What You Must Know About Overstaying Your Visa
When you travel to a new country, you are expected to come in with a visa stating the stipulated period of your stay. Some people for one reason or the other overstay this stipulated period and it is not good as it has some punishment attached.
When issued a visa, it is important that you understand the terms and conditions involved to avoid problems while staying abroad. Overstaying your visa in a foreign country is a serious offense and can cost you certain privileges.
To avoid consequences arising from overstaying a visa, it is best that you leave the country before the visa expires and then apply for a new one.
Some Consequences of Overstaying a Visa
The penalty for overstaying a visa in a foreign country differs from country to country. Although there are common punishments one is likely to face for violating the stipulated visa duration.
Overstaying your visa in a foreign country can lead to deportation to your home country. In most cases, you will be charged with covering the cost of the flight.
You could get arrested and placed in jail or prison for overstaying your visa in some countries.
- Travel Ban
Overstaying your visa can earn you a ban on the country. Some countries can decide to impose more than one punishment at a time. You could get arrested, banned, and fined for overstaying your visa.
Countries like Saudi Arabia have a fee up to the tune of $270 for overstaying a visa.
The United States of America issues travel bans to defaulters. This travel ban can range from 3 – 10 years and in some cases a permanent entry ban depending on your case.
Some Valid Reasons To Overstay A Visa
There are certain situations in which visa holders may overstay their visas for fear of being punished. It is best to clarify with the immigration office to avoid complications.
These reasons vary from country to country, but very often cases requiring serious medical attention can warrant the visa holder to overstay the stipulated visa duration.
Some other valid reasons to overstay a visa include:
- Effects of natural disaster on your home country
- A severe pandemic like the COVID-19
Note that regardless of your reasons, you will be expected to provide a valid document to support your claims. In cases of serious medical attention, some countries provide Extension of Stay (EOS) or a Change of Status (COS) to enable the visa holder to extend their stay while being medically attended to.
To avoid complications while staying abroad, you can extend your visa or apply for a new one.
The process of application is quite easy. Most countries use the Electronic Visa System (eVisa) to allow immigrants to apply for a visa online. All you will need to do is simply cross a land border and finish up your application process. With that in place, you can return to the country.
In cases where the country has no eVisa system, you will have to leave the country to your home country and then apply for a new visa.
Nevertheless, some countries offer visa applicants the possibility of extending their visa while in the country provided their visas are still valid.
Always research properly on visa application and extension process of the country you intend to travel to before you move.
Countries With Strict Visa Overstay Punishment
The penalty for overstaying a visa differs from country to country, but these countries are known to be very strict with theirs.
- Germany: a possible prison time up to a year
- Greece: you get fined up to $1,200
- USA: travel ban of 3 – 10 years and a possible permanent entry ban.