When you have obtained a visa, you are allowed to stay within the United States on a temporary basis. Eventually, your visa will expire and you must then leave the United States. You also have the option to extend your visa. However, if you do neither of these, you may have your overstay forgiven depending on the circumstances.
Consequences for Overstaying Your Visa
There are various consequences to overstaying your visa. At the very least, you will not be able to apply to have your visa extended unless you go to the consulate in your home country. In some cases, you may be barred from entering the United States for several years.
The Length of Your Stay
The extent to which you will be punished for overstaying your visa depends on how long you have overstayed. For example, if you stay for longer than 365 days, you may be barred from returning 10 years if you leave voluntarily. However, if you have stayed for more than a year, were deported, and then tried to reenter, you may be permanently barred from reentry.
Because of the consequences of overstaying your visa, you will always want to speak with a deportation defense attorney to make sure that you do not make your situation worse. Even if you are later able to enter the United States again, you may be unable to become a permanent resident because of the decision to overstay your visa.
Your Chances of Receiving Another Visa
If you have overstayed for only a few months, you may be able to apply for a visa in the future if you leave the United States immediately. An attorney will give you advice on the next steps to take and how long you should wait.
However, if you intend to apply for a temporary visa that requires you to leave as soon as the visa is up, you may find it more difficult to do so because you will already have a history of having overstayed your visa.
Your Undocumented Status
The more time you remain in the United States, the longer you will have to wait before you are allowed to return. Also, if the United States government must physically remove you from the country, you will be even more likely to be barred from the US.
However, regardless of your circumstances, a deportation attorney will always be able to help you. An attorney will explain your best options so that you can minimize the impact that overstaying a visa can have on your ability to be in the United States.