When can I reenter or apply for a U.S visa? 2 Answers as of June 08, 2011

I was an international student in Philadelphia, PA. I had financial problem at the time so I lost my student status, I was scare to having problem with the immigration so I voluntary leave the country 8months after that. So now my question is, when can I reenter in the U.S and when I can apply for a visitor visa? Thanks

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Fong & Associates
Fong & Associates | William D. Fong
You can, but you will have a problem with visa issuance as you did not maintain your student status while in the US. You will need to explain why you did not maintain your status and show that you were not out of status for more than 180 days. If you were, then you may have triggered a 3-year bar.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 6/8/2011
Calderón Seguin PLC
Calderón Seguin PLC | Ofelia L. Calderon
Technically, it sounds like you can apply for a tourist visa at any time. The length of stay permitted for a student is usually something called duration of status, meaning that your I-94 says D/S rather than an actual date. This means that even if you fall out of status, you are not actually accruing unlawful presence for purposes of the 3 and 10 year bar which is what I think you are worried about. In your case, you probably were out of status, but do not have unlawful presence. This means that you are not statutorily barred from applying for a new visa. This doesn't mean you will get one, but it means you can try. They can always deny you for discretionary reasons because you did in fact fall out of status, but a good explanation may go a long way.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 6/8/2011
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