During my most recent interview last year I was told I was on a 10 year ban because I overstayed my visa by a year and half and was over 18 years old. Even though I told the consular officer that my visa was under my parents passport and traveled at the age of 13 and left when I was 20 and had no choice but to wait until I had a stable situation before going back to Europe, I was still considered to have a 10 l-year ban.

Not knowing I had the 10-year ban, I still went back to the States to visit my family at least 12 times within the last ten years and answered no and all questions on the ESTA since I didn’t know I overstayed my visa and that I had a 10-year ban.

Now I am in the process of re-applying again but I'm scared that the officer will ban me for life if they consider that I should have known.

What can I do to prove them that I had no idea so it wouldn’t affect my IR1 immigration visa?

Thanks for the help.

  • 9
    You might need an immigration lawyer.
    – gerrit
    Aug 27, 2017 at 14:16
  • I am trying to avoid that....because i have nothing to hide ......I told the truth. I am just wondering if they would mention it and ask me since they didnt last time.
    – Paul
    Aug 27, 2017 at 15:39
  • 1
    Were you asked about overstays in the paperwork for your previous travel? Aug 27, 2017 at 16:15
  • I was ask why i overstayed 10 years ago but it didnt make a difference since I was over 18 eventhough I didn’t know at the time i was overstaying my visa since my visa was under my parents passport not mine.
    – Paul
    Aug 27, 2017 at 18:18
  • 2
    @Paul - you have nothing to hide and say the truth: but you may need to hire an experienced immigration lawyer to help you explain your situation to immigration officer in a way beneficial to you, in the terms immigration officer thinks. Job of immigration officer is not to help you but to prevent illegal immigration. OTOH, job of your lawyer is to help YOU. Sep 1, 2017 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


You should have no problem getting an immigrant visa if you don't have a ban. Your 10-year 9B ban for accruing 1 year of unlawful presence and departing is over. What other ban can you have?

There is no ban for entering the US while you are under a ban, if that's what you're worried about. They shouldn't have let you in, but they did, and there is no ban for having gotten in like that. Whether you knew that you were under a ban or not is also not relevant by itself.

One ban to consider is the lifetime 6C ban for fraud or misrepresentation. The places where there may potentially have been misrepresentation are on the ESTA applications and at the port of entry on your travels when you entered on the Visa Waiver Program. That's why some people asked you in comments whether you were asked a question about overstay on your ESTA applications (e.g. something like "Have you ever stayed in the United States longer than the admission period granted to you by the U.S. government?"). The questions on an ESTA application have changed many times over the years, and I don't know what exact questions you got (do you know?), but if it asked about overstay, and you answered no, that could be misprepresentation.

  • @user102008- I just remember the last ESTA I did and I checked it did ask if I ever stayed and I said no because back in 2015 I was not aware of the ban only a year later I found out......so once I did my interview at the embassy in 2016 and was rejected my visa I received a update mail from ESTA stating that my current ESTA stating that I was no longer able to travel to the us under the visa waiver program. So I have not been back since 2015. And no I do not have any other bans.
    – Paul
    Sep 6, 2017 at 18:38
  • 1
    @Paul: Whether you were aware you had a ban is not relevant because that's not what the question asked. I think you're saying that the question asked if you ever overstayed. (I am not sure from your description "it did ask if I ever stayed".) Were you not aware that you overstayed?
    – user102008
    Sep 6, 2017 at 21:18
  • @user102008- Yes sorry I meant overstay no stay. No I was not aware of it since my visa was under my parents passport and never knew until I asked.
    – Paul
    Sep 7, 2017 at 7:23
  • 2
    @Paul: But you were an adult living in the US for years and you believed the whole time that your status didn't expire until after the date you left? You should be prepared to deal with potentially having a ban for misrepresentation on your ESTA applications.
    – user102008
    Sep 8, 2017 at 0:57
  • no I never asked since the whole family was there, the only reason why I left was because I couldn’t afford college in the US and went back to Europe.
    – Paul
    Sep 10, 2017 at 13:02

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