What Should You Do If You Overstayed Your US Visa?
While the Trump administration has had the spotlight on illegal immigration for a while now, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also has its eyes on the legal entrant who may have overstayed his visa duration. He officially becomes illegal the day after his visa expires. According to a report released by the DHS more than 600,000 foreign nationals who legally entered the United States overstayed their visas in year 2017. India was among the top ten countries.
These overstayers usually possess non-immigrant visas like H-1B, their dependents H4, business visas – B1 and tourists holding visitors’ visa – B2. Among them, Indian travelers to the US were numbered over 1.5 million of which 21,000 overstayed their visas and accrued the status of illegal immigrants in the United States.
While there were a large percentage of Indian travelers on B1 and B2 visas, 14,206 overstayed the date mentioned on their Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record. International students coming into the United States with a F1 visa were marked as the biggest violators. A total of 127,435 Indian students and research scholars came to the US on student and Exchange visitors (F,J,M) visa categories. Out of which, 4,400 Indian students overstayed in the U.S. Among other categories, 9,568 Indians overstayed their visas.
Along with India, some other countries like China, Philippines, Brazil were ranked among the largest group of visa overstays with Canada topping the charts.
What happens when you overstay your Visa?
The best option is to avoid getting into such a situation. Follow the process to extend your visa before its expiration. Overstayers may be barred from coming to U.S. for 3-10 years, depending on the period they overstayed.
- 3-year bar: If a person overstayed in the U.S. for a few days but less than a year are barred from reentering the U.S. for three years from their date of departure.
- 10-year bar: If the overstay in the U.S. is for more than one year they are barred from reentering the U.S. for ten years from their date of departure.
- Bar to Change of Status/Extension of Stay: People who remain in the U.S. after their authorized period of stay are not able to extend their stay in the U.S. or change their status to another nonimmigrant status.
- Visa Voidance: A foreign national who has overstayed a visa may not be readmitted in the U.S. unless they have obtained a new non-immigrant visa in their home country.
A lot of effective measures are being taken to stem illegal overstay of non-immigrant visa holders. These have resulted in decreasing numbers as 2018 has witnessed a drop in overstays as travelers are either being deported or voluntarily exiting the country at a faster rate. The numbers as of May stand at 421,325. If you have overstayed on your U.S. visa and need help in getting readmitted to the United States, you can discuss it with experienced immigration attorneys on LawBench and have resolved your overstay problems.