What to do if I came as with a visitor visa but did not return to my country after 6 months?

I want to stay in the US and get approval to work and travel out to my country. Is is possible? How long does it usually take to get approved?

Asked on October 14, 2013 under Immigration Law, Pennsylvania


SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You cannot just get work or a travel document if you just entered as a visitor and decided to stay.  You are only authorized to stay while your I-94 is valid.  Once it expires and you overstay by more than 180 days, you are barred from reentry to the US for a period of 3 years; if you overstay by more than 1 year you are barred from reentry for 10 years.  YOu cannot have employment authorization.  The only way you can legalize your status once you are unlawfully present is through a VALID BONA FIDE marriage to a US citizen.

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