The first thing you need to understand is the difference between:
- Being out-of-status, and
- Having unlawful presence
Overstaying means that you stayed in the U.S. beyond the date you were authorized to be in the U.S. Overstaying leads to you becoming out-of-status.
Out-of-status means that you have violated the terms of your lawful status. For whichever visa you acquire, there will be a set of terms and conditions that you must meet. Most importantly is how long you are permitted to stay in the U.S. When you have stayed longer than the amount of time permitted, you violated the term and are therefore out-of-status.
Unlawful presence could mean a person who has overstayed their visit and is out-of-status, or those who entered the U.S. without being inspected and permitted entrance. This could be entering the U.S. through an area without a formal port-of-entry.
Differentiating between out-of-status and unlawful presence is important. Unlawful presence will automatically lead to a 3 or 10 year bar from re-entering or applying for a green card for ten years.
For those who are out-of-status, the bar is for three years if you have stayed for more than 180 days but less than one year. After that time frame, a ten year ban is applied.
You may wonder what options you have if this ban has been placed on you. You may be able to petition for a provisional waiver. The provisional waiver, like inadmissibility waivers, will allow you to enter the U.S. again. This being said, the circumstances for this waiver will only be granted under extreme circumstances.
The best way to avoid this situation is to leave when you are supposed to and enter in accordance with the law. The consequences of being an illegal immigrant are severe and may cause unnecessary difficulties in your life.
If you require further assistance or information regarding your situation, contact Akrami & Associates today. With the aid of our experienced legal professionals, we will help find the best possible solution. Call today and book a consultation.