Hi I'm from Australia and went to US on 3 month visitor visa in 1986 but ended up overstaying by about one & a half years. I wanted to return home and I went to Australian embassy and told them and they said as long as I buy my own ticket and fly home I'm ok. I vaguely remember them saying something about a ban, but as it was 30 years ago I honestly dont remember. I think the bans came in in 1996. Is this correct? What was the policy with overstaying in the late 1980's?
You are correct, the ban came into effect in 1997.
BUT, because of your overstay, you probably won't qualify for ESTA and will need to apply for a tourist visa at the US Consul.
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Even if there was a ban. It was 30 years ago. You will be ok
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