US Immigration News

What Can You Do If You Overstay Your US Visa?

1.75 minute read
"A foreign national coming to the US with visa authorization must not overstay their visa duration as this can lead to serious consequences. For example, if you came to the US on a visitor visa, specifically the B-2 tourist visa, it allows you to stay in the US for 6 months. You are expected to depart the country when your visa expires."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Sep 10, 2021
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A foreign national coming to the US with visa authorization must not overstay their visa duration as this can lead to serious consequences. For example, if you came to the US on a visitor visa, specifically the B-2 tourist visa, it allows you to stay in the US for 6 months. You are expected to depart the country when your visa expires. 

However, certain situations may arise that lead you to overstay your visa.

What Is Visa Overstay?

An overstay is when you stay in the US longer than your visa authorization allows. All US visas have an expiration date, meaning that you must leave the country by the time your visa expires. However, if for some reason you are unable to leave the country, then it can lead to serious consequences.

If it is discovered by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) that you overstayed your visa, then you may get barred from returning to the US or extend your visa. You may also be subject to visa voidance and the inability to apply for visas at different consulate posts in hopes of finding one more sympathetic to your case. 

What Can You Do If You Need to Return to the US After a Visa Overstay?

You can apply for a US Visa Waiver if you need to return to the US after overstaying your visa. This US visa waiver will remove your 3-10 years bar from returning to the US. However, it is quite difficult to obtain this visa as an immigrant and there are stringent requirements for the applicant to fulfill. For nonimmigrants who need to return to the US after an overstay, a general waiver of inadmissibility will be sufficient.

What to Do If You Overstay Your Visa in the US?

There are a few steps you can take to prevent damage if you overstay your visa:

  • Contact your immigration lawyer
  • Determine your eligibility for a visa waiver
  • Obey the immigration law to the best of your ability
  • Be patient

It is not guaranteed that following these steps will mitigate the consequences or avoid the penalties for overstay. However, they will still improve your chances. 

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