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Transit Visa Questions

What is a transit visa?

A transit visa is a document that provides authorization for a person to pass through a certain country on their way to another country. A transit visa usually lasts for about five days or less before it becomes void. It is not usually hard to obtain a transit visa; one only needs to have a clean background before applying for one. Not all countries use transit visas depending on the reason behind one being in the stated country. Read below to find questions that have been answered by the Experts directed to transit visa.

If one comes into the U.S. on a transit visa but wishes to change their status and become a permanent resident, what are some things the person can do to stay?

Unfortunately, there are no options for what one can do unless they were getting married to a legal U.S. citizen. If one is not getting married, they have no way to be able to stay. A person cannot get back into status once their certain type of visa has expired unless that person has a U.S. citizen petitioning them, most likely a soon to be spouse or, if one has already married that person, their husband or wife.

If a person comes into the United States on a transit visa, what would the penalty be if that person overstayed and did not go to the third country as planned, but back to their home country instead?

If one overstays even one day, their visa will be cancelled and they will be in the country illegally. Once a person chooses to stay for over 180 days and then leaves the country, they cannot come back for three years. If one chooses to stay in the United States for one year or more and then leaves, that person cannot come back into the country for 10 years. A person who chooses to go back to their hometown instead of the third country that was planned would not get into trouble. However, if they were to go to any countries surrounding the United States such as Canada or Mexico, their time before they can re-enter the United States would not restart.

If one comes into the United States with a transit visa and gets married to a U.S. citizen, are they allowed to apply for their Green Card?

If an immigrant coming into the country on a transit visa stays in the country and gets married to a U.S. citizen instead of leaving for the third country, they can risk applying for a Green Card. It is a bit risky if the person’s transit visa has expired. There are certain forms that would need to be filled out and sent in order for the application process to begin. These forms include the I-130 (Petition for a Family Member), the I-145 (Application for Lawful Permanent Residency), the I-765 (Application for Work Permit), the I-131 (Application for Travel Permit), and the G-325a (Biographic Data). When filing these forms, one must remember that supporting evidence must be provided with each form. After filling out these forms and sending them in for the United States Citizenship and Immigrant Services (USCIS) to look at, one is advised to hire a lawyer to help argue for one’s case because the USCIS will look at the transit visa on the person’s record and want to disqualify that person for any type of permanent residency or Green Card that would have possibly been given if the transit visa was a different type of visa that had not reached its expiration date.

Can a person pass through the United States without a transit visa or any other kind of visa if they have been denied travel by the ESTA due to a previously denied visa application?

If one has been denied travel by the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), that person will not be able to enter into the United States without a Once one has been denied by the ESTA, they would have to apply and be approved for a transit visa. The United States government does not allow entrance into the country without a visa of some sort. There is no longer a Transit without Visa Program if one does not have ESTA approval.

When it comes to transit visas, people tend to decide, once they reach the United States, that they do not want to travel to the third country in their original plan of travel. Many people want to find a way to change the transit visa that they have received into some sort of document that will allow permanent residence. There are many questions that can arise when it comes to transit visas. When questions arise about transit visas, or any other questions, direct those questions towards the Experts.
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