Have you overstayed your visa for the United States? This is a very serious situation, but it can happen more often and more easily than you would think. Most visas are temporary and have an expiry date, at which point you must leave the United States and return to your home country.
An overstay is when you stay in the United States longer than your visa has allowed. All visas have expiration dates indicated on the I-94 Form, and you are expected to have left the United States by the time yours is set to expire. However, sometimes things happen and you are not able to leave the country when you should.
Sometimes, circumstances beyond your control may result in your being unable to leave the United States in time. Consequences of overstaying your US visa can vary from situation to situation, but they can be significant consequences that will prevent you from attaining status in the US or affect your ability to enter and live in the US on another visa.
Consequences of Overstaying in Canada
The consequences you may face after overstaying your US visa depends on your specific situation. The 4 consequences include:
- Consequence #1: Inadmissibility
- Consequence #2: Bar to Change of Status/Extension of Stay
- Consequence #3: Visa Voidance
- Consequence #4: No Consulate Shopping
Overstayed US Visa? What Now?
When overstaying a US visa, there are a few very important steps you must take:
- Contact an immigration lawyer
- Determine eligibility for a waiver
- Stay on the right side of the law
- Be patient
While there is no guarantee you will be able to avoid or mitigate the penalties of overstay, taking these steps may improve your chances.
Applying For a Visa Waiver
If you have overstayed your US visa, you may be eligible to apply for visa waiver:
Waivers for Nonimmigrants: While a nonimmigrant is not eligible to apply for a waiver for the three or ten-year bar, an individual would still be able to apply for a general waiver for most grounds of inadmissibility.
Waivers for Immigrants: The statute does provide a specific waiver for the three or ten-year bar for foreign nationals who are the spouse, or son or daughter of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The waiver is not available to foreign nationals who only have children who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.
Why Hire Us to Help You When You’ve Overstayed Your Visa?
While it may be tempting to just do nothing if you are an overstay in the U.S., this is not recommended. A life of “looking over your shoulder” is not a secure way to live. For overstay cases, there is a high risk you can be caught by the U.S. Immigration Authorities and deported. But if you consult with an experienced lawyer that handles these matters, there may be viable options for you.
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