The Department of Homeland Security warns visa recipients to carefully consider the dates of their authorized stay and be sure that they are following correct procedures. Overstaying your visa by failing to extend your stay or failing to leave the US by the right date, will cause you to be out-of-status; you are in the United States illegally. This may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the future. It is a serious violation of US immigration law.
Overstaying visa must be avoided if possible or you may face severe consequences, such as:
- being barred from returning to the US for three (3) years or ten (10) years;
- being prohibited from filing an application for change of status or extension of stay;
- rejecting your existing visa;
- inability to obtain a new visa except from your home country; and
- being restricted from filing for adjustment of status.
Filing for extension of stay
Before your Form I-94 expires, there are steps you can take to know if you will not be able to leave the country by that date. You can contact US Citizenship and Immigration Services and ask for an extension. Approval can take a while, so you should do this as soon as possible. Delay in filing an application for extension of stay in the United States is not an excuse unless you are able to prove all of the following:
- That the delay in applying for an extension of stay was due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control;
- That the length of the delay was reasonable;
- That you has not done anything else to violate your immigration status like working without authorization;
- That are still visiting the US temporarily as a non-immigrant; and
- That the applicant you are not in formal removal proceedings from the United States.
Always be sure to know the expiration date of your visa. You can check your I-94 departure card to see when you need to leave the US or request an extension of stay.
If you need assistance on this matter, you can also contact the U.S. immigration specialist of Law Firm in Thailand.