I am an EU citizen, and I don't need a visa for the United States. But there is an issue, as my visa is expired. If I continue to travel within the US, will they check my visa?

  • 1
    I'm confused. If you don't need a visa, what has expired? Your passport, or some unnecessary visa you got accidentally? Mar 17 '13 at 19:36

In general, no, your immigration status will not be checked whilst you are within the US.

However various organisations - most notably the Police - can check your immigration status at any time, and if they find your visa status is expired they can take steps up to and including detaining you and handing you to DHS (the Department of Homeland Security). This is very unlikely to occur unless you come to the attention of the police for other reasons, but it can happen.

By overstaying the time you are allowed to be in the US you are putting your chances of being allowed back into the US at any time in the future at risk. Once you've overstayed at all you are no longer able to use the Visa Waiver Program to re-enter the US in future, and will be required to obtain a visa. Depending on the length of time you overstay, you will likely be denied a visa for several years - the longer you overstay, the longer until you will be allowed back into the US again.

  • Do they systematically check upon exit?
    – gerrit
    Mar 17 '13 at 18:03
  • 1
    When you depart by air the airline passes the details of when you depart to USCIS ("Immigration"). When you depart by land (to Canada/Mexico) you pass through immigration at the border. So whilst they don't necessarily "check" upon exit, they do record electronically when you entered/exited the country.
    – Doc
    Mar 17 '13 at 21:24
  • people have been detained on trying to exit the US with expired visa and ended up in jail before being declared persona non grata and evicted with a blacklist entry denying them the right to return for a set period or even permanently.
    – jwenting
    Mar 18 '13 at 12:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.