Is it okay to remain in the US with an expired visa?

If you remain in the United States with an expired visa, you may be considered “out of status.” Being out of status means that you are no longer in compliance with the terms and conditions of your visa.

This can have serious consequences, including being barred from returning to the United States in the future. If you are found to be out of status, you may also be subject to removal (deportation) from the United States.

What should you do if you overstay your visa in the USA?

If you overstay your visa in the USA, you may face removal proceedings (deportation), a 3-year bar, a 10-year bar, or a permanent bar from reentering the country, depending on the length of your unlawful presence.

You may receive a “final order of removal” requiring you to leave the country within 90 days. Ignoring or defying this order can lead to additional consequences, including fines and up to 4 years of jail time.

If you find yourself in this situation, the best course of action is to discuss your case with an immigration lawyer.

They will be able to advise you whether you should return to your home country or try to adjust your status so that you can remain in the United States legally.

Depending on your circumstances, a lawyer may be able to help you obtain a new visa.

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Can your visit visa be extended?

A visa is only an entry document and can expire while you are in the U.S.

There is no issue if your visa expires while you are legally present in the U.S. As long as your status is still valid and you continue to follow all immigration regulations, you can continue to remain in the U.S. even if your visa has expired.

The USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) will allow you to stay on a visitor visa extension if you comply with the following:

You were lawfully admitted into the United States with a nonimmigrant visa.

Your nonimmigrant visa status remains valid. You have not committed any crimes that make you ineligible for a visa.

You have not violated the conditions of your admission.

There is no statutory limit on the number of times a person can extend visitor status. Instead, the officer will consider the history of the applicant, the purpose of the visit, and whether there is a valid reason to continue visiting.

You need to file a Form I-539 application and work with the immigration authorities as they decide the outcome of your extension application.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Ex “NRI” and Founder of the “Back to India” movement. I share my experience about immigrating to USA here.

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