I overstayed my 90 day holiday waiver USA visa 21 years ago by about 2 years! I was young and foolish at the time. I so want to visit Graceland with my teenage daughter. Do I stand any chance at all? I've never tried to re-enter since I left. Should I apply for a Visa here and be honest I over stayed?

1 Answer 1


Since you overstayed an entry on the Visa Waiver Program, you are forever ineligible to use the Visa Waiver Program again, according to 8 USC 1187(a)(7), so (unless you have become a Canadian citizen) you would need to apply for a B2 visitor visa to visit the US. On the visa application form, it would ask whether you ever violated the terms of your status, and you would have to truthfully answer Yes and provide the details of that overstay.

When you stayed past the date you were admitted until on your I-94 (which was 90 days after your entry), assuming you were over 18, you started accruing "unlawful presence". By accruing more than 1 year of unlawful presence and then leaving the US, you triggered a 10-year ban under 8 USC 1182(a)(9)(B)(i)(II). That ban is now long over, so you don't have to apply for a waiver. However, not having a ban doesn't mean you will get a visitor visa or be admitted as a visitor. Most types of nonimmigrant visas, including visitor visas, can be denied for "failure to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent", and any past negative history, especially a long overstay, can make it harder for you to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent in the determination of the officer.

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    After 21 years, if you life is really changed (married, good job, good reasons not to overstay again, etc.) you may have again chances (but no guarantee) But you need solid application (and correct: you need a Visa). Where you deported or did you left voluntarily? -- If you really need the visa: ask an immigration lawyer, else just try and be very honest (and careful not to make errors/assumptions) on your application. No guarantees. Aug 31, 2023 at 7:47
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    No i was never deported... But id have a job.. Home.. Young kid at school here in Ireland... All can be shown as valid reasons to return home.... But can i Apply for the B1 or is it B2 visa before I book my flight? And will i have to go to American embassy for a interview? I don't mind... My eldest was born in USA but I know that means no extra rights for me to return... I could kick myself for not having a proper visa years ago.. Any advice would be much appreciated
    – Rebecca
    Aug 31, 2023 at 11:04
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    @Rebecca Yes and yes. Basically you'll have to follow the process for countries not in the Visa Waiver Program. This includes applying for a B1/2 visa, and having an interview at the embassy. Aug 31, 2023 at 12:00
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    @Rebecca you can always book a fully cancellable ticket, and if you're approved then you can cancel & rebook the same flight with a basic ticket for presumably much cheaper. Aug 31, 2023 at 13:31
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    It's not just Canadians who can visit the US visa-free without using the VWP. Citizens of the freely associated states (the Marshall Islands, Palau, and the Federated States of Micronesia), British Overseas Territories citizens of Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, or the Turks and Caicos Islands, and nationals of the Bahamas also have visa-free access, as do Mexican government officials and airline crew members, and members of the Kickapoo tribes. Sep 1, 2023 at 18:59

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