Preventing the Adverse Effects of US Visa Overstays

Any nonimmigrant that remains in the United States after an authorized stay has ended will be liable for overstaying.

You can face the pain of loosing some privileges, benefits and opportunities if you choose to stay in the Unites States after the period of your authorized stay is over.

Some of the consequences you could face as a result of overstaying:

  • You could be denied entry to the United States for three (3) years or ten (10) years depending on the period of your unlawful presence. The three– year bar makes you inadmissible for 3 years if you unlawfully stayed in the United States for over 180 days but less than a year. If you unlawfully remain for more than a year and left the United States before the institution of a removal  proceeding, you will be barred from entering the US for 10 years from the date of departure. This is called the ten– year bar.
  • Any application for an Extension of Stay, which is filed after an authorized stay has lapsed, will be denied. But if you file an application for extension prior to the expiration of your authorized stay, your status will remain as such until a decision is reached based on your application.
  • Any application for a Change of Status will be hampered.
  • Your current visa will automatically turn invalid beginning on the day your visa overstays.
  • You will encounter difficulty in obtaining a new visa. You will be refused of other benefit entitlement such as employment based immigrant visa, which you could have applied for prior to overstaying. Unless you obtain a new visa in your country, you will be denied entry to the United States.

Subject to the strict requirements of  a re-entry permit and a waiver of inadmissibility, you may have a very slim chance of returning to the United States. If there is a need for you to stay longer, you must file a timely application for an Extension of Stay, a Change of Status, or an Adjustment of Status. Otherwise you must leave before the authorization expires.  And when you leave, keep an evidence of your departure from the United States like boarding pass or airline ticket.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will finally introduce a full operational biometric exit system, which will be used to effectively track down overstaying visas. Since the plan has already reached the final stage  process, the exit program is expected to be in full force by June 2012. With the implementation of the new technology and the deployment of biometric exit machines, the Department of Homeland Security will be automatically served with overstay information, which it can utilize to easily crackdown undesirable alien.

Stay away from overstaying visa to prevent any circumstances from putting you in unfavorable positions. It is in your best interest that you speak to a licensed US Immigration lawyer who can help you process the necessary documents and application on your behalf just so your prolonged stay in the United States will remain lawful.

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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