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Overstayed my visa after getting involved in a Start-Up with very Respectable Investors. Any way to fix this?

San Francisco, CA |

A business opportunity suddenly emerged during the 6th mo. of my legal stay here. I tried to go back to my country as fast as I could to not overstay my visa, but as things advanced in the start-up, I found myself stuck here longer than I expected. This start-up I got involved in as co-founder, has received serious amounts of seed investment from some of America's most respectable investors, created millions of dollars in revenue, offered jobs to dozens of Americans and is even creating a tremendous positive impact in the US tourism industry and therefore, the economy as well. Is there a way to justify my stay and fix my immigration status? Is it possible to re-enter as investor (a friend in the same situation did back in 03)? Could the new reform help my case? Any other solution? Thanks.

P.S. Have overstayed my visa for 10 months so far (10 months past the 6 month allowance). I do understand my situation, and I do understand the fact that I need to make a consultation with an experienced lawyer. All I am trying to understand is if there is any option/solution (they don't need to tell me which until discussed in person) to my case in order to take the next step forward.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. we would need exact details. Did you overstay a student or J-1 or other type of status as the rules regarding unlawful presence are different for these categories and will affect whether you need a waiver to return. If you overstayed even one day, you need to go to your home country and apply for a new visa. If you accrued unlawful presence in excess of 6 months (depends on the status you were on), then your trip home will trigger a 3 or 10 year bar and you will also need a waiver to return and we can argue the extenuating circumstances you cite.


  2. Requests for a consultation are not appropriate for AVVO which is a free online general information blog and not a law office.

    The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter,not should it be viewed as establishing an attorney client relationship of any kind.


  3. The real question to be asked is did you work illegally?

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  4. What visa did you enter on?

    This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. Any comments offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. You are encouraged to seek independent and private counseling for a complete review of your case.


  5. As an over stay from 2003 you appear to have accrued more than 10 years of unlawful presence. It is unfortunate that you have not addressed this sooner. However, based on your representatons you seem like a very smart guy and I would think there is more to your case then what you have disclosed here.

    This forum is not the place to get individualized advice. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can review the specifc facts of your case, advise you of teh optiosn available, and the best way to proceed.

    While this answer is provided by a Florida Bar Certified Expert in Immigration and Nationality Law, it is for general information purposes only and an attorney/client relationship is neither intended nor created. You should seek out qualified counsel to review your case and provide you with advice specific to your situation. Review Mr. Devore's Avvo Profile for more information about his expertise in immigration law and how to contact him to discuss your case.

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