I wonder if someone can help me with this rather complicated situation.

My son is 17 and is deemed a minor. He has spent probably 9 months of the last year training as an athlete in the USA with the understanding that his coach would apply for an athlete's visa. At this point it looks like that promise is no longer going to happen.

He has overstayed by less than 180 days. A major sporting event that he wishes to compete in occurs after the 180 days overstay. After that he would return home and reapply for health coverage in Canada. I cautioned that overstaying longer than 180 days could lead to a 3 year ban, but after further research I discovered that minors are exempt from this punishment?

I am trying to determine the best course of action. If I should bring him home now and miss the sporting event or let him stay and risk a greater punishment. Any clarity on the rules would be much appreciated.

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    The best course of action is to obey the law, and not take advantage of the leniency of immigration law on minors. – user 56513 Feb 21 at 14:10
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it’s essentially a question on whether to obey the law or not. – user 56513 Feb 21 at 14:12
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    If I was you I would have an immigration lawyer on the phone right away. There may be ways round this, and a lawyer would probably know them. – DJClayworth Feb 21 at 14:59
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    The advice was given freely, obey the immigration laws of the USA. You chose not to see it. You don’t care much about the law, you care about the major sporting event. It was evident. – user 56513 Feb 21 at 15:18
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    @Xeno72 what visa was he promised? How did he travel to the US? Does he have a record at i94.cbp.dhs.gov? If so, what are his admission class and period of admission? – phoog Feb 21 at 15:20

He does not accrue "unlawful presence" for the purposes of the 3/10-year bans under INA 212(a)(9)(B) while he is under 18. He will start accruing "unlawful presence" the day he turns 18. If he leaves more than 180 days after that, he will have a 3-year ban.

But not having a ban doesn't mean they will let him in in the future. The immigration officer at a future entry can deny him entry as a nonimmigrant for anything that the officer doesn't like about the person's situation, including any past overstays.

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