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Overstayed visa. If Marry a US citizen outside of the USA can you still get the US citizenship?

New York, NY |

Overstayed my F1 visa by more than a year, which would give me a 10-year ban. I know your "sins are washed away" if you marry a US citizen (bona-fide marriage, of course) on American soil but is it a different "game" if you marry outside of the USA? I imagine it would take a lot more time. Would there be a problem getting citizenship with that history of overstayed visa or that wouldn't be an issue as long as the marriage is truthful/bona-fide?

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Attorney answers 4


You better speak with Immigration lawyer regarding waiver .

Alexander Joseph Segal

Alexander Joseph Segal


Change "better" to "are advised" - sounds better :)


I think you "know" way too much and way too wrong. You are confused. YOu need to consult an immigration attorney. We have plenty to choose from here in NYC.

NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.


Consult an immigration lawyer.

Dean P. Murray
The Murray Law Firm
560 Sylvan Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
(Office located within minutes of the George Washington Bridge)

IMPORTANT: Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely on this response. Mr. Murray's response was generated without conducting a full inquiry as would occur during an attorney-client consultation. It is likely that the response above may be made less accurate, or become entirely inaccurate, as you, i.e. the questioner, disclose additional facts that should only be discussed during a private attorney-client consultation. I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state (or, in the case of immigration law, an attorney in ANY state), whereupon all relevant facts will be discussed. All responses posted by Mr. Murray on are intended as general information for the education of the public, and not for any specific individual. For persons located in New Jersey: To the extent that Mr. Murray's profile can be considered an advertisement in New Jersey, which is denied, be advised that NO ASPECT OF THIS ADVERTISEMENT HAS BEEN APPROVED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF NEW JERSEY. Furthermore, the selection methodology for the SuperLawyers' "Rising Stars" awards is set forth at length at this website:


You don't acquire US citizenship simply by marrying a USC. You would become a legal permanent resident first, and only after a few years would you be able to apply for citizenship.

Once you overstay your visa and leave the US, you automatically receive a 10-year bar. The only way to enter the US legally again would be to either remain outside for 10 years or apply for a waiver. These types of cases are complicated, and I recommend you consult with an immigration attorney first and foremost. A lot needs to be considered. Good luck.

[This answer is for general purposes only; it does not constitute advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.]

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