I just had a problem coming into the united states a few days ago. It seems that back in September I overstayed 2 days after the expiration of my H1B visa (i was not aware you only got a 10 day grace period, I looked online extensively before it expiring and found mostly diverging opinions, most of them saying I had at least a one month grace period. It is my fault for not doing better research though).
Since I stopped working here I have been living in DR but still been coming quite often as my girlfriend still lives here and I still have an apt on lease. I've had a couple of trips to China, one to Europe, and on my return from each I have passed by the US for a week or two. I have also come a few times just to visit. This is to say that the 2 day overstay had never been brought to my attention in the past 5 months even though I had been coming in to the country quite often. It was brought to my attention this Tuesday upon my entering the country through Miami. The officer told me that they deport people for less, even for a one hour overstay. He was very nice though and told me that because I seemed like a good person, he would give me the choice between being deported back to DR or give me a "free" pass into the US if I paid $585 and came in with an emergency visa or as it is called an I-193.
I am a french citizen so I have always been able to come in without a Visa, simply with ESTA. The officer told me that those days are done, that I will from now on always need a visa to come into the states. So the first question I wanted to know an answer on, was whether this was etched in stone and there was nothing I could do about it (probably is) or if there's anything I could do to overturn this?
Secondly, I'm simply passing by the USA, got here on Tuesday and was leaving Friday Morning to London which I told to the officer. I was going to spend a couple of days in London then go to Frankfurt for a fair and then pass by Paris to visit family before heading back into the US for a few days and then flying back to DR.
This is not possible anymore as I now need a Visa to get into the country, otherwise I get deported. I need to go direct from Europe to the Dominican Republic. The problem is that direct flights from Europe to the DR are crazy expensive, which means that I have to cut off a part of my trip. After looking at possible routes, the best thing is to cut off London and go directly to Frankfurt on Tuesday, the problem is that I do not want to risk any type of overstay again, that is the last thing I want.
So I have been looking around online and can find no information relating to the length of this I-193 visa. Can anyone please enlighten me on this subject??
Thanks to all and best regards.
p.s. Please excuse my uber long post, it is my first and I have a hard time keeping things shirt or easily legible! Sorry!