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Legal Strategies for Overstayed Visas in Texas

 Posted on March 26, 2024 in Immigration

Dallas immigration lawyerRemaining in the United States after your visa has expired is a violation of immigration laws. If you have overstayed your visa in Texas, you could face serious legal consequences. However, depending on your specific situation, there are some potential legal strategies to explore. A Texas lawyer can help you determine which strategies may work best for you.

Requesting an Extension

One option is to file for an extension of your current visa status before it expires. This process requires submitting forms and evidence to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to demonstrate your continued eligibility.

The requirements and lengths of extension that are allowed vary based on your current visa type. For instance, visitor visa holders may be able to extend their stay for up to six additional months. Students can potentially receive extensions to allow them to complete their studies.

Be sure to file for the extension well before your visa’s expiration date. Overstaying makes you ineligible for an extension through USCIS, though limited exceptions apply in extraordinary circumstances.

Adjusting Your Status

Suppose you have an employer willing to sponsor you or an immediate relative who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. In that case, you may qualify to adjust your status to a different visa category. This complex process aims to provide a path to longer-term legal residency.

You will need to file adjustment of status forms along with substantial documentation and fees to USCIS before your current visa expires. An immigration attorney can guide you through the requirements for the specific category you are pursuing.

Leaving and Returning with a New Visa

If you are unable to extend or adjust your status, you should make preparations to depart the U.S. before your current visa expires. Overstaying for 180 days or more can trigger a three-year bar on re-entering the country. Crossing the one-year overstay mark leads to a 10-year re-entry ban.

To preserve your ability to visit or reside in the U.S. in the future legally, you may need to return to your home country. From there, you could then apply for a new visa through the proper channels at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

Applying for a Waiver

Certain waivers are available to temporarily excuse the violation for those who have accrued unlawful U.S. presence by overstaying their visa. Eligibility criteria focus on demonstrating extreme hardship to a U.S. citizen, permanent resident spouse, or parent if the foreign national is not permitted to remain.

These provisional unlawful presence waivers require extensive documentation of factors like family ties, financial considerations, health issues, and more. They do not erase immigration violations but can provide temporary forgiveness to pursue acquiring status through other means.

Contact a Dallas, TX Immigration Lawyer

Overstaying a visa, even accidentally, violates U.S. immigration law and can carry serious penalties if unresolved. The specific circumstances surrounding your overstay situation will determine which legal strategies and remedies may apply. To protect your rights and explore all options, it is highly advisable to consult with an experienced Plano, TX immigration attorney Texas immigration attorney. Work one-on-one with Jae and even remotely if you need to. Call Law Office of Jae Lee at 214-295-3014 for a free consultation.

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