How To Avoid Overstaying Your Visa

If you are intending to enter the United States legally, you must obtain an immigrant visa or a non-immigrant visa for a temporary stay. This is often straightforward, but it can be more complicated if you don't know how long you intend to stay in the United States. It's further complicated if your visa is about to expire and you do not want to leave the United States yet. Fortunately, there are ways that you can extend your stay.

A Visa is Not a Guarantee

A visa simply allows you to board a mode of transportation to reach the United States. However, you will not necessarily be able to remain in the US, and you may be turned away at the border. This most often happens if officials believe that you have illegal intent. If you arrive in the US with a tourist visa, you may be able to stay at a hotel temporarily, but you may not be able to rent a more permanent residence. 

Requirements for Extending a Visa

If you will be filing a request to extend your visa, you must do so before your visa expires. If you have overstayed your visa, you will usually not be able to get an extension, you may be subject to deportation, and you may be barred from reentering the United States for a number of years.

After you have remained in the United States and you'd like to extend your visa, there are several requirements you must usually meet. You must have originally been admitted into the United States in a lawful manner. You must have a valid non-immigrant status. You must not have committed any crimes or violated any conditions. You must also have a passport that was valid throughout your stay.

There are certain categories by which you may have originally been admitted into the United States. You may have been an informant, a fiance of a US citizen, a crew member, or part of a visa waiver program. You may also have simply been in transit. Under these circumstances, you will not be allowed to extend your visa.

Immigration Law Services

If you wish to extend your stay in the United States or if you are concerned about overstaying your visa, make sure to speak to an immigration law service. You should especially speak with an immigration lawyer if you are under threat of being deported. This can prevent you from immigrating to the US in the future.