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So this year I went to Florida with my family for 2 weeks. We were all tourists and we go to the US almost every year and have no administrative problems usually.

This time, however, I recently received a warning that I have to leave the US within 10 days or otherwise I will overstay my visa. But I left the country long ago, with my family, on the same plane at the same time after our 2 week holiday. The rest of my family has been registered to have been left the country though.

My problem is, although I could maybe prove with the help of the local police that I am indeed not in the US at this moment, I can't prove when I left the US or how. I have no stamp in my passport, they haven't done that in a long time. The airline can't give out the data that I boarded the plane. I don't have my boarding pass anymore.

There is no way I can prove that I legally left the US, only that I am not there right now. What should I do? I feel this weird error could get me in trouble the next time I enter the US.

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    What do you mean that you "received a warning"? What does it say? Where did it come from? Who sent it? Are you sure it is legitimate? How do you know? Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 13:03
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    While the airline might not give you proof you were on a flight, if you tell officials you were on the flight, the airline may well confirm to them if you were or not. Focus less on proving and start with just telling officials what happened. Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 13:22
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    I'd also suggest contacting your local US embassy or consulate. They might be able to verify that you are in fact no longer inside the united state, or at lease advise on the best way to do that.
    – zeocrash
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 16:18
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    Is this definitely a warning and not just a reminder? Could it just be a general e-mail notification? "Hey, if you're still here, you need to leave soon." Could it be that it looks more threatening than it really is because it has marks of officialdom all over it?
    – Kyralessa
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 18:36
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    You tagged your question with visas and esta. That is confusing, since the two are more or less opposites of each other. ESTA is a pre-authorization system for entering the US without a visa under the us-visa-waiver-program. Were you even actually in the US on a visa or were you there under the VWP? If you were there under the VWP, then an email telling you that you overstayed your visa is a 100% scam, because it is impossible to overstay on a visa if you don't even have a visa. Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 15:36

3 Answers 3

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First, check that this is a genuine warning. Check it for the usual signs of a scam email (faked "from" address, links you to a website that does not end in .gov). Contact US immigration on a publicly available email or number (not by any contact that you were given in the warning) and check with them.

If it turns out it is genuine, it is probably not as serious as you think. It's most likely just an administrative mixup.

When you contact immigration they will tell you what you need to do, but most likely if you simply give them the date and flight number when you left that will be the end of it. They will almost certainly be able to verify that you were on that flight, and that will probably be the end of the matter.

Also remember that, even if for some reason they don't believe that you left on the flight you did, you don't need to prove you left on that flight, you only need to prove you left before the end of your legal stay, ten days from now. The easiest way to do that is probably to make some sort of visit to someone official, like a government office or the police or a lawyer, where your visit will be recorded and you can provide information. But something as simple as records of an everyday transaction will help - a few records of you using your credit card in your hometown is going to be evidence, and is probably good enough.

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    The legitimate email will come from [email protected], so replying to it is unlikely to help, but that can help confirm that it's legitimate. Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 21:33
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    @DJClayworth Ok, I understand that you mean "help" and of course not "suffice".
    – Scz
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 21:49
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    @ZachLipton Please don't mistrain people to treat the "From" field in emails as beyond reproach. It's trivially faked. Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 12:27
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    This is a great answer, but it's not recommended to reply to an email that you suspect may not be legit. It's better to find the correct email address yourself and email that address directly. If the email in question was spoofed and OP replies to it, they're just interacting with scammers, which isn't a good thing.
    – bob
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 12:46
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    @DJClayworth Not so. There is Reply-To, but more to the point, this is exactly why most email scams involve clicking on links inside the email. Practically every spam/scam has a faked From field. Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 14:54
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+500

As others have suggested, first check your I-94 departure record. If something has gone wrong and your departure has not been recorded properly, it will show up there.

If the system is showing incorrect information, the FAQ from CBP has a section for that:

If you feel this information is incorrect, you have two options:

You can contact the CBP Traveler Communications Center at (202) 325-5120.

You can formally write to the Department of Homeland Security's Travel Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP). DHS TRIP is a single point of contact for individuals who have inquiries or seek resolution regarding difficulties they experienced during their travel screening at transportation hubs, like airports and train stations, or crossing U.S. borders, including: denied or delayed airline boarding, denied or delayed entry into and exit from the United States at a port of entry or border checkpoint continuously referred to additional (secondary) screening.

You can contact DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) at http://www.dhs.gov/trip.

Or, by mail at the following address: DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) 601 South 12th Street, TSA-901 Arlington, VA 22202

Regardless, I would hold on to whatever evidence you can indicating that you left the US (this can include evidence that you're back home now). If they can't fix it for you over the phone, you can submit your evidence to DHS TRIP through their online form and ask that the records be corrected.

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    I am not sure this is a complete record - I just tried and my trip to the US from April 2019 is not there at all ("Your traveler status is not available at this time. If you have not received results, you are not among the eligible travelers for the traveler compliance check at this time.")
    – WoJ
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 14:41
  • This answer is wrong. TRIP has NOTHING to do with incorrect departure records. The section you have quoted is clear on this, it's for people that have had issues with being repeatedly selected for additional screening, or had issues at immigration when entering the country.
    – Doc
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 15:36
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    @Doc All I can say is that this is exactly what CBP says in their I94 FAQ under "What can I do if I feel this information is incorrect?" However, the same FAQ now confusingly has a different section that says there's nothing you need to do if the departure information is inaccurate, just carry evidence of your timely departure in the future. Personally, I'd at least call the number they give. Commented May 23, 2020 at 17:37
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I would suggest to check your I-94 record, which is a record of your entry and exit into the United States. https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/recent-search If this is updated to the date you left USA, then that will be your official document for proving you left. If it is not then its an administrative error and you probably should contact US immigration with all your travel proof, especially the proof that you entered back into your country which will be the stamp on you passport. Also if your I-94 is not updated, it will cause trouble for your future visits, so its better to have it done anyways

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    While passport stamps are excellent evidence, not all countries issue a stamp to all returning residents.
    – origimbo
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 20:22
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    Eshwar, did you not read where the OP indicates "I have no stamp in my passport, they haven't done that in over 10 years at all"?
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Apr 28, 2020 at 21:46
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    @CGCampbell In Eshwar's defense, I thought that sentence in the question was referring to (not getting) an exit stamp from the US. Certainly the OP could have meant that they didn't get an entry stamp from their home country either, but that wasn't clear to me.
    – David Z
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 4:10
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    Which countries add entry stamps to their residents passports? Such a policy would fill up a passport twice as fast (not to mention that you may not even need a passport for reentry) Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 6:27
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    @HagenvonEitzen At a minimum I know China used to do so. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passport_stamp#China
    – March Ho
    Commented Apr 29, 2020 at 7:46

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