Articles Posted in Overstays

In this video we cover a new USCIS policy that can have devastating consequences on students who overstay their duration of stay in the United States, or otherwise violate their status. This new policy will change the way F-1, J-1, and M students, accrue unlawful presence in the United States, for visa holders have violated the terms of their visa by not attending school or engaging in unauthorized employment.

Background

In the year 1996 Congress passed legislation that previously governed how an individual on a non-immigrant visa type such as an F-1 visa, could accrue unlawful presence. Pursuant to this legislation, visa holders who overstayed for more than 180 days, could be subject to a 3-year bar, while visa holders who overstayed for more than one year, could be subject to a 10-year bar.

Typically, individuals who travel to the United States on a non-immigrant visa type receive an I-94 arrival/departure record and a stamp in their passport indicating the length of their authorized stay in the United States. Failure to abide by the duration of stay results in an immigration violation of the terms and conditions of a non-immigrant visa type.

F, J, and M students are unique in that these individuals do not receive a definitive length of stay within the United States, and instead are issued an I-20 (for F students) or DS-2019 (for J students) that denotes their authorized stay as “D/S” or “Duration of Stay,” meaning that the individual’s stay within the United States is not confined by any particular date, but instead depends upon the conclusion of that individual’s program of study or authorized employment.

While students on an F-1 visa type could violate their status by failing to go to school, they could not accrue unlawful presence within the United States because of the D/S designation. This class of individuals could only accrue unlawful status at the time of being apprehension by an immigration official or by court judgment.

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You’ve made it to the airport, but Customs and Border Protection has denied you entry into the United States, before even boarding the plane. What steps can you take to resolve the situation?

There may be various reasons why a CBP officer may prevent you from gaining entry to the United States. The most common reasons include:

  • When you have been in the United States in the past on a tourist visa and you overstayed the amount of time allowed in the United States
  • You were previously on a tourist visa in the U.S. and applied for an extension of stay, but that application was denied
  • You were previously in the U.S. on a tourist visa and you did not spend at least 6 months in your home country when you returned.
  • You are a legal permanent resident of the U.S. but you have lost your green card, you will not be able to board a plane
  • If you overstayed your visa and there is a record, you will not be allowed to re-enter the U.S.

What should you do when you are denied entry?

Contact an immigration attorney to determine the reason you are not allowed to board the plane. Typically, individuals in this situation must file an inquiry to find out the reason they were denied entry. It may be worth it to visit a U.S. embassy to receive more information regarding the denial of entry. In some cases the U.S. embassy may be able to re-validate your visa, or you may be able to file a waiver if you have been barred from the United States for certain violations.

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In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick explains the potential problems that may arise when an immigrant who has overstayed the Visa Waiver Program later applies for adjustment of status based on their marriage to a US citizen.

In this case study, we discuss a real situation involving a client who initially came to the United States on the visa waiver program. Per the terms of the Visa Waiver Program, a foreign national may only remain in the United States for a period of 90 days or less.

Our client had remained in the United States unlawfully for a long period of time. During the period of time he remained in the United States unlawfully, he met and married a U.S. Citizen and began a life with his American spouse in the United States. The couple filed an application for adjustment of status after the marriage, thinking that they would be approved without a problem. Unfortunately this application was denied, and a subsequent motion to re-open the case was also denied. In San Diego county and other immigration field offices, immigration officers began to aggressively deny adjustment of status applications for immigrants who had overstayed the visa waiver program, even if the application was based on marriage to a U.S. Citizen spouse. The client then decided to re-file his application for permanent residence after the denial. After filing, the Border Patrol apprehended him and began the process of deporting him from the United States. Understandably this was a very difficult situation for the client and his American spouse to go through. At this point, the client retained our office to begin prosecutorial discretion to cancel his removal from the United States and to re-file his application for adjustment of status to permanent residence, based on his marriage to his American spouse.

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In this video attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick answers your immigration questions live on Facebook.

Posted by San Diego Immigration Lawyer, Jacob J. Sapochnick on Saturday, February 18, 2017

In this session, Jacob discusses what is new in immigration, and answers your immigration questions relating to applications for permanent residence (I-485 adjustment of status), H-1B visas, citizenship, traveling outside of the United States as a permanent resident, global delays in visa issuance, the future of DACA under the Trump administration, consequences of overstaying your visa, and much more.

Please remember to follow us on FacebookYoutubeTwitter, and Instagram to catch our next live stream. If you have any questions please contact our office or e-mail jacob@h1b.biz.

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In this video, attorney Jacob J. Sapochnick Esq. answers one of your frequently asked questions: I overstayed my visa and I am now married to a U.S. Citizen. Am I eligible for a green card?

Overview: 

I am married to a US Citizen but I came to the United States over 10 years ago, I overstayed my visa. Am I eligible to apply for a green card?

The good news is, even if you have overstayed or worked in the United States illegally,  if you are married to a US Citizen it is possible to legalize and apply for permanent residence. The key to determine your eligibility lies in the manner in which you entered the United States. To be eligible for permanent residence, you must have been inspected by a U.S. Customs Official at a U.S. Port of entry. In other words, you must have entered the United States legally and received an I-94 record of arrival/departure proving that you were inspected upon entry. If all goes well, the immigration officer will waive the overstay and illegal employment, at the time of your marriage interview if you can prove that you were inspected by showing your I-94. Any other grounds of inadmissability such as certain crimes, fraud, or willful misrepresentation may subject you to a bar for a certain period of time. In these circumstances, you will need to obtain a waiver before applying for permanent residence.

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