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Overstaying your visa is not a good choice to make

Whether you've been issued a visa to travel to the United States as a tourist or you've been awarded an employment or residency one, they all have expiration dates. You must either return to your home country or make arrangements to have your privileges extended before they expire on that date.

One common scenario that immigration attorneys are asked about is what happens if you stay beyond the expiration date on your visa. For one, when you do finally leave, having overstayed it can result in it being quite difficult if you ever try to reenter the U.S. again. Essentially, however long it is that you stayed unlawfully in the country is the same length of time that you will be barred from reentry once again.

If you do apply for reentry after leaving, then it's likely that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will take into consideration why it is that you overstayed your visa. These can either positively or negatively impact your case for reentry.

Children who were unlawfully brought to the U.S. when they were under the age of 18 or those who participated in a family unity program may receive leniency. Those that have a pending application for a change of status or asylum may also be less harshly punished.

If you had initially been admitted to the U.S. lawfully, then were later paroled here, then you may have a valid case for why you overstayed your visa. If you were a victim of trafficking or overstayed your visa because you were being battered by your spouse, then you may also be able to justify why you stayed longer than you should have.

As referenced above, remaining abreast of the expiration date of your visa and making necessary arrangements to either leave the country or extend its validity period can help you avoid a lot of problems. Overstaying your visa may not just make you ineligible to reenter the country temporarily, but permanently. It also may result in your arrest.

If you're considering overstaying your visa or already have, then a Norcross attorney can provide guidance in your legal matter.

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