My daughter submitted the I-130 for me and my wife. We do not live in the USA, but when the green card application comes in, do we have to pay for a forgiveness for overstaying? It's been more than 10 years since we overstayed. Or do we proceed as a normal application for a green card?

  • What was the reason for the overstay?
    – Traveller
    Sep 25 at 6:43
  • 6
    I would respectfully recommend you talk to a lawyer, not strangers on the internet
    – Ozzy
    Sep 25 at 7:31
  • 2
    What's "paying for a forgiveness for overstaying" ?
    – Johnnyjanko
    Sep 25 at 7:45
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    @Johnnyjanko it's perhaps something that I understand is possible in some countries, where you pay a fine and that's the end of the matter. There is no such procedure in the US.
    – phoog
    Sep 25 at 8:04
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    @GiacomoCatenazzi: "But if your daughter is not an US citizen, the I-130 backlog is years long" No, only a US citizen can petition a parent to immigrate.
    – user102008
    Sep 25 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


You would proceed as normal. There is no fine for overstay, being out of status, or unlawful presence in the US.

There is a ban for accruing certain amounts of "unlawful presence" and then leaving the US under INA 212(a)(9)(B) (8 USC 1182(a)(9)(B)). Specifically, accruing 180 days of unlawful presence and then leaving the US triggers a 3-year ban; accruing 1 year of unlawful presence and then leaving the US triggers a 10-year ban. The rules on who accrues unlawful presence are complex, and you have not provided enough information to determine whether you accrued unlawful presence (you said "overstay" but that is not a well-defined term; "overstay" might be used to describe being out of status, but being out of status does not by itself mean unlawful presence is being accrued), but it doesn't matter either way. Even if you had accrued more than 1 year of unlawful presence and left, the 10-year ban would be over, so either way, you do not have a ban now.

You would generally have no problem getting an immigrant visa now if you do not have a ban now. You do not need (and cannot get) any waiver since you do not have a ban now. You would have to truthfully answer any questions on the visa application form regarding being out of status in the past. Unlike with nonimmigrant visas, which have generic reasons for denial like "failure to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent", immigrant visas can generally only be denied if specific grounds of inadmissibility apply.

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