Will I be in US illegally if I stay after my visa expires for a court date? 5 Answers as of December 19, 2010

While in the US on an F-1 visa, I was accused of a DUI. I plan to move back to Canada before the court date and my visa expires before the court date anyway. If I have to stay or come back to go to court, will I be allowed to stay or come back to the US legally?

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Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
The answer is it depends. I would not fail to appear at the DUI hearing, because if you do not, you will have a bench warrant against you, which the CIS will take as evidence of guilt should you apply to enter the USA again. If you appear, you could subsequently leave, without any penalty against you, as long as your departure is less than 6 months after the expiration
date on your I-94. If there is any other way I can be of help, please call or e-mail me for an in-person or phone consultation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/19/2010
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny | Svetlana Boukhny
If you are a Canadian citizen, you would be visa exempt. The F-1 I-94 does not have a definite expiration date but indicates D/S, so as long as you are a student in valid status, you can remain in the US.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions or how I can be of further assistance to you in this matter.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/29/2010
441 Legal Group, Inc.
441 Legal Group, Inc. | Gareth H. Bullock
No you will not be here legally if you stay past your authorized time, which is not when your visa expires. If you were given a I-94 with a date or a D/S stamp that's what you should look at. If you are a Canadian citizen you should be able to enter the US without any issues.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/24/2010
Marie Michaud Attorney At Law
Marie Michaud Attorney At Law | Marie Michaud
An F-1 visa is issued so that you can enter the country. When you enter the US, you get F-1 status. The two (status and visa) are different things. You must enter the US before the visa expires. When you entered the US, the officer saw your visa, then gave you F-1 status. Your status is usually indicated as D/S, which means duration of status. Until an immigration judge or some other immigration officials say you are illegal, you are OK. You are not accumulating days of illegality until this official said you have been doing some unauthorized things, such as working or failed to attend school. (It doesn't matter that you visa already expired, because you entered before it expired).

However, many schools will notify the authorities if you no longer attend the school, thus leading to problems. You might want to continue attending school until your DUI case is complete or may want to fle a change of status, explaining you have to attend court and has money in the bank to cover your living expenses.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/23/2010
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
You should be okay on the immigration side. but preferably, you should apply for extension of stay quoting court date as the cause.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/23/2010
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