Travel Concern for 3-Year or 10-Year Bar on Reentry to the U.S.

Help Desk:

I entered US with a B-2 visiting visa about 3 years ago, and stayed in US thereafter. 

I heard that I can not travel outside US, and there is a 3-year bar on reentry to the US. It it true? and how to measure the unlawful presence?

Answer: With respect to travel, persons who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 days are barred from reentering the country for three years following departure. This increases to a ten-year bar for individuals who are unlawfully present for over a year.

Unlawful presence is measured from the time when either the I-94 expires or there is a finding that one is out of status. Thus, without a valid I-94 for over 180 days, there is a three- or ten-year bar to one's reentering the U.S., if s/he travels abroad. Reinstating the status without backdating the I-94, therefore, does not solve all problems in this situation.


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