I entered US in 2006 with a F-1 student visa, but I was not able to complete my master's degree

I entered US in 2006 with a F-1 student visa, but I was not able to complete my master's degree due to lack of money (for just an additional and final course). and I could not apply for reinstatement as I need to pay the tution I owe to re enroll...It was in 2009 i left school... I have been living in US since then....I also have a lost passport with expired US visa... What would be the case if i want to leave the country now. Or Will I be able to get back to school and regain my status now....Please Advise....

Methuen, MA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Christian Schmidt

Christian Schmidt

Immigration Attorney - San Francisco, CA
Answered

You have not accrued unlawful presence as long as there is not affirmative determination by USCIS or an IJ that your student status ended. Thus, you should not trigger the unlawful presence bar that prohibits the Consulate to issue you a new visa when you depart but you will certainly face serious questions whether you can be entrusted with a new visa. Whether those questions can be addressed depends on specific circumstances that cannot be addressed here.

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Kristina A. Gasson

Kristina A. Gasson

Immigration Attorney - Medford, MA
Answered

You will need to apply for a new passport to leave the country. DHS will scan that passport when you leave, so they will know when you left the country. An F-1 visa has an expiration date, but is usually good for "duration of status" or "D/S." Your school may have reported you as being out of status when you failed to re-enroll because they will often check international students. If the visa expired, you will have to reapply outside the US. You might have to explain the gaps in your status at this time and may be found inadmissible.

USCIS guidance on "duration of status":

"As an example regarding duration of status, if you have a visa that is valid for five years that will expire on January 1, 2009, and you are admitted into the U.S. for the duration of your studies (often abbreviated in your passport or on your I-94 card as "D/S"), you may stay in the U.S. as long as you are a full time student. Even if January 1, 2009 passes and your visa expires while in the U.S., you will still be in legal student status. However, if you depart the United States with an expired visa, you will need to obtain a new one, applying at an Embassy abroad, before being able to return to the U.S. and resume your studies."

I would consult with an immigration attorney.

www.gassonlaw.com - Disclaimer: This a general answer to your legal question. Unless you have a signed engagement... more
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J Charles Ferrari

J Charles Ferrari

Immigration Attorney - Los Angeles, CA
Answered

You cannot regain status here in the US. To regain status, you must return home and apply for a new F-1 visa stamp.

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not... more
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