What Happens If I Overstay My Visa?

September 4, 2018

Pennsylvania visa petition lawyers assist non-immigrants when you overstay your visa.Unfortunately, this question is not always easily answered. Although it is true that a visa overstay can result in a three to 10-year ban from entering the United States, what qualifies as a true overstay is not always as simple as staying past an expiration date. Nor are those that do overstay their visas always subject to deportation. When determining what qualifies as an overstay, it is important to consider the type of visa an individual has and what requirements must be met to maintain it.

Immigrant Visas versus Non-Immigrant Visas

An immigrant visa is issued to those from other countries who wish to live in the United States on a permanent basis. Non-immigrant visas are issued to those who are visiting the United States for reasons such as:

  • Vacation
  • Medical treatment
  • Business
  • Temporary work
  • School

While a person on vacation will not have to meet any special requirements during their stay, other types of visas have strict rules that must be followed. For example, a foreign student would enter the United States on a student visa; either the F-1 or M-1 visa. Their length of stay will depend on maintaining their student status. An overstay on a student visa would begin the minute the student violated one of the specific student requirements. To maintain student status, a few simple rules need to be followed:

  • Attend school each week for the required number of hours
  • Confirm all schedules and plan changes with a foreign student advisor
  • Obtain permission to work

Once a student fails to comply with these rules, they could face deportation. However, those who suspect they may be in violation of the requirements of their visa should speak to a Pennsylvania visa petition lawyer about filing a reinstatement before the visa is cancelled or revoked.

Overstay Misconceptions

Many people assume that if they stayed past the date on their visa, then they have stayed in the United States longer than they were supposed to. However, the date on the visa is the last date that an individual is permitted to enter the U.S. Those that have entered the United States before 2013 should check their I-94. The section labeled Arrival/Departure Record has the date of expected return. Those that entered the United States after 2014 can check their expected U.S. departure date online.

Pennsylvania Visa Petition Lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC Assist Non-Immigrants with Visa Issues

If you suspect that you may have overstayed your visa, do not wait for the consequences before contacting the experienced Pennsylvania visa petition lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC Our lawyers understand how important it is for you and your family to remain in the United States and can examine the details of your situation to determine the next steps. We assist both immigrants and non-immigrants in all visa and immigration-related matters. Call us today to schedule a confidential consultation at 215-496-0690 or contact us online. We proudly serve clients throughout the tri-state area from our office in Philadelphia.