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.
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.
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.
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