I have a F - 1 Student Visa valid until December 2014 . Graduated from college in May 2010 . I then used OPT ( valid 1 year ) to work legally , the problem is that I have decided to stay and keep working at that place today ( I have a social security number ) , I actually am still employed like an American and pay my taxes . Do you think I should wait for the Immigration Reform Act before I leave the country as I could actually be given the right to work and reside in the USA along with a path to citizenship ? I actually would prefer working in the USA than going back home in Europe . Can't get good jobs because they do ask if I have the right to work in the USA so right now it's a tough situation . Can't get companies to sponsor me for an eventual 1 - B visa as it would cost them a lot .
It is ill-advised to do something that may be detrimental to your immigration future under the assumption that immigration reform will save you. The proposed immigration changes still have to pass both houses of Congress and be signed into law. Until that happens, we have no idea who the law will help and who it won't. We don't know if it will apply to you. In fact, we don't even know if there will be a law. Meet in person with an immigration attorney to see what your options are under the current law.
I agree with my colleagues. I’d add that a lawyer cannot ethically advise someone to violate the law.
You should be aware of a number of issues that could arise if you decide to overstay. These are: (1) there is a risk that a Notice to Appear (NTA) would be issued, placing you into deportation proceedings; (2) if you were admitted duration of status (D/S), you would not accrue unlawful presence time in the United States (note the law in this area is murky and could change any day). Plus, your situation is more complex because you participated in OPT, which is of finite duration. There’s no telling how the USCIS or the Department of State (consulate) would treat the overstay; (3) you would not be authorized to work; and (4) with respect to future employment based petitions, overstay under 180 days would not impact the future petition. Overstay over 180 days would.
Hake & Schmitt
Attorneys at Law
P.O. Box 540 (419 Main St.), New Windsor, Maryland 21776
Required Disclaimer: This information is generalized and should not be relied upon as legal advice; and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.
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