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Am I eligible for a US visa if I overstayed my time?

 Question:

If I overstayed my time in the United States several years ago, could I ever get a visa to visit again? I have a family and a good job here in Trinidad and Tobago now.


Answer: 

Overstaying your authorised time, or being unlawfully present in the United States, is a very serious matter that has specific consequences under US immigration law. 

When a traveller enters the United States, the duration of an approved period of stay in the United States is determined by the US Customs and Border Patrol officer at the point of entry. That time period is based on US immigration law and is clearly marked in each passport.

It is understandable that sometimes, extensions are necessary due to unexpected life events. When those times come up, there is a clear extension application process to follow with the United States Customs and Immigration Service: 

www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/C1en.pdf

However, when an overstay occurs and no extension was filed and/or received, it sends a very clear message regarding the credibility of a future visa applicant. Depending on the circumstance, overstays often result in deportations or other 

actions by US immigration officials. 

US immigration law also prescribes specific periods of ineligibility or bans, depending on how long the overstay was. The bans can last up to ten years from the date of departure from the United States.

Regardless of their circumstances or previous bans, all visa applicants receive a fair interview that is compliant with US immigration law and the highest level of customer service. All applicants are treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their previous record.

If you have any questions regarding overstay ineligibilities, please visit 

www.travel.state.gov to find out more.

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