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Should an overstay F-1 Visa, USA college graduate expect the immigration reform to give him the right to work in the USA?

New York, NY |

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 .

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Best Answer

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.

Heather L. Garvock Attorney Ellis Porter, PLC 2701 Troy Center Dr., 410 Troy, MI 48084 Phone: 248-519-9900 Fax: 248-519-9901 Email: For more information about current issues and developments in immigration law, visit my blog: The information I provide on my blog and Avvo is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney client relationship.


There is no way to know if/when any Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill will pass but we remain hopeful.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is generalized and should not be relied upon as legal advice. This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.


I completely agree with Heather. No one knows what will happen on immigration reform until a law is passed. Good luck.

Atty: 845-704-7777. This answer is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. You should not take action based upon this information without consulting legal counsel. This answer is not intended to create, and does not create, an attorney-client relationship. PLEASE REMEMBER: All claims and legal matters have statutes of limitations and/or other important time periods that apply to them. This means that you must take action on all claims or legal matters within the required time period(s) or your claims could be barred by the statute of limitations or dismissed. Contact our office or another competent attorney immediately to discuss the particular facts of any claim or legal issue you might have in order to learn what time periods apply to your particular situation.


It is never a good idea to intentionally break the law.

Can you 'expect' immigration reform? No

Can you 'hope' ... sure.

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.


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.

Brian Schmitt
Hake & Schmitt
Attorneys at Law
P.O. Box 540 (419 Main St.), New Windsor, Maryland 21776
Phone: 410-635-3337

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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