How to Get a Visa If You Overstay

Updated July 19, 2017

Most countries require a visa, which is a document that gives foreign nationals permission to enter or live in a country. A visa is valid for a specific period of time, typically six months or 180 days. Many people overstay their visas, either through an oversight or deliberately, which can cause problems. Living in a country as a foreign national without a visa is illegal, so someone who has overstayed may find getting a new visa difficult.

Calculate how long you have overstayed by looking at your visa date stamps. This is important because you may be banned from the country. In the case of the United States, an overstay of six months results in a three-year ban from obtaining a visa or entering the country again. An overstay of one year in the U.S. results in a 10-year ban.

Return to your home country and apply for an additional visa if your overstay is under six months.Those who overstay are barred from using the Visa Waiver Program, which allows visits to a country without visa clearance.

Submit a hardship waiver if you can prove that not entering the country will result in extreme hardship, distress or injury to you if your overstay is more than six months. A visa expiration of more than six results in a three-year ban, and your application for a visa extension will be refused during this period.

Apply for a visa at a consulate in another country, other than your home country or visiting country, if you can show that "extraordinary circumstances" exist.


The visa of any person who overstays automatically is voided. Overstaying your visa results in a criminal record.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author