What Can You Do if You Overstay Your Tourist Visa?

Updated: Feb 18

The tourist visa is also known as the B-2, which is put in place solely for the purpose of pleasuring visitors. When somebody applies for a B-2, they have to be absolutely sure that this is the right visa for their intended length of stay as well as what they are choosing to use it for. Many offices will warn you that, if you are intending to do anything that requires you to stay in the country for more than 6 months, you should look into other visa options. In a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act, it is mentioned that these visas are for those who are not "coming for the purpose of study or of performing skilled or unskilled labor or as a representative of foreign press, radio, firm, or other foreign information media coming to engage in such vocation."

Codes put the very strict measures in place that state that a tourist must be able to show that he or she intends to leave the U.S. at the end of the temporary stay, like many others every year. The U.S. consulate also has the authority to ask the person to post a bond that would be forfeited if they do not return, in the form of money. Along with this, a tourist must be able to show that they have made financial arrangements to be able to afford their trip in its entirety. Some of the reasons why people obtain these visas every year is for purposes like tourism, amusement, visiting friends and family, special medical treatment, and any type of social visit.

I Overstayed Unintentionally

The truth is, though it may not seem that way to outside forces, many people overstay in an unintentional fashion. This means that they forgot or didn't know when they should return to their home country because they didn't know the difference between a visa and the very popular Form I-94. While the visa allows for you to enter the U.S. during a certain time period, Form I-94 governs your stay in the U.S.

So, you may ask: What can I do if I have overstayed? Of course, there are consequences in doing so. If you overstay, this is known as an illegal action and you could be in trouble for the future. Your visa will automatically be cancelled, which means that you will not be able to enter the United States again, maybe even in the future. You are also seen as an "unlawful presence" and, in accruing over 180 days in the U.S., you are also seen as inadmissible to the U.S. This could be a problem if you were one day hoping to achieve lawful permanent residence or any other benefits given to immigrants.

This is one situation where it pays to be proactive. You have options if you believe that you are going to overstay in the U.S. Before your form expires, you should work with us to submit a request to the USCIS asking for an extension. If your extension is denied, then you will be told that you have to leave immediately. If you are facing an expiration or it has already occurred, you want to retain your rights and speak with an experienced immigration attorney as soon as possible. We are here to help in your time of need. At the Sky Law Firm, we can help you if you have overstayed your visa and you need options. Call us today to get started at 714-522-1033.