On August 18, 2010 we were the first to report the new trend coming from some local Immigration offices, mainly San Diego, regarding Visa Waiver overstay Issues. Click here to read the post as well as the Adjustment of Status denial we posted that same week.
We are happy to report that we were able to overturn the Appeal denial of that same case a few weeks ago, making this one of the only visa waivers approvals since this new policy started in July. While this is a small victory for us and our clients, the Visa Waiver overstay denial policy still continues in San Diego at this time.
Due to some of publicity efforts, National Public Radio and KPBS covered this story this morning, click here to listen online.
If you come to the United States with a passport from a European country or Japan, you can stay here for 90 days, and can commonly overstay without a problem.
But not in San Diego anymore. In the last year, a growing number of visitors on what’s known as a Visa Waiver here have been asked to leave after 90 days by local immigration authorities.
Lawyer Jacob Sapochnick observes that San Diego seems to be taking this initiative on its own, despite federal directives.
“Maybe they’re tired of all the people overstaying, and people illegally coming to the U.S.,” said Sapochnick, trying to find a reason for the shift in practices. “Maybe they have decided to take the only initiative, and using that discretion that they have, and deny those cases.”
About 150,000 visitors from 34 countries use the Visa Waiver each year. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) did not respond to an interview request.
It seems that the Immigration Service Officers were not willing to talk to the Radio, we would have loved to hear their position as well.
We will keep updating our readers.