What happens when you overstay a United States visa?
Many foreign nationals require visas in order to enter the United States, even just for visiting. In most cases, they will also require a permit in order to work there. These visas or permits are all temporary and they have expiry dates. A condition of these visas is that you leave the United States before that date.
However, many times foreign nationals who are in the United States on work visas or other visas find themselves in situations where they cannot leave the country when they are supposed to, and as a result they overstay their visa. While this is something that happens often and can really happen to anyone, it is an extremely serious matter with very significant consequences.
Consequences of overstaying your visa in the United States
Consequences of overstaying your visa in the United States can range from facing trouble getting a new visa to being barred from the United States for several years.
Some of the consequences include:
People who overstay their visas may be barred from the United States for three years or for ten years, the length of the bar depending on the length of the overstay.
People who overstay may not be able to apply for an extension of stay or change of status.
People who overstay will void their existing visas.
People who overstay may not be able to get a new visa for the United States unless they leave the country first.
People who overstay may not be able to adjust their status in the United States.
These are obviously very serious consequences. Even if you have overstayed your visa for the United States by accident, you should speak with a licensed immigration lawyer as soon as possible. They can help you explore your options and determine your next steps in this situation.
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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