It's common for those who have stayed temporarily in the United States to overstay their visas. A lot of times, such immigrants return to their home countries without incident. However, there can be serious consequences for overstaying your visa for even a short period of time.
How Visas Work
Your visa does not determine how long you are able to stay. The visa simply controls your ability to enter the United States at the port of entry. The immigration officials are responsible for determining how long you are allowed to stay. Therefore, you should verify exactly how long your visa is good for.
The Consequences of Overstaying
If you overstay your visa, you may be barred from the United States for three years or for ten years, based on how long you have overstayed your visa. For example, if you've remained in the United States for longer than a year, you may be barred for ten years.
Extending Your Visa
When your visa hasn't expired yet, you may be able to have your status changed or extend your visa. Therefore, you want to take steps to do this as soon as possible because these options are no longer available after you overstay your visa.
Voiding a Visa
An existing visa is almost always voided when you overstay your visa. Even if you don't have any other consequences and even if you're able to apply for a new visa, your old visa will be placed in jeopardy. If this has already happened, you should contact an immigration attorney. You will be required to immediately return to your country of nationality to obtain a visa. In some cases, the country of nationality may not have a consulate that is able to issue a visa and the United States will designate a third country.
A common mistake that immigrants make is that they wait to long to extend their stay. There should be a long period between when an individual seeks to extend their visa and when the visa is extended since the government will often be delayed in how quickly it can process claims.
Hire an Attorney
Because of the risks of your visa expiring, it's important to get in contact with an immigration citizenship attorney service as soon as possible. By doing so, you may learn of strategies you weren't aware of that would allow you to avoid being deported.
For more help, contact an immigration citizenship attorney in your area.