How do I respond to the question of "Have you been ordered to leave the country" if I have overstayed my student visa?
Now I'm filling out a visa application form and there's a question asking if I have ever been ordered to leave any country. In my case, should I answer "yes" or "no"? Thank you very much for your help.
2 attorney answers
This appears to be a repeat question.
No, from your facts, you do not appear to have been "ordered" to leave the US.
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Hi there, generally when an I-20 expires, technically the student is overstaying unless there is a reinstatement approved. Whether you have been "ordered to leave" really depends on many factors. Based on the information you have provided, you left the US while your reinstatement was still pending, therefore you can argue that you were on "reinstatement pending" status. Furthermore, you left voluntarily before a decision was made. Even though the reinstatement was procedurally rejected and considered abandoned, this was after the fact and you had already departed the US. Therefore, I would say the answer is probably "No." Bear in mind there could be other factors, for example, did you receive any letters from USCIS or the school regarding your expired I-20? It matters what was said on these letters and notices, this could determine if you were ever "ordered to leave." However, the usual disclaimer that this is not legal advice and is just general legal info based on a limited fact pattern that has been provided. When in doubt, do consult an attorney for detailed advice on how to fill in your forms. Hope this helped.
Prior to becoming a licensed attorney, I had over 15 years of work experience as a law clerk interpreter and translator, frequently appearing in front of USCIS. I worked in immigration, political asylum, family law, and business law. I am a certified mediator for business disputes and family law, and I also mediate cases for the Superior Courts. I am an advocate for domestic violence survivors. My answers on Avvo do not constitute a client-attorney relationship and should be taken as general information only.