Overstay in the United States

Overstay occurs when you have stayed in the United States beyond the permitted time limit, thereby automatically cancelling the visa in your passport. If you reach an immigration officer and the system shows that you have overstayed in one of your previous visits, the officer will not permit you entrance and as is in many cases may deny you entrance for a prolonged period of time, unless you are granted a Waiver from US Immigration Services before applying for entrance.

Overstaying, even one day, automatically cancels your visa. However, overstaying between 180 days to one year will cause you to be denied entry for three years. Overstaying a year and longer will cause you to be denied entry for ten years. Do not be mistaken in thinking that you still have a visa in your passport if the authorities have not gotten hold of it and physically cancelled it. Your visa is in fact cancelled. Immigration officers will not permit you entry with a recorded cancelled visa due to overstay.

An application to extend the visit does not grant any right to stay until the procedure is completed. If you have applied for such a procedure, but have yet to receive a reply before your I-94 (valid residence permit) has expired, you should be advised to leave the country by the date that is written on your form. Those who do not do so run the risk of having their visa cancelled, because only a positive response to your application will validate any time spent in the US beyond the date specified on the form. Receiving a letter permitting you 30 days to depart does not validate unauthorized stay, but grants you time to leave before deportation proceeding against you will begin.

As you know, there is a presumption under US Immigration law that every applicant for a temporary visa (for the purpose of a visit only) intends to immigrate and the burden of proof that the applicant is domiciled in Israel and has ties that will necessitate return to Israel following a short visit, falls on the applicant. This burden increases significantly after overstay has occurred and also after long and extended or frequent stays. In many instances, due to frequent or extended stays, your visa application or renewal will be refused, unless you can prove the nature of your visits and your ties to Israel. All the more so if your visa was cancelled or you were denied entry.

It is highly advisable to consult an attorney that specializes in Immigration Law in any instance of overstay, illegal residency or a concern in presenting evidence.

For further information or to schedule a consultation, contact us.