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DownloadLearn more about how the immigration process works and help you with your immigration concerns and questions. The Charleston USA Immigration Law Center is here to support you in your goal to become a United States citizen.


Any foreign national who enters the U.S. without inspection (EWI) or is in the U.S. beyond the approved period of stay detailed on the I-94 card is considered an overstay, out of status, even if it is just for a day. Consequently, such alien should legally immediately leave the country. Failure to leave within certain periods of time invokes a barrier, upon subsequent voluntary departure, to later re-entering the U.S.

This creates a problem for family based overstays who apply for green cards but need to obtain their cards overseas through consular processing. As soon as they leave the U.S. to get their green card they may be barred from reentering for lengthy periods of time. This often can cause long term family disunity. Absolutely consult with an immigration attorney before voluntarily departing the U.S. under these circumstances. Attorneys can file the appropriate extreme hardship waiver papers for spouse or parent, but generally not for child, which, if granted, will eliminate these bars to re-entry.

Overstays who remain in the U.S. for more than 180 days but less than 1 year who voluntarily depart are barred from reentry into the U.S. for 3 years from the date of actual departure.

Overstays who remain in the U.S. for 1 year or more who voluntarily depart are barred from reentry into the U.S. for 10 years from the date of actual departure.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.
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Charleston USA Immigration Law Center, LLP - Immigration Lawyer in Charleston, SC
Located at 300 Bucksley Lane, Suite 205 Charleston, SC 29492. View Map
Phone: (855) 252-5250 | Local Phone: (843) 276-3311.
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