How can I be affected if I overstay my tourist visa?

In my Consulta Migratoria® column this week I answer a question from a reader who violated the terms of his tourist visa.

Each case is different and the answers vary depending on each person's immigration history.

Here I provide general answers to your questions. Please consult with an immigration attorney to receive personalized legal advice before starting any procedure.

This is the column:

I live in Colombia. Last year I was in the U.S. on a tourist visa and due to a problem I had to stay an extra month and I did not ask for permission. Will I be able to return to the U.S. on my tourist visa or if an employer hires me? -Diego C.

Diego, in general, a tourist visa is cancelled when you exceed the time that the U.S. government authorizes for your legal stay in the country.

You cannot return to the U.S. on the tourist visa you were previously granted because your overstay was automatically cancelled.

If you want to get your visa back, you must go to the U.S. Embassy in Colombia to reapply for it. This is necessary even if the expiration date of your visa has not expired. Keep in mind that you may be denied a new visa because you have previously overstayed your authorized time in the country.

If you attempt to enter the U.S. on such a visa, customs agents may deny you entry into the country.

The fact that you violated the terms of your visa could also affect you if you try to apply for a visa through work in the future.

I recommend that you consult with a licensed immigration attorney in the United States before making any other immigration arrangements. The attorney will determine your legal options, including whether you will be able to regain your tourist visa or apply for a work visa.