If You’ve Committed a Crime on an Expired Visa are You Automatically Deported?

Today’s political climate has made things very difficult for people who are immigrants or visitors to the United States. This is true for those who have done everything right, so if you are a noncitizen and have either overstayed your visa or have committed a crime, you have good reason for concern. Both overstaying your visa and committing certain types of crime can leave you vulnerable to removal from the United States. However, there are certain deportation defenses that an experienced attorney can provide.

If you have been convicted of nearly any crime as a noncitizen, there is a very good chance that the government will attempt to deport you, especially if your visa has also expired and you no longer have legal status in the United States. There are three types of crimes that most frequently lead to removal from the country. They include:

  • Crimes of moral turpitude for which a prison sentence of one year or more can be handed down, regardless of the sentence that has actually been imposed or two or more crimes of moral turpitude that did not arise out of a single episode of misconduct
  • An aggravated felony, regardless of the length of the possible sentence
  • Specific listed crimes including drug crimes, illegal firearms possession or sales, espionage, domestic violence, stalking, child abuse or neglect, human trafficking, terrorist activity and more

Committing a crime is not the only grounds for deportation, and the Trump administration has made it clear that they are actively taking steps to pursue those noncitizens who have remained in the United States beyond their visa time limit. Removal proceedings can generally begin once you have overstayed your visa by 180 days or more, and if you are in this category but have been in the country illegally for less than one year, you will not be permitted back into the country for three years after your deportation. Those who have overstayed their visa by more than one year are inadmissible for 10 years. By contrast, those who have overstayed their visa for less than 180 days must leave the country, but are immediately eligible to apply to return immediately.

There are certain steps that you can take if you wish to extend your visa, but hiding from the United States Citizen and Immigration Services is not a good option. If you would like information on how to extend your visa, or if you have overstayed your visa, your best course of action is to seek the guidance of an immigration law attorney, who can help you navigate the appropriate steps and, if necessary, provide you with a knowledgeable deportation defense. These defenses can include extraordinary circumstances beyond your control, not having done anything to violate your nonimmigrant status, and not doing anything to violate your nonimmigrant status.