I've been in the US for about a year now on an M1 visa, studying to be a pilot and my course is not yet completed. However, I have to travel back home to the UK at te end of the month.

I have a problem with my apartment: the lease ends at the end of the month. I am being told that I am required to give a 60-day notice that I'm moving out, and that I'm liable for those two-months rent (over $1,000 USD).

If I fail to pay, will it affect me later on if I apply for an ESTA for a visit?

  • 3
    If the 60-day notice period is not in your lease, or was not in the original lease you signed, or you otherwise believe the landlord is in the wrong, consult your state tenant rights and regulations and then contact the tenant-landlord commission, tenant advocate, tenant affairs office, or other similar government office in your city or county. But if you were simply careless, pay what you owe! Surely it's cheaper than renting an empty apartment for a month. – choster Mar 17 '17 at 20:06
  • Yes it was in my lease but like I said, I've spoken to them and they want me to be paying the full amount of what I would pay for those months. But I need to know if failure to pay would in anyway affect my application for a ESTA in the near future. – aryton miranda Mar 17 '17 at 20:25
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    In general, I understand that outstanding debts do not affect admissibility, nor do they affect eligibility for the visa waiver program (and hence ESTA). But I don't have a specific source handy. – phoog Mar 17 '17 at 21:04
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    Debts are a civil matter and rarely if ever considered for admissibility requirements. Note, you do not have a right to a US Visa. – Johns-305 Mar 17 '17 at 21:22
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    Note that a bad credit score can be used to deny you employment, future apartments, and of course, credit cards. I don't know if airlines run the credit of pilot applicants, but if you plan to return to complete your studies and/or become a pilot, this could pose you significant problems. It's worth talking to a tenants' rights group where you live to ensure that you legally owe this amount though, state laws differ greatly on these things. – Zach Lipton Mar 18 '17 at 0:42

What would happen if I fail to pay?

Chances are that they will process you for court, obtain a judgment against you, and try to collect by means such as garnishment of wages if you do have employment in the USA. Of course it will hit your credit at some point (if you have a social security number) and your credit score will take a deep dive and graveyard spiral into the dumpster.

Would it affect me later on if I apply for a ESTA visa for a visit?

NO. Grounds of Inadmissibility per INA: ACT 212 - GENERAL CLASSES OF ALIENS INELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE VISAS AND INELIGIBLE FOR ADMISSION; WAIVERS OF INADMISSIBILLITY Sec. 212. [8 U.S.C. 1182] is what is used to determine your eligibility or otherwise for a visa/ESTA (immigration benefit).

In this case we will be looking under inadmissibility due to criminal reasons. Mainly here we would be looking if you committed fraud which would in many cases be a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT) that make you inadmissible if it doesn't qualify for the Petty Offense Exception under 212(a)(2)(A). To stretch this civil case into the realms of fraud is highly unlikely by any prosecutor considering the amount involved < $10k.

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