Can You Extend Your Visa After Overstaying?

If you decide to visit the United States as a tourist, you are expected to leave the country after a period of time. However, if you overstay your visa, you may find yourself with added difficulties if you later attempt to immigrate to the United States. However, depending on the reasons why you overstayed, there are options available to you.

Reasons to Overstay a Visa

A common reason for why you might overstay your visa is that you might have a medical condition that leads to you being forced to remain in the United States. The best way to handle this situation is to speak with an immigration attorney and seek an extension of your visa so that you can avoid overstaying.

Another reason why you might be justified in overstaying is if you had an emergency that would lead to you losing a substantial amount of capital. Also, there might be a serious business necessity.

Possible Consequences for Unjustified Visa Overstays

When you overstay for a reason that is not permitted, you may be barred from entering the United States for a number of years based on how long you have overstayed. If you have overstayed for two years, for example, you will not be able to reenter for 10 years. The border officer will see if you have overstayed your visa in the past and may choose to not let you in. 

Common Reasons for Being Denied

You are able to overstay your visa if you have been admitted to the United States with a non-immigrant visa, the visa is valid, you have not committed any crimes that would make you ineligible, and you have not violated any of the terms of your admission. 

There are some circumstances where you cannot extend your visa. For example, you cannot extend the visa if you're in transit through the United States. Also, you cannot overstay if you are a crew member or if you have a non-immigrant visa so that you can act as an informant. Those who are part of the visa waiver program also cannot overstay.

Regardless of your circumstances, the extension of your visa can always be denied for any reason. However, you will want to apply for an extension before attempting to depart from the United States. If you do not apply for an extension, you will suffer more serious consequences. To avoid making mistakes, you'll need advice from an immigration attorney. For more information, contact a law firm like Tesoroni & Leroy.