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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.


Out Of Status

out of status

A U.S. visa allows the bearer to apply for entry to the U.S. in a certain classification, for a specific purpose. For example, student (F), visitor (B), temporary worker (H). Every visa is issued for a particular purpose and for a specific class of visitor. Each visa classification has a set of requirements that the visa holder must follow and maintain. When you arrive in the U.S., a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspector determines whether you will be admitted, length of stay and conditions of stay in, the U.S. When admitted you are given a Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record), which tells you when you must leave the U.S. The date granted on the I-94 card at the airport governs how long you may stay in the U.S. If you do not follow the requirements, you stay longer than that date, or you engage in activities not permitted for your particular type of visa, you violate your status and are considered be "out of status". It is important to understand the concept of immigration status and the consequences of violating that status. Failure to maintain status can result in arrest, and violators may be required to leave the U.S. Violation of status also can affect the prospect of readmission to the U.S. for a period of time, by making you ineligible for a visa. Most people who violate the terms of their status are barred from lawfully returning to the United States for years. See the U.S. Department of State Visa Expiration Date page for more information.

Source: Department of State. March 2007.

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