Immigration Issues/Overstaying issues


I overstayed my F1 visa for almost 3 years, but when I was living in US I met an American citizen and we started a relationship. I came back to my country a year ago for personal reasons, and now he wants to marry me. Someone told him I would not be allowed to go back to US in 10 years because I overstayed, and we are worried about it, because he doesn’t want to live here. How does that really work? Please help.
Thank you in advance.

Eileen Chun-Fruto, Los Angeles immigration attorney writes:

Dear Ruthie,

Sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you.  The "10 year bar" as it is lovingly called, is a rule that prevents a person from re-entering the US for 10 years if they have overstayed in the US for more than 1 year.  This is a really tough rule and it kills a lot of cases from going forward.  You on the other hand entered an overstayed, but as an F-1.  Due to a technicality, F-1s don't get hit by the 10 year bar.  However, your case is nonetheless complicated by the fact that your fiance is not residing in the US and because you did overstay, which is always causes additional legal issues.   

Our office works a lot with people in your same situation and you need to know that you can proceed but should look for a lawyer.  Mis-steps are easily made but if your case is done correctly, you and your fiance can return to the US together.  There are several options that you have and if you would like more information, visit our website or do some homework and contact me again on

Kind regards,
Eileen Chun-Fruto

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Eileen Chun-Fruto


I can answer any employment-based immigration question including questions about PERM labor certifications, H-1B skilled workers, L-1A multinational managers or executives and L-1B specialized knowledge, R-1 and I-360 religious workers, investor cases (E Treaty Trader and E Treaty Investors and EB-5 "million dollar investors") and O-1 extraordinary ability cases. I can also answer any questions regarding family-based immigration, such as adoptions, waiver cases, consular processing (using foreign consulates to enter as an immigrant), marriage and fiance/fiancee cases, 245(i) cases, VAWA (Violence Against Women's Act), battered spouses, and Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).


I have over 12 years of experience in business and family immigration. I was a former law clerk for the Executive Officer for Immigration Review (the immigration courts) in San Francisco and I current serve as the California Service Center's (CSC) liaison on behalf of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. I represent individuals and corporations alike, ranging from professionals in the high tech, science, liberal arts fields. I have a special niche in working with start-up companies and individuals with more complex immigration issues.

Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Executive Committee on Immigration

J.D., University of California at Davis - King Hall School of Law (1997) B.A., University of California at Irvine, cum laude (1994)

Awards and Honors
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008: Selected to Southern California Rising Star - Super Lawyers List (an honor shared by no more than 2.5% of the attorneys practicing in the entire Southern California region) Faculty/Moderator on various AILA and LACBA continuing legal education seminars in the following topics: H-1B, O-1, religious workers, business immigration visas

Past/Present Clients
My typical business clients can range from a start-up company, established engineering and software research and development companies, manufacturing, trade and distribution companies, public and private schools, and religious organizations. Family clients include spouses, parent-child petitions, siblings, naturalization, and most especially, representation of abandoned and neglected children viewed as orphans under the immigration law. I have represented many clients who relied on special provisions of the immigration law to preserve or "grandfather" benefits to family members in limited (and complicated) circumstances, to avoid re-application fees and longer waiting times.

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