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Out of status for 8 months then returned to home country. How can I re-enter the US in the future (if possible at all)?

Los Angeles, CA |

I was out of status for 8 months when I was on a student visa, then I came back to my home country. I was told there is no absolute bar from being readmitted to the US because my I-94 was only for D/S. However, I'm not sure whether I can actually be admitted to the US ever again, and on what grounds.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Best answer

    You face no statutory impediment to a future admission because you did not accumulate any "unlawful presence" despite being out of status for 8 months.

    You can, however, expect some additional scrutiny of any future applications on account of your failure to abide by the terms of your nonimmigrant visa. If applying for future nonimmigrant visas, for example, plan on showing strong financial and personal ties to your home country. Also be prepared to discuss why you didn't leave immediately after falling out of status.

  2. If you can find an employer to sponsor you, then you should be able to get a visa. The D/S designation on your I-94 kept you from accuring unlawful presence. Bars to admission arise when you leave the U.S. after accruing a certain amount of unlawful presence. Family members might also be able to sponsor you, but that normally takes a long time unless your spouse is U.S. citizen.

    Myron R. Morales, Attorney
    Morales PLLC

  3. I would discuss this with a qualified immigration attorney as there are more facts needed. For example, it is necessary to know what you mean by "out of status"? Did you stop attending classes, did your program end, where you actually ever found to be out of status by an immigration judge, etc.? The general rule is that if you have been found to be out of status for between 6 months and 1 year and you then leave the U.S., you will have a three year bar that you will have to overcome before being allowed back into the country. This bar however may not apply in your case.

    Legal disclaimer: The above statement is only intended to be general in nature and in no is to be taken as specific advice. A complete consideration of all facts is not possible in this setting and is necessary in order to provide any legal advice. This communication does not create any attorney-client relationship.