A U.S. Visa Overstay Can Affect a Minor

While some unlawful presence for those under the age of 18 years may be overlooked, other rules and regulations concerning visa overstays are applicable to people of any age.

Regardless of age, all foreign nationals applying for nonimmigrant visas are still expected to leave before the expiration date stamped on the Form I-94. On the other hand foreign born minors might not face the same consequences for unlawful presence as adults do. They are exempt from becoming inadmissible for three or ten years based on unlawful presence of 180 days or more, however with limited exceptions. Talk to an immigration lawyer about the end results of unlawful presence in the U.S.

A Visa is Automatically Canceled After an Overstay in the U.S for a Person Under 18 Years of Age

Visas for persons under the age of 18 will be immediately canceled after an overstay even if it is only for a day, or a few weeks. (See I.N.A. § 222(g), 8 U.S.C. § 1202(g).). Say for example, if it was a multiple entry B-2 visa for visiting the U.S. as a tourist or visitor, it would no longer be good for future visits to the U.S. To add to the consequences, an overstay on one’s record can make it even harder to receive many other nonimmigrant visas or immigration benefits in the future.

Any Underaged Person with a Visa Can Be Detained and Deported for Overstaying

A minor who stays in the U.S past the expiration date shown on the Form I-90 under a nonimmigrant visa is at risk of getting arrested by U.S. immigration authorities as well as being put in removal proceedings. The arrest may lead to a deportation and a ban from re-entering the U.S. for several years will be imposed.

After an Overstay, a Minor Will Not Qualify to Change, Extend, or Adjust Status

Without any exception for minors, individuals who have overstayed their nonimmigrant status will not be allowed to change or extend their status from within the U.S. For example, if the visa holder entered the U.S. on a visitor visa, overstayed and then was accepted by a U.S. college or university will not be able to apply to change to a Student (F-1) status.

This situation can be resolved by leaving the U.S. and applying for an F-1 visa at a U.S. consulate in one’s own home country but the consulate might hold the past overstay against you and might reconsider granting an F-1 student visa. After all, the U.S. Consulate has to be persuaded that as soon as the academic studies are over that you will return home.

Additionally, people who have overstayed a visa are ineligible to adjust status to lawful permanent residence. The only exceptions are for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (their spouse, parents and minor unmarried children) and certain people who were “grandfathered in” under an old law found within Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (I.N.A.), which permits for adjustment of status with the payment of a financial penalty. To know more about the exceptions for immediate relatives speak with an immigration attorney.

Time to Get an Attorney’s Help

If you have overstayed in the U.S. and you are under the age of 18 years get help from an immigration lawyer. Chances are you might get deported if you get caught. Call the Gambacorta Law Office at 847 908 4913.