Students from around the world are constantly flocking to the United States to study. The allure of the culture, the lifestyle, and the fantastic educational choices makes the U.S. a constant favorite for international students. Unfortunately, however, some miss their deadline to leave and can be arrested for overstaying in the country. Here’s what you need to know about the issues faced when overstaying on a student visa.

Overstaying on a Student Visa

Overstaying occurs when a student, or any other visa holder, remains in the country after their authorized period of stay comes to an end. This authorized period is displayed on the I-94 immigration card provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) when they first enter the United States. For students on F-1 or J-1 student visas, the end date of their authorization to live in the United States is “D/S,” or “duration of study,” meaning they have no fixed date, but must leave once their program has ended.

Penalties for Overstaying on a Student Visa

If you overstay on your student visa, your best bet is to return home as soon as possible. Because of the nature of overstaying and immigration status, you will not be able to apply for new leave to remain until you leave the country. In addition, if you don’t leave the country, you will be subject to “unlawful presence”, meaning you may be barred from filing for any new visas or even gaining readmittance into the United States.

Similar to overstaying, unlawful presence usually begins after the period of authorized stay expires.  For F-1 and J-1, however, unlawful presence doesn’t begin until Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or other relevant authority makes a formal determination that you are here unlawfully.  Regardless of the visa type, if a person is found to have overstayed by 180 days, you will be barred from reentering the U.S. for three years. Unlawful presence of over 365 days will result in being barred from the U.S. for 10 years.

Even if you adhere to the rules barring your from the United States after having an unlawful presence, you may still struggle to regain admittance to the country after overstaying. Once you apply for a visa to return to the U.S., you must be able to prove you have “nonimmigrant intent”. This means that you must be able to prove you have no intent to settle in the country – something which may be difficult to prove conclusively if you have previously illegally overstayed.

Contact an Experienced Immigration Attorney Today

If you are a student and are concerned you may be overstaying on your visa, or simply want to know more about immigration law and your rights, you should seek expert legal counsel immediately. Make sure you get a trusted and experienced immigration attorney who is willing to fight for your rights. Call The Berman Law Group right now at (800) 375-5555 for your free consultation.

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