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What happens if my visa expires while I'm in the USA?

Title: What Happens if Your Visa Expires While You're in the USA? Introduction: Traveling to the United States is an exhilarating experience, whether it's for work, studying, or simply exploring. While having a valid visa is necessary to enter and stay in the country legally, sometimes unforeseen circumstances may cause your visa to expire before you're ready to depart. In this article, we will delve into what happens if your visa expires while you're in the USA and what steps you should take to handle the situation effectively. 1. Overstaying and Legal Consequences: Once your visa expires, you are considered to be in the country unlawfully, and this can have serious implications. Overstaying your visa can lead to an automatic revocation of your lawful status, making it challenging to return to the USA in the future. Additionally, it could result in deportation, barring you from reentering the country for an extended period. 2. Period of Unlawful Presence: Unlawful presence begins the day after your visa expires. If your overstay lasts for more than 180 days but less than one year, you may face a three-year ban on reentering the United States. Exceeding one year of unlawful presence might result in a ten-year ban. These bans can be detrimental to your future travel plans or even your ability to pursue studying or working in the USA. 3. Options for Handling an Expired Visa: a. Departure: The safest and most recommended option is to depart the USA before your visa expires. By leaving before your authorized period of stay ends, you avoid the repercussions of overstaying and can look into applying for a new visa if needed. b. Extension or Change of Status: In certain circumstances, you may be eligible to request an extension or change of status before your visa expiration. Consulting an experienced immigration attorney or reaching out to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is crucial to understand the requirements and necessary documents for such requests. c. Voluntary Departure: If your visa expires and you are unable to fulfill the departure requirements immediately, you may qualify for voluntary departure. This allows you to leave the country willingly without facing deportation, potentially reducing the negative impact on your immigration record. Conclusion: While unintentionally allowing your visa to expire can be a source of stress and concern, it's essential to address the situation promptly and responsibly. Remember, the consequences of overstaying can be severe, impacting your future travel plans and immigration prospects. To avoid such potential difficulties, consulting with an immigration lawyer and understanding your options is crucial. Always prioritize legal compliance to ensure a smooth and successful stay in the United States.

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