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Can a visitor be deported for overstaying their visa?

If you have been traveling, studying, working or visiting family in the United States and used your visa for entry, you are probably not worried about removal. After all, you legally entered the country.

What you may not realize is that you could face criminal and civil penalties if you remain in the United States beyond your authorized length of stay.

How do you know when you must leave?

The length of time you are allowed to stay in the U.S. is determined by the Customs and Border Protection Officer at the time you enter, not by the expiration date on your visa.

You might be unlawfully residing in the U.S. if you were unaware of the authorized period in which you had to leave the country.

What happens if you overstay your entry?

In the event you overstay the length of time you were authorized to be in the United States, you may:

  • Be considered out-of-status and subject to removal
  • Be ineligible to return to the United States for three to 10 years
  • Face criminal charges

Although you may have simply made a mistake, you could be facing penalties.

How many people stay past the time of their authorized entry?

Between 2016 and 2017, over 1.2 million foreign nationalists overstayed their visas. Because of the extremely high number of out-of-status immigrates, Homeland Security is implementing removal procedures.

You may be able to legally expend the length of your stay if you apply for an extension or change of legal status. It will be in your best interest to speak with a legal expert if you need assistance with an extension or are afraid you may be unlawfully residing in the United States.

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