I am currently a 20-year-old college student who is living in her home country after living in the United States for 14 years.

My parents and I overstayed our work visa for about 4 years, but I left 3 months after I graduated in June of 2017. I turned 18 in May of 2017 but I don't know if that matters.

I would really like to know if my chances of applying to the States for foreign study abroad for college is possible, or if I am no longer welcomed in the States due to overstaying my visa for the amount of years I did. Although I left 3 months after I turned 18, I didn't have any say in the matter so I would like to know how this would work for or against me.


1 Answer 1


I turned 18 in May of 2017 but I don't know if that matters.

Yes, it matters. Someone who has accrued more than 180 days is automatically barred from re-entering the US for three or ten years after they leave under 8 USC 1182(a)(9)(B), but "no period of time in which an alien is under 18 years of age shall be taken into account." Since you left within 180 days of reaching the age of 18 years, this does not apply to you.

I have certainly heard of cases in which someone in similar circumstances to yours has received a US visa, but you should of course be aware that your history will invite greater scrutiny of your visa application. The US recognizes (at least in part) that minor children are generally not responsible for their unlawful presence in the US. On the other hand, the current political situation is very difficult for people wishing to come to the US.

Prepare your application with care. Consider mentioning explicitly the amount of time you remained in the US after your 18th birthday, measuring the time in days, not months.

Deception can lead to a lifetime ban, so above all, be scrupulously honest.


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