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What is a Visa Cancellation Under 222(g)?

By March 11, 2021Immigration
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If you were in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa and you remained in the U.S. beyond the period of authorized stay (you overstayed your I-94 ), your non-immigrant visa will be automatically voided. You will not be able to re-enter the U.S. on that visa and you will need to apply for a new visa at the U.S. Consulate in your country of nationality.

However, if you have another visa in your passport, you could enter on that visa. For example: You have an H-1B & B-2 visas in your passport. You were here on an H-1B visa and overstayed but you now want to enter on a B-2 visa for a short vacation. That is fine, because even though your H-1B visa was voided, you can still enter on the B-2 visa.

Example

You entered the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 status in August 2020. Your I-94 expired on March 1, 2021 but you did not realize that it expired and you overstayed in the U.S. for about 15 days. What happens to your B-1/B-2 visa?

Under the 222(g) rule, your visa will be automatically voided and if you want to come to the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 visa in the future, you would have to apply for a new visa at the U.S. Consulate in your country of nationality.

Do I always have to apply at the U.S. Consulate in my home country or are there any exceptions?

Generally yes, but there are some exceptions. For example, if you had a residence in a country other than country of your nationality immediately prior to your last entry to the U.S., you could apply for a new visa in that country.

Additionally, if you are a dual national, then you could apply in either country of which you are national (e.g. You are a national of the UK and India and your visa was voided – you could apply for a new visa in either the UK or India).

Another exception when you could apply in other country than the country you are a national of is if you timely filed a Change of Status  or Extension of Status petition, you stayed past your I-94, and you then left the U.S. while the application was pending. In this case, you will have to establish that you timely filed the change/extension of status petition, and you have not engaged in an unauthorized employment before the petition was filed or while it was pending, and that you had to leave the U.S. for urgent reasons. If you can prove all these elements, then you could apply for a new visa in a third country you are not a national of.

Please also note that you could apply for an individual exception on a case-by-case basis and the Consular officer would have a discretion to grant/deny this request.

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