When people think of immigration or citizenship violations, they often assume the violations stem from entering this country without proper permission or documentation.
However, thanks to the enormously complicated immigration system in this country, there are people who end up facing penalties for violations even though they went through the appropriate channels to enter the U.S. In fact, a report in The Wall Street Journal notes that roughly 40 percent of all the immigrant workers in the U.S. were once admitted legally but have overstayed their visas.
Researchers have noted that people who overstay visas are generally well-educated and have an average of over 13 years of schooling.
It might sound fairly easy to simply stay in the U.S. after a visa has expired, particularly for someone who is employed and proficient in English. It can seem like if you don't break the law or get into trouble, you can fly under the radar and stay here without the legal permission to do so. The fact that the U.S. doesn't track exits of people with temporary visas makes it seem even easier.
However, any person in this situation faces serious penalties once their status is identified. In some cases, a person can be prohibited from applying for another visa; in other cases, a person can be banned from the U.S. indefinitely.
If you are at risk of overstaying your visa or have already done so, you need to know your options to minimizing the potential penalties you could face. For more information, you can speak with an immigration attorney who can explain your rights and options.