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Overstayed J1 visa with D/S on I94 and married USC. Will this hurt my chances of getting a green card later (a few years)?

Boston, MA |

I came here on a J1 with no 2-year requirement in 2011, and I quit my job this year. My DS-2019 stated my program ended August 31, 2012. My I-94 says D/S, which from what I've read, does not mean I'm accruing unlawful presence and is a good thing. However, I am overstaying. I married my wife in August this year, and we are applying for a visa to go back to my home country (pending). However, does this overstaying hurt my chances of getting a green card in the future if we decide we want to live in America permanently? Also, what kind of things would alert USCIS/DHS to my being out of status and get an IJ involved? Thanks for your help.

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Attorney answers 4


Yes, overstaying your visa will inevitably make you removable (in theory). Since you are married to a USC you should contact a lawyer and commence the application to become a permanent resident in the US.
Also, why are you leaving the US? Can this wait? Again, consult with an immigration attorney to go over specific details of your case and get customized advice.

Let me know if I can help.

Hope this helps and good luck,

Law Office of Ilir Kavaja
30 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116


The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.



We are leaving because we feel the prospects in my home country are better for both of our careers at this stage of our lives. It can't wait, as we have already filed the application for my home country which cost us a lot of money, and we cannot afford to apply for PR in the US right now.


You are on the right track regarding Duration of Status and unlawful presence. Nonetheless, the best thing to do would be to adjust your status BEFORE leaving the United States as this would minimize potential headache in the future. Think about making a consultation with myself or one of my colleagues to discuss all of your options. Good Luck!
Boston Consultation / Framingham Consultations
508 455 4241

Ismail Mohammed

Ismail Mohammed


Great answer.


I agree with my colleagues - leaving the US AFTER you have become a Permanent resident will make your return here infinitely easier. You should consult with an attorney before leaving.

Samuel Ouya Maina, Esq. 415.391.6612 Law Offices of S. Ouya Maina, PC 332 Pine Street, Suite 707 San Francisco, CA 94104


Attorney Gagarin has provided you a great answer. You do not want to leave before being married and have problems trying to get back here. Although the process of obtaining a green card may be long and you will have to delay whatever affairs you may have abroad, it my be in your best interest to delay your departure. You should consult with an attorney.