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Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

Old Jul 29th 2011, 7:54 pm
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Default Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

Hi Guys,
Basically, I'm in need in some advice. I am a British Passport holder and I want to visit the US, and although I should quality for the WVP, I'm not completely certain that I do. Because in 1990 my family went on a holiday the US and liked it so much that they decided to stay (I was 5 years old at the time). I think there was supposed to be some sort of amnesty offered around that time period, through which we obtained social security numbers etc. It was a year later that my parents found out that they were never eligible for it and therefore it was not renewed. Instead of leaving at that point, they decided to stick it out - for about 12 years (2002, I was 17 at the time). I went to elementary, middle school, and nearly finished High school before my family decided to cut our losses and move back to London, where we have lived since.
I am 26 years old now and I want to visit the USA this Christmas to attend a wedding. Although I understand there would be 10 year ban on visiting the US for my parents, as they willingly overstayed, does the same apply to me (as I entered at the age of 5, and left at 17)? I did speak to an British immigration lawyer who told me that because I was under the age of 18 before I left I have not committed an offence as such and that I could buy a ticket tomorrow and go, and that I don't have to declare that I personally overstayed. But on ESTA is asks specifically if you have ever overstayed, and I do not want to run of lying by saying I have not. Any suggestions or advice anyone could give me would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Jul 29th 2011, 8:00 pm
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Default Re: Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

Your consultation with an attorney and his advice is correct. Overstay by a child who leaves the US before their 18th birthday is "forgiven" and you can approach your visit at one who has never violated US visitor or immigration laws.
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Old Jul 29th 2011, 8:13 pm
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Default Re: Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

Thank you for replying so quickly. But I just wanted to clarify that when I register with ESTA, I don't have to say that I overstayed? And could you point me in the direction of a website or document that says overstaying before the age of 18 would be forgiven?
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Old Jul 29th 2011, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Your consultation with an attorney and his advice is correct. Overstay by a child who leaves the US before their 18th birthday is "forgiven" and you can approach your visit at one who has never violated US visitor or immigration laws.
I would not say "forgiven" -- I would say that time prior to 18 does not "count" towards the unlawful presence. A useful analogy is to a "clock."

Ah, semantic, semantics. At times, even pedantic.
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Old Jul 29th 2011, 11:28 pm
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Default Re: Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

Originally Posted by sheepduckmango View Post
Thank you for replying so quickly. But I just wanted to clarify that when I register with ESTA, I don't have to say that I overstayed? And could you point me in the direction of a website or document that says overstaying before the age of 18 would be forgiven?
I believe that the answer is obvious as to what you required to give. Now, as to what the effect of putting down "no" when it should be "yes?" Good question -- but let me posit that the "cloud" of the Dark Forces includes your overstay in it ...

BTW, immigration lawyers are now getting business from people who felt "how would they know?" years ago.
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Old Jul 30th 2011, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

Originally Posted by S Folinsky View Post
I believe that the answer is obvious as to what you required to give. Now, as to what the effect of putting down "no" when it should be "yes?" Good question -- but let me posit that the "cloud" of the Dark Forces includes your overstay in it ...

BTW, immigration lawyers are now getting business from people who felt "how would they know?" years ago.
Thanks for clarifying! much appreciated. I'll post again if I get deported during Christmas
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Old Jul 30th 2011, 8:53 pm
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Default Re: Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

The 'clock' analogy is a good one. Basically what it means, is this: Someone who is unlawfully present in the US for more than 180 days, but less than a year will incur a 3 year bar on re-entry the day they leave the US. Someone unlawfully present for a year or more, will incur a 10 year bar on re-entry the day they they leave the US. A person begin accruing unlawful presence for the purpose of a bar at the age of 18.

There are some exceptions to this (Canadians and F1 entrants come to mind), but in your case since you left at the age of 17, you did not accrue any unlawful presence for the purpose of a bar, based on what you have posted. You could of course have other inadmissibilities you don't even know about, depending on what kind of actions or claims were made on your behalf during your stay in the US. You should also be aware that even though you did not accrue any unlawful presence for the purpose of a bar, by overstaying you were still unlawfully present and subject to removal if caught, even as a minor. Being unlawfully present and subject to removal, and accruing unlawful presence for the purpose of a bar are two separate things.

In my layman's opinion, I don't believe you are inadmissible to the US based on what you have posted, but I am not sure that you are eligible to travel on the VWP, either. I think you may need a B2 visitors visa. I also think another legal consultation may be in order.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide to do. It's too bad that you are in this situation now, because of the ill advised actions of your parents.
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 8:12 pm
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Default Re: Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

I am in no way suggesting you lie but; I think if this happened to other people, the majority wouldn't even know the legalities and that their parents hadn't kept to the rules. I wonder what would happen if you were ignorant (I know ignorance isn't an excuse for breaking the law) about the circumstances? Surely, if it did raise an issue, you wouldn't be penalized as it wasn't in your control?

Just thinking outloud I look forward to hearing about your experience after your travels.
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 8:25 pm
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Default Re: Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

You are not eligible to travel on the Visa Waiver Program, and must possess a valid visa for entry into the United States. If you overstayed the length of your authorized stay by more than 60 days, you are required to schedule an appointment with the Visa Coordination Officer to allow sufficient time for your case to be reviewed, as your application will be subject to greater scrutiny.

http://london.usembassy.gov/root/vis...izard013a.html
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 9:16 pm
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Default Re: Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

3 month old thread, without a follow up...just saying.
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Old Oct 18th 2011, 9:43 pm
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Default Re: Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
3 month old thread, without a follow up...just saying.
You know you're gonna be accused of being mean and nasty don't you?
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Old Oct 19th 2011, 1:11 am
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Default Re: Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
You know you're gonna be accused of being mean and nasty don't you?
That he is just kidding
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Old Oct 19th 2011, 2:06 am
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Default Re: Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
You know you're gonna be accused of being mean and nasty don't you?
Well, an open bar means he can work for free,...... at getting pissed...., along his way to Ca-na-ada, if he remembers how to get there the next morning.
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Old Oct 26th 2011, 7:13 pm
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Default Re: Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

Actually, I'm still here. I'm still not confident with any of the advice I have asked for so far, and then my employer wouldn't give me annual leave this Christmas anyway. I'm going to try to go next summer, after a full 10 years, and probably via Canada - At least if I get turned away I can hang out in Toronto
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Old Oct 26th 2011, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: Overstayed as a child - advice appreciated

Originally Posted by sheepduckmango View Post
Actually, I'm still here. I'm still not confident with any of the advice I have asked for so far, and then my employer wouldn't give me annual leave this Christmas anyway. I'm going to try to go next summer, after a full 10 years, and probably via Canada - At least if I get turned away I can hang out in Toronto
In that case make an appointment to consult with an immigration lawyer.
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