Risks of overstaying in the US

The USA is one of the most popular destinations for visitors throughout the year, especially during the Christmas season. If this is your first time traveling to this territory, or if it has been more than 2 years since you last returned, you must apply for ESTA authorization, if your country is a member of the Visa Waiver Program.

The application is simple as you only need to fill out the ESTA form online. Three cases can then arise:

  • your application is approved;
  • your request is denied;
  • your request is pending.

If you are granted ESTA authorization, it means that you have the right to be in the United States whenever you want for a period often equivalent to 3 months maximum. As a reminder, this ESTA authorization is valid for a period of 2 years.

What happens if I miss my deadline?

Once you have overstayed your welcome, you are automatically considered an illegal immigrant.

Obviously, to avoid this unpleasant situation, you must make sure that you leave the United States before the deadline. If not, this can lead to a ban, or even a refusal of entry into the United States ranging from 3 to 10 years depending on the duration of the violation.

In the event that the limit is exceeded, the consular officer will ask you about the reasons why. If you have a good argument (accident, medical problem, force majeure, etc.) you will be able to return to the USA without any problem. However, if your argument does not convince the U.S. administration, you will automatically be penalized and noted as an individual intending to reside illegally in the U.S.

What to do to avoid such a situation

If for any reason your stay could be longer than 90 days, it is strongly advised to apply for a visa while discarding the ESTA application. In fact, some types of visas will allow you to stay in the United States for a period longer than 3 months.

Moreover, with a visa, you can extend your stay by simply submitting a motivated request. This does not apply to ESTA authorization, unless it is a medical emergency or a request for political asylum.

However, stays of more than 90 days are rare and often require long and expensive administrative procedures. If you are certain that your stay will be less than 3 months, you can simply apply for ESTA authorization on this site. This authorization allows you to stay on American soil legally and safely.