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Immigration Issues/question about lawful and unlawful status in US


July 15th 2005 - Entered US on visa waiver program
Oct 11th 2005 (Notice date Oct.18th 2005)- USCIS recieved my application for Adjustment of status and an I-130 Petition for alien Relative, from my husband at the time (we are separated)
Jan 16th 2006 - I withdrew my AOS application, returned to my home country to live.
Question: Was I lawfully or unlawfully in the US given that I entred on I-94, and stayed in US after its 90 day expiry date. Total period in US-185 days.

I had assumed that I was lawfully in the US because my husband (at the time), petitioned for me and I applied for an AOS before the I-94 expired. Our marriage was legitamate and we have a child together.

The reason why I ask is because I am trying to visit US on a tourist visa to visit family  and a question asks if I was unlawfully in the US at any time, and I have asked the US consulate in our country, but they have not been able to assist me.

Can you help? thanks  

When you filed for the visa, within the proper time, you were not out of status.  When you decided to abandon your application, you were not out of status.  when you left you were not out of status.  Although there is a gray area in such situations where you abandon your petition and decide to leave since there is no fixed rule about how much time you have to leave, it would seem to me that you were well within the "safe" area and not any where close to the gray area.

Good luck.

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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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