I was taken to the US when I was 11, in 1999 with a parent. We stayed illegally until u decided to move back to my home country voluntarily in 2005 when I was 17, I was becoming an adult and realizing my illegal status and all the problems I had started to face due to that. After ten years of living in my home country, I decided I wanted to visit the US and in 2015 I applied for a tourist visa. I had a good job for about 7 years at that point and was honest about my overstayed time on my application. I was able to receive my visa without issue and is valid for ten years. Since 2015, I have made annual trips to vacation in the US and have never overstayed my time. I now want to apply for an F1 visa because I want to attend school in the US. Will I have any issue getting this? I’m assuming they won’t be very hard on me since I currently have a tourist visa which I have not abused, plus I was a minor at the time I overstayed and it wasn’t my choice to do so, I also left voluntarily before I turned 18.


Grounds of inadmissibility related to previous immigration violations are established generally, at 8 USC 1182, so they apply equally to tourist visas and student visas. The fact that the Department of State issued you a tourist visa after you were "honest about my overstayed time" implies that they have determined that this time does not trigger the relevant grounds of inadmissibility.

Therefore, it is very unlikely that they would refuse a student visa for the same reason, unless some independent factor arises that causes them to reconsider the earlier determination of that question. Furthermore, your subsequent compliance with immigration law should certainly work in your favor.

Of course, nobody other than the visa officer examining your application can say for certain whether it will be granted, but in general you should not fear that your history would be viewed more negatively for a student visa than for a tourist visa.

  • But you don't have to have a "ground of inadmissibility related to previous violations" to be denied most types of nonimmigrant visas, including visitor or student visas. The most common reason to be denied is the "failure to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent". – user102008 Apr 25 '19 at 14:44
  • @user102008 sure. The visa can be denied for any of several reasons. I meant to cover that by saying "nobody other than the visa officer examining your application can say for certain whether it will be granted." But it would not make sense for the visa to be denied because of the previous immigration violation when other visas have been granted subsequent to that violation. – phoog Apr 25 '19 at 14:48

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