is it better if I wait one more year?

I have no criminal records at all in any of the countries.

Thank you.


An overstay of 14 months would trigger a 10 year bar which would require you to apply for a US Waiver of Inadmissibility. The longer you wait to apply, the better. You should also be aware that as a former J-1 Visa holder, you may be subject to a 2 year residency requirement which means that you would have to reside in your country of citizenship for 2 years before entering the US. This is therefore a potentially complicated situation. You should seek legal advice. See more info on Overstayed US Visas.

Have a question about visa overstays of the J-1 visa? Contact Niren and Associates Immigration Law Firm today.

Contact us for a consultation to discuss your options or fill out our free immigration assessment form located at the left of this page, and we will get back to you within one business day!

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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