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What happens when an immigrant overstays their visa in the U.S.?

There are a variety of reasons to apply for a visa to enter the United States. Immigrants entering the U.S. at Illinois or any other state should understand that a visa holds certain restrictions or requirements. In other words, a visa, no matter what type, does not afford a foreign national the right to remain in America for as long as they want. Every visa has an end date, and when that end date comes and goes and an immigrant remains in the U.S., this could result in serious penalties.

What happens when an immigrant overstays their visa in the U.S.? To begin, once the end date of a visa is reached, the visa is considered void. If an immigrant admitted to the U.S. on a valid visa has overstayed the time period of the visa, he or she will be considered ineligible to be readmitted into the U.S. as a nonimmigrant.

There are some exceptions to this. A foreign national that overstayed a visa can be readmitted to the U.S. if he or she obtains a visa that is issued in a consular office located in the foreign national's home country. If such an office does not exist in their country, he or she can obtain a visa in other consular offices. One could also be readmitted if there are extraordinary circumstances and they are found to exist by the Secretary of state.

Overstaying a visa could also trigger other consequences. If an immigrant overstays long enough or it is determined by an immigration judge that a status violation occurred, a bar could be put in place. This could result in a 3 to 10 year bar for readmission to the U.S.

The visa application process can be complex and confusing. This is especially true for those obtaining one for the first time. In other cases, an immigrant will seek to extend or even renew his or her visa. These are time sensitive matters, making it vital to obtain guidance when it comes to moving through these processes.

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