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When is a waiver necessary if someone overstays their visa?

There are many types of non-immigrant visas that foreigners can apply for in order to come to the United States. One that some readers may not be familiar with is a P-3 visa. This type of visa is granted to entertainers and artists as part of a “culturally unique” program. The program has to meet specific criteria and the artist does not need to be considered “outstanding” in their field.

Recently, a man living in Staten Island discussed an immigration dilemma he is facing after coming to the U.S. on a P-3 visa. He apparently came here three years ago but ended up staying longer than he was allowed. Recently, he married a U.S. citizen and wonders if he has to get a waiver as a condition of getting a green card.

In this situation, because he entered legally and married a U.S. citizen, he does not need to worry that the government will have an issue with the fact that he overstayed his visa. Therefore, no waiver is needed. There are situations that one may be needed, though, such as if he decided to leave the United States and then needed to get a visa to return.

Just like this man’s situation, every immigration story is unique and complicated in its own way. It makes sense, then, that many immigrants seek assistance from lawyers when applying for permanent residency or citizenship. The paperwork can be abundant, each with its own set of specific rules and fees. Going about them the right way can mean the difference between approval and denial.

Source: NY Daily News, “The wait to receive a Certificate of Citizenship from U.S. Immigration officials can be more than a year,” Allan Wernick, Feb. 19, 2014

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