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The penalties for overstaying a visa

When an individual's visa expires, he or she must leave the country. However, an individual may be able to extend his or her visa to remain in Texas or any other state legally. This can be done by mailing a request to the USCIS or through the organization's website. An extension may be granted if the individual is lawfully in the country and has not committed an illegal act while here.

If a person's visa expires, he or she must leave the country. Failure to do so could result in a prison term of up to four years. The sentence may be extended to 10 years if a person is being removed for smuggling or committing other serious crimes. There could also be a $2,000 fine for not leaving the country in a timely manner, and penalties may also apply to those making it difficult for the government to remove another individual.

In some cases, a visa can be tolled, which means that an individual will not accrue time spent in the United States illegally. This is important because time accrued as an unlawful resident could determine when an individual is allowed back into the country. This clock may stop if a person is a victim of human trafficking or has a legitimate asylum claim on file with the USICS.

If a person is the subject of removal proceedings, it doesn't mean that he or she can't make an argument to remain in the United States. If a person asks for asylum or changes their residency status, that may be enough to avoid being sent back to that person's country of origin. An attorney may be able to help an immigrant in court and work to increase the odds of that person obtaining a favorable outcome.

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