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What does it mean to be “out of status?”

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2022 | Immigration Law

People can immigrate to the United States in many different ways, and the status that you get will depend on what you choose. For instance, someone who decides to come to the U.S. to go to college can get a student visa. Someone else may be offered a job in the U.S. and move here with an employment visa. These are just two of the more common ways to come to the U.S.

If this is how you establish your status, what does it mean to be “out of status” and how could that happen?

Violating the terms

Every visa is given out with certain terms that have to be followed. When these are violated, that can mean that the person is out of status because they didn’t adhere to the regulations.

For instance, someone who comes to the U.S. on an employment visa may be out of status if they promptly quit their job and then stay in the country. They were only supposed to immigrate for that job, so they’ve broken the terms.

Many visas also come with an end date. That visa may not last forever, and the individual needs to leave the country when it expires. If they fail to do so, then they are also out of status, and they need to either adjust their status or get a different visa.

What options do you have?

You may have found yourself in a complex situation where unforeseen events have put your status in jeopardy. If so, it’s very important for you to understand the legal steps that you can take and all the options to avoid deportation.