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Hello.  I have a friend that came to the U.S. with a tourist visa.  She was approved for a stay up to tomorrow, May 19th.  She decided to remain in the U.S. to attend school to learn English to be able to pursue an MBA at a local university.  She applied for the F1 visa but has not received an approval or denial.  Does she need to notify an office in USCIS telling them that beginning tomorrow she will have overstayed her visit and now she is waiting for the results of the application to extend/change nonimmigrant status?  What regulation or advice can you recommend for her to avoid problems?  Thank you.

Well since she overstayed her visa, the only option she has is to leave the US to pursue the visa.  If she stays in the USA more than 180 days after the visa expired, she will be barred from re-entry for 3 years.  If she stays in the USA more than 1 year after the visa expired she will be barred for 10 years. As you can see, overstaying the visa is a real mistake and should not be done.  She will NEVER be able to pursue her MBA or any other degree if she overstays for more than 180 days.

It is a real pity she did not contact an attorney familiar with these matters since it would have saved her a lot of time, trouble, and money.  She could have simply filed for an extension of the tourist visa and hopefully the F1 would be issued before the extension expired.

Now her only option is going to be to leave the country, return to her home country, and wait for the visa to be approved and then to have the visa issued out of the consulate where her home is.  

Best of luck.

Immigration Issues

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Alexander J. Hay


I am a U.S. lawyer with offices in Houston, Texas and in Belize. I can answer questions on U.S. Immigration, U.S. corporate law, and Offshore Tax and Asset Planning.
If you are on an H or L visa I am NOT GOING TO ANSWER your questions since they are usually highly fact oriented, and also you have a company attorney handling the whole thing. Call your own attorney please! If you disregard this request, don't be surprised if I answer with "homework question".


I am a U.S. attorney with offices in the United States and Belize. I have experience helping to protect assets, reduce taxes, and improve investment performance by utilizing global investment techniques.

Harvard University, A.B. degree; University of Houston Law Center, J.D. Degree; Fulbright Scholar

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