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Umka36

Visa overstays get short shrift in border security debate

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The focus always tends to be on EWIs (Entered Without Inspection).

Agent here told me that this is one way to catch Overstays:

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/562879-cbp-at-tsa-airport-checkpoints-why-theyre-there-how-best-to-handle/


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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I don't understand why we don't have a visa exit system similar to Schengen. It should be elementary.

Few people discuss how it would actually benefit millions of prospective visitors each year. The main obstacle to acquiring a tourist visa today is overcoming INA 214(b). If we implemented an exit tracking system and just said "gloves off and no AOS" when people do willingly overstay, I'd presume the burden of proof to overcome 214(b) would be far lower for the tens of millions of legitimate tourists worldwide.

But what do I know?

Edited by JayJayH

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I don't understand why we don't have a visa exit system similar to Schengen. It should be elementary.

Few people discuss how it would actually benefit millions of prospective visitors each year. The main obstacle to acquiring a tourist visa today is overcoming INA 214(b). If we implemented an exit tracking system and just said "gloves off and no AOS" when people do willingly overstay, I'd presume the burden of proof to overcome 214(b) would be far lower for the tens of millions of legitimate tourists worldwide.

But what do I know?

Yes, the AOS system is completely broken.

Overstayers who actually leave are treated harshly but you can overstay for decades without leaving, working illegally the whole time and if you can find a USC then you get completely forgiven.

It's a personal thing for me, my overstay was out of my control for reasons I can't go into but I accept blame for staying as long as I did.

I accept the penalty for doing so.

But even now, years after my ban has ended I am still being punished as I am still unable to visit the US.

I left the US voluntarily because I hated being out of status and because I knew I didn't belong there.

But if I'd carried on living there, ignoring the laws, if I'd taken a job and lived under the radar I would have been forgiven for breaking the rules without penalty.

Instead I'm punished for doing the right thing by leaving.

If AOS and forgiveness for immediate relatives was abolished then an incentive to overstay would disappear and I think more people would have the chance to travel to the US if the pathways to abuse of the system were closed.


August 2000: We start e-mailing. I'm in Bosnia, she's in Florida

October 29th 2000: She sends me e-mail asking if I would marry her

October 29th 2000(5 seconds later): I say yes

November 2000: She sends me tickets to Orlando for when I get back

December 6th 2000: Return from Bos

December 11th 2000: Fly to Orlando, she meets me at airport

December 22nd 2000: I fly back to UK

January 3rd 2001: She flies to UK (Good times)

Mid February 2001: Pregnancy test Positive

Mid February 2001: She flies back to US

March 2001: Miscarriage, I fly to US on first flight I can get

May 2001: I leave US before my 90 days are up

June 2001: I fly back to US, stopped at airport for questioning as I had only just left

September 2001: Pregnancy test Positive again

September 2001: She falls sick, I make decision to stay to look after her as I am afraid I may have problems getting back in.

April 16th 2002: Our son is born, we start getting stuff together for his passport

March 6th 2003: We leave US for UK as family

Early April 2003: Family troubles make her return to US, I ask Embassy in London about possibilities of returning to US

April 16th 2003: London Embassy informs me that I will be banned from the Visa Waiver Program for 10 years, my little boys first birthday

June 13th 2006: I-129f sent

August 11th 2006: NOA1 Recieved

After our relationship breaks down she admits to me that she had never bothered to start the application process

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Yes, the AOS system is completely broken.

Overstayers who actually leave are treated harshly but you can overstay for decades without leaving, working illegally the whole time and if you can find a USC then you get completely forgiven.

It's a personal thing for me, my overstay was out of my control for reasons I can't go into but I accept blame for staying as long as I did.

I accept the penalty for doing so.

But even now, years after my ban has ended I am still being punished as I am still unable to visit the US.

I left the US voluntarily because I hated being out of status and because I knew I didn't belong there.

But if I'd carried on living there, ignoring the laws, if I'd taken a job and lived under the radar I would have been forgiven for breaking the rules without penalty.

Instead I'm punished for doing the right thing by leaving.

If AOS and forgiveness for immediate relatives was abolished then an incentive to overstay would disappear and I think more people would have the chance to travel to the US if the pathways to abuse of the system were closed.

I'm sorry for your situation - And I do agree.

I can understand that a student who has been in the U.S. for four years, or someone on an H-1b for the past five years might meet someone or AOS through their family eventually. But if you're a genuine tourist, I have a difficult time seeing much sense in an AOS system that essentially forgives you for willingly and knowingly abusing it. Waivers for certain unforeseen circumstances - Absolutely. Waivers for "I'm going to move to America on a tourist visa and live there illegally until I can get circumvent the laws" - Really?

I would be a whole lot easier for relatives to visit the U.S. if the AOS loophole was tightened.

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