I was denied entry to the US. What do I do?

Denied entry to the US Q&A

Question. I was denied entry to the US. What do I do?

What do I do if I am denied entry to the US?

Answer. Getting denied at the US border whether a land border or the airport is often a traumatic experience.  In addition to being told that you cannot to travel, US Customs usually finger prints and photographs you making you feel very uncomfortable to say the least.

The most common reasons for being denied entry to the US is due to having a criminal record, in some cases very minor. The other reason is that there may have been some “US immigration history” of you being an “overstay” in the US in the past.  Finally, it may just be that US Customs does not believe that you are a “genuine visitor” and do not have sufficient ties to Canada or your home country to warrant admission to the US as a visitor.

What are your options when denied entry to the US?

Whatever the reason for being denied entry to the US, there are two solutions to deal with the problem. The first is what we call a “US Entry Package’ or UEP.  A UEP is a prepared set of documents with a cover letter addressed to US Customs and Border Protection outlining your ties to Canada and that you wish to enter the US as a genuine visitor for a temporary duration. A UEP is prepared at our office and is given to you to present to US Customs. It serves to clearly show that you are indeed a legitimate traveller. The UEP is usually for people who are denied entry to the US on grounds that US Customs does not believe you are a genuine visitor to the US.

The other approach is the apply for a US Entry Waiver or I-192 Application. This is really for people who are “inadmissible” to the US for reasons of criminality, misrepresentation or US immigration violations such as overstays or unlawful working in the US. A US Waver or I-192 application is a formal application that involves the completion of application forms and preparation of supporting documentation. The applicant also has to get RCMP fingerprints as well.

A US Waiver can take 6-8 months to process and the applicant has to wait until it is approved before attempting to enter the US. US Waivers can be granted for a 5 year period and during this time, the applicant can enter the US. After the  US Waiver expires, then the applicant has to apply for a renewal.

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About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

173 Responses to “I was denied entry to the US. What do I do?”

  1. george says:


    would you please give me your phone number or send it by email ?


    • owen says:

      Hello George,

      Please call us at 1-888-528-7882 (toll free) or 416-410-7484 to set up a consultation with one of our experienced immigration professionals.


  2. george says:


    i have been refused B1/B2 visa twice as i wanted to stay more than 90 days in usa .i have applied for Esta but i was denied too because i have recent visa denial.
    i have been visited us once 5 years ago under the visa waiver program .
    my question is : how long should i wait to get Esta autorization after my visa denial ?

    • owen says:


      Thanks for the question. There is not necessarily a preset amount of time you should wait; your chances of success all depend on the strength of your application, and we would be able to strengthen any aspects of your application which may have been holding you back. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any further questions.


  3. Bob Francis says:

    I have been refused entry to the US because of a CMT 22 years ago, I have recently changed my surname (For family reasons) I would like to visit the US on holiday. Can I travel in my new name with new passport or do I need to apply for a visa to cover my previous inadmissibility?

    Many thanks and keep up the good work.

  4. Lulu316 says:


    I have a valid ten-year B1/B2 visa for the US (I’m an Indian national). My boyfriend and I got married a few months ago while he was on H1B. I applied for an H4 visa, but as his priority date was current, he got his green card approved three hours before my H4 visa interview, and therefore I was denied the visa and told it was without prejudice. We would now like to apply for a ‘follow to join’ i824 green card application for me. My question is: will I still be able to visit the USA for a short period using my B1/B2 visa? I continue to maintain my full time job and residence in India and would be visiting for a short period of four-six weeks.

    Thank you

  5. Zenna says:

    Hi, I am a Kenyan citizen. I was granted B1/B2 visa and travelled to the US on July. At the POE at LAX the immigration officer asked me how many days I was visiting, I said 11days. He stamped a 6 months stay. I ended up staying 30days and exited through Washington Dulles. The officer there did not stamp an exit stamp, just filled stuff on her computer. My question is, since I stayed for 30 days instead of the 11days I had said, is this gonna be a problem at the POE for my next visit in Feb? My visa is still good to go.

  6. HH says:

    Hello, I have applied a B2 visa in 2013, and then F1 visa in 2014, both have been denied. However, I am a college student that studying in Canada now. I have Canada’s student visa. I am planning to cross the border by car to the U.S with an instructor’s (in the college) family for holiday. Do you recommend that I should try to enter the U.S this time? What will happen if I get denied again. Will I have a bad record again? I still want to apply for the F1 visa further.

    • owen says:


      I am sorry to hear that your visa applications have been denied. If you are a citizen of a country that is not part of the US visa waiver program, then you should definitely apply for a visa prior to entering the US so as to avoid another denial (every additional denial makes it increasingly difficult to get a visa). Fortunately, we have helped many people in your situation, and we would be happy to provide you personalized advice regarding your case. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, and please refer to for more information.


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    • owen says:


      Thank you very much for the kind words, we really appreciate it. Please let us know if you have any questions regarding immigration.


  8. Salvatore says:


    i met my girlfriend soon to be fiance 5 years ago i am an born american citizen. Almost 2 years ago she was visiting me in the United States and she got sick and she stayed 1 week over her ESTA i applied for b2 twice and got denied because they said that she doesn’t have strong ties back to her country. after all the paper work she has doctors notes etc. still nothing. i try using DHS trip to see if they can fix the problem with her ESTA but still no news. In October 2015 my sister getting married and i will like for her to attend the wedding. ( at the time of applying for b2 visa she told them that she was part of the wedding with all the correct documents and they did not care) i trying to see what information or what i can do to fix this problem. any information is helpful.

    thank you in advance

    • owen says:

      Hello Salvatore,

      Thank you for the question. I am sorry to hear that your B-2 application was refused. They can be very difficult to obtain, but fortunately, given our many years of experience, we would be able to strengthen any aspects of your application that were previously weak, and we would maximize the chances that your girlfriend could enter the U.S. Please fill out our free online assessment form and one of our immigration professionals will be in touch with you shortly


  9. Anonymous says:

    I learn that i can reapply when denial B1 B2 us visa any time, why should the officer tell me in my second appointment that from the date of my first interview i should wait until 90 days before i can come again. But i want to know why i have to wait for 90 days. Thank

  10. I am from Nigeria, my wife and my son denial B1/B2 US visa on 08/08/2014, the officer ask why her husband not traveling with them, so we all apply which we want to the interview on 11/09/2014, we are denial without interview, the officer said my wife and my son was there last month and they supposed to wait until 90 days from the date of their first interview before they reapply, and the officer do not inform them so that we can wait for 90 dayr. So why and what can we do now.

    • owen says:


      Thanks for the question. I am sorry to hear that your B-1/B-2 application was refused. We would be happy to help you strengthen any aspects of your application that may have caused you some trouble previously. If there was a logistical problem that led to the refusal, we would also be able to advise you accordingly so that you will be able to go to the US. Please let us know if you have any further questions.


  11. Bella says:


    if a Canadian goes to visit a family member in the U.S. and stays there for 6 months at a time- so basically they stay there, but every 6 months they go back to Canada for a few weeks and then back to the U.S., following this same pattern for over a year- so seeing the Canadian has done nothing wrong/no illegal proof of anything, like employment, can they still refuse entry?

    What is the advice you’d give on a this kind of person who really likes to stay in America by their sibling there, and is able to support themselves with their own sufficient money?

    Thank you

    • owen says:

      Hello Bella,

      Yes, it is possible to be refused entry into the U.S. if the border Officers determine that you have an intent to immigrate (this could hold true even if you don’t work in the U.S.). Depending on your personal circumstances, there may be a variety of options available to you such as family sponsorship which would lead to permanent residence, or other visa’s that would suit your needs. We would be happy to assist you with this, and please take a moment to fill out our free online assessment form and one of our immigration professionals will be in touch with you shortly.


  12. Olawale says:

    Me and family had visited u.s 3times without overstayed with our bi/b2 visa category now our visa will be expired around next year September 2015.Will are planning to buy house in the U.S cash down without mortgage does this guarantee our visa renewal after 2 years validity period because our fear is what is going to happen to our property if our visa renewal is not granted.Will don’t have intention of overstaying or work in the USA since will own company here in nigeria and we are financially ok. will just want to choose America for our vacation place.thank you sir

    • owen says:

      Hello Olawale,

      Thank you for the question. If your visa is ultimately not renewed then you would have to leave the U.S. in most circumstances, however, we have helped many people obtain visa extensions so that they could remain in the U.S. for a longer period of time. In order for us to further assist you, please fill out our free online assessment form and one of our immigration professionals will be in touch with you shortly


  13. Alberto says:

    11 years ago whe i was underaged i went to the us to visit my father, in that time he was illegal inmigrant, apparently because of that reason my visa was cancelled and we went back home(Colombia) , i am planning to ask for visa alone in a few days, i am in college now and i want to know if there is a record of what happend to my visa and if that may interfer when i ask for it again in my interview at the embassy

    • owen says:

      Hello Alberto,

      Thank you for the question. There is most likely a record of your cancelled visa, and this may cause some problems for you if you were to apply for a visa at this point in time. Given that you visited your father who was in the U.S. illegally, you are facing an uphill battle, but fortunately, with the help of one of our experienced immigration lawyers who will be able to guide you through the application process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.


  14. Janet says:

    Good day. I am Nigerian schooling in the Caribbean and in April,I travelled on a transit visa for two weeks to the United States. This made the immigration hold me and question me but I explained to them I had urgent medical issues which made me travel on the transit and they finally let me go after four hours of detaining me. I then applied for a B1 visa in Barbados in July but got rejected because I dint have strong enough ties to the Caribbean ,I understood that because I had just come to the Caribbean to start my medical journey less than a year ago. Now I hope to return to Nigeria in December and apply for a B1 visa there since that’s my country. I want to know if I’ll keep getting rejected a B1 visa because of my run in with the immigration. Or that won’t matter as far as I’m honest while being interviewed. Thanks

  15. marie says:

    Hi, and thanks in advance for your answer.
    I am willing to travel to the US in october so I applied for a ESTA and got it.
    The thing is i’ve spent about 10 month in the us under a B1. Before my B1 expired, I applied for an new visa. It took them 4 month to give me an answer, so I was not illegal while they were processing my file. The answer was positive for this 4 month bonus, and I left before the end of these 4 month. I left april 15. Now I want to go back visit friends for 3 month in october. What is the chance for me at the border? I was techically not overstay, right? I am afraid of buying a plane ticket and see what happen at the border… I am an EU citizen. Thanks a lot

    • owen says:

      Hello Marie,

      Thank you for the question. Generally speaking, B-1 visas have a maximum period of stay of 6 months, but if your extension was granted prior to the B-1 expiry date, then you will probably not experience any problems entering the US. If you were in the US with an expired B-1 visa prior to receiving an extension/new visa, then that would constitute overstaying and will be grounds for inadmissibility to the US. We would be happy to assist you further in order to help you enter the US, so please don’t hesitate to contact us with any further questions.


  16. Joy says:

    My mom is a Filipino citizen and a US immigrant visa holder. She went to Phils for her daughters wedding last year left US August 18,2013 and got in Phils. August 20th, 2013. On august 21st her son died through commiting suicide. Becuase too depress she got sick ended to be admitted to hospital. Because all of this she end up stayin in Phils for 1 year and 5 days. She will be flying back to US august 24th. She will be bring a death certificate of her son and a record that she had been hospitalized.

    Now my concern is will she be denied for reentry? And what will happen to her. I am a little bit worried.

    • owen says:

      Hello Joy,

      Thank you for the question. If your mother is a green card holder, then she should immediately apply for a re-entry permit, although because she did not apply for this permit prior to leaving the US, she may have a harder time returning to the US and maintaining her permanent residency status. Fortunately, we have helped many people in her situation before, and we would be happy to help your mother with her immigration goals. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions.


  17. william o says:

    From Nova Scotia Canada, maritime people are the friendliest people in the world! I have been to the USA many times shopping in Bangor, was in Washington State camping etc, love my trips to the US. last trip was in 1999 went to lewiston maine, anyway me and my dog lucky left halifax ns went to northern new brunswick border to cross into maine to take I95 only because i hate that long route 2 to bangor, anyway it turned into a nightmare for me! the us customs officer asked me the reason for my visit and i told him i was travelling to buy a motorcycle in new hampshire, told him my dog was the only one with me, showed him my Canadian Passport, he said ok park and come inside and i did then a few seconds later and older man with a dog came yelling at me asking me if there was anything else in my vehicle that could harm his safety when i said what do you mean he said u know the dog i said i told the man on the gate the dog was with me!! he then shouted at me and the younger customs man run my id then came the crazy stuff he said have u ever been denied entry to the US i said of course not anyway i had a record from when i was 19 back 33 years ago im 52 he denied me entry fingerprinted me photo of me and made me drive all the way back home some 10 hour drive I have to tell u i am not impressed we opened our home up to people who were stranded here in Halifax during 911 and this was an absolute slap in the face from the USA I will never ever try to come to the USA and if they treat other canadian people like they treated me americans in my opinion are not welcomed here either!!!

    • Sarah Jane MacDonald says:

      Hello William,
      I am very sorry to hear of your experience at the US border. That must have been so frustrating! Try not to let one ‘bad apple’ spoil your opinion of all Americans! If you ever intend to travel to the US again, please feel free to contact us so that we can help you prepare for your border crossing and avoid such a horrible result.

      Warm Regards,
      Sarah Jane

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  19. patzy says:

    I live in Mexico. Im pregnant and plan on having my baby in the US. I’m not getting any help from the US. I plan on paying the full amount for delivery. I would like to know if I can inform them at the border that that’s the reason for me crossing and if they will allow my entry to the US or if it will be denied.

    • Sarah Jane MacDonald says:

      Hi Patzy,
      First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy :)
      To answer your question, it is never a good idea to withhold information from Officials at the border. I recommend that you get some advice from an experienced immigration consultant before you attempt to enter the US. I have forwarded your question along with the email address that you provided to one of our US Immigration team members.
      You will be contacted soon.

      All the best,
      Sarah Jane

  20. Xubaer says:

    i got the immigrant visa of us.will it cause
    any problem if i will apply for uk visit visa to meet my
    brother in uk?if i don’t get the visa then is it cause any harm
    to enter in usa?”

    • owen says:

      Hello Xubaer,

      Thank you for the question. Depending on your specific circumstances, traveling outside the US may be permissible, however there may be certain travel restrictions or implications which you must be mindful of. For specific advice on your situation, please feel free to fill out our online assessment, and one of our immigration professionals will be in touch with you very shortly


  21. Shaun says:


    I am a UK citizen, I was refused entry to the USA in March. I was under the impression that I could go about by business using the ESTA but was informed by US immigration I needed a work VISA.

    It looks like I may need to enter the USA for work before the end of the year, what do I need to do to make this possible? Thanks

    • Sarah Jane MacDonald says:

      Without knowing all the circumstances, the short answer to your question is that you will need either a US Entry Package (UEP) or a US Entry Waiver (I-192 Application). For further information, I will have a team member contact you via the email address you’ve provided.

      Sarah Jane

  22. Andrea says:

    Hello, I was denied entry to the US when I was trying to go visit my boyfriend over a year ago, because they thought I was going to stay and work, I was entering with my passport from Spain, I was sent back and they cancel my passport waiver and told me I need a visa to enter from now on, my boyfriend and I were already planning to get marry and now we want to apply for a K-1 visa, but I’m not sure if I need a pardon letter or anything like that?

    • Sarah Jane MacDonald says:

      Hi Andrea,

      This is a tough question to answer without understanding the full picture. Being denied entry into the U.S. is often challenging in terms of establishing a case for yourself. If you’d like further guidance, we’d be happy to provide you with a consultation to discuss your situation in greater detail.

      Best Regards.

  23. khan says:

    hi i had a baby in usa while i was on a tourist visa in 2010 at the same time i hold canadian permanent resident i went to canada and when i came back i was not allowed to enter then after 2 days i tried to enter again through different border i was not allowed again,third time wheni had my canadian passport same thing happened please tell me what to do as i need to travel to usa.
    This happened 3 years ago what should i do??

    • Hi Khan

      I am sorry about your situation. The US authorities probably feel that you are not a genuine visitor to the US. We would have to look at this case in more detail to find out what options you have but if you do not have a criminal record and have not overstayed your status in the US, we can likely help. If you did these things, we may have to apply for a US Waiver.

  24. Amélie says:


    My best friend lives in California and I have been visiting her quite often for vacations or special occasions (Holidays, graduation, attend friends’ wedding…)
    I would like to go spend 5 weeks there this summer but I am afraid I will be denied entry due to my repeated trips (I spent a total of 12 weeks in the USA in the last 12 months).
    I have never overstayed my visa, neither do I have any criminal record.
    I am a freelance event planner in Europe, meaning I make decent money BUT do not have a permanent job.

    Should I expect difficulties at the border? Is there anything I can do or any document I should bring with me in order to make crossing the border easier?

    Thanks a lot!

    • Hello Amélie

      If you have travelled to the US many times it is possible that the Customs and Border Protection officer could flag you. You may want to consider getting what we call an “Entry Package” to show that your ties are still outside the USA and you just want to visit. You can contact our office and tell them that you wish to have a consultation with our US Visa Team for this.


  25. jayson aryee says:

    I applied for a visa to america and was denied twice. my uncle and his wife are citizens working as a top cnn personel and a resident physician respectively they are both residents also . I am a student at the university of ghana going to my third year . I was denied because I didn’t have strong ties. my folks are really well to do. but I don’t know if its because I haven’t travelled anywhere else before or my uncle is the one sponsoring the trip? Pls help me

    • Sarah Jane MacDonald says:

      We would be happy to help you. First we will need more information to help determine what you may require to overcome your inadmissibility. Please take a moment to complete the form here:
      Once you have filled that out, someone from our experienced team of immigration consultants will go over your details and contact you directly.

      All the best,
      Sarah Jane

  26. Luciana A says:

    Hi, my name is Andreza and I have been in US in 2009 with J1 visa, ans I had a lot of problems with the agency ( I could say is not a really good one).. So, for them I overstayed around 8 months. I came back to my country and after 1 year, I tried the visa for tourism and I got, I said all the times the truth and next year I went to US but I had entry denied. They realized was not my fault and they said I could do the Withdraw my application, but my visa was cancel. So, If I wanna I could try another one, next business day in my country. So, after months, I tried because I want to do shop and I will be the bridesmaid of my friend. Now, after more than 2 years of my denied entry I got the new visa, after more that 40 minutes of interview, with all the documents from my Denied, they gave me the visa, and in few months I`m going to the wedding ..I`m going with my father, his first time, and I really do not want to have problem again… I got my new visa, with all the papers, I do not have any problem I believe.. I do not know what can I do. Now, I`m living as a student another country …

    • Sarah Jane MacDonald says:

      I am happy to hear that your visa application was approved. I can understand your concern after all you’ve been through. If you would like to book a consultation with one of our experienced immigration consultants, they would be happy to go over the details with you and make sure you are prepared to cross the border this time.
      Please go here and fill out our online assessment form – it’s free and only takes a few minutes to complete.

      All the best,
      Sarah Jane

  27. Svalliani says:

    Today, I was denied for B1/B2 visa in interview at karachi consulate and the reason said that I do not have any travel history. the visa officer adviced to make trips to Dubai, Singapore or Malaysia and try again… what should I do now? apply again for B2 or follow the Visa officer advise?

    • Sarah Jane MacDonald says:

      Hello Svalliani,
      I am sorry to hear that your visa application was refused. There may be other factors that lead to your visa refusal and possibly some information that you were missing that would help you get approved for a B2. We may be able to help you find a solution. Please go here and fill out our online assessment form, that way one of our experienced consultants can review your case and give you an informed answer to your question.

      All the best,
      Sarah Jane

  28. Neela says:

    I have a 10 year multiple visa. came to us 4 times between 2004 and 2008. I had a misdemeanor theft (484 c) pleaded no contest in LA in 2008. paid fine and left country. That is the only criminal record i had. I still have the 10 year visa valid. It’s been more than 5 years of my last entry in US.
    can i come on existing visiotr visa again? or do i need to apply for the visa again ? will i have problems at POE? Please suggest.

    • Hello Neela

      Based on the information you provided, it does not appear that your office would render you inadmissible and therefore you would not have to apply for a Waiver. However, you have to disclose any offence on your application form and it may be the case the officer would ask you to apply for a waiver. However, if your theft was considered a “petty theft”, it’s likely you will not require a waiver.

  29. Ibrahim says:

    Hello again,
    About the question ( Have you ever USA visa denied …….. )
    I have three refusing, I want to tell me the method, what must I do becuse it is very difficult to taken a visa from the consulat.
    In this case….. when can I come under Visa Waiver Program ? or
    When can I answer this question by ( No ) ? or
    Is this question have a limit ?
    Can I come just only with visa ?


    • Sarah Jane MacDonald says:

      Hello Ibrahim,

      With three denials I would recommend that you get the help of an experienced immigration consultant. It is difficult for me to answer your question without knowing some specific information for example, what reasons were you given for your inadmissibility to the US. In order to assist you further, could you please go to our online assessment form and fill out the information. It only takes a few minutes and someone from our office will be in contact with you do further discuss your case.

      Here is the link to the form:

      All the best,
      Sarah Jane

  30. Ibrahim says:

    I am a Dutch citizen, I was applied a visa in Amsterdam 2013,2014 and i was refused, I have a plan to visit Canada and I want to visit America for two weeks, I was refused first time becouse I do not have a work in Netherland and I do not have a Netherland passport and second becouse I do not have a job in Netherland, If I will going to cross from Canada to America is there any chance to denied enter the USA, and what must i say to the officer over my visa denied

    • Hello Ibrahim

      Thank you for your question. You can be denied into the USA if you cross into Canada. At any border crossing you could be denied. In order to be admitted you have to make a strong case for temporary residence

  31. CK says:

    I applied for a B-2 visa in january 2014, but was declined due to my criminal record. I’ve heard that when talking about economical crimes I will me inadmissible to enter the states for 10 years from the day where I got my sentence…

    I’ve met a man that I have come to love very dearly. He’s an american citizen and lives in Los Angeles. We’ve met a couple of times outside the states as I cannot enter at this point. I have been looking into getting married to get entry to the states, but I was told that marriage proberly wouldn’t change anything..

    But what if I got pregnant with him… Wouldn’t it be against his right as a father to be denied having his family over? Is there anyway I can work around my criminal record – because I really care for this man and he could be the one…

    Best Regards,

    • Hello CK
      I am sorry about your situation. You may have to apply for a US Waiver of Inadmissibility to be admitted into the US. If you marry this man you would still require a Waiver most likely. If you marry him and he wants to sponsor you, you would apply for an immigrant waiver; if you visit, it will be an non-immigrant waiver. You can contact our US Visa team for assistance.

  32. Ewelina says:

    I was crossing the border pretty much all my life , never have I ever had a problem. I got engaged to an American . Since the time I got engaged the have always pulled my fiance and I over all the time. Last week I got a really mean and rued guy that would not even allow me to even talk . I kept calm and did as they said . They did not believe I would come back to Canada . I told them my fiance and I wanted to marry , but they thought I will stay in the states. They denied me entry and sent me back . They asked next time I come I bring certain documents and I will prepare them , but he said that still does not mean I will be allowed to enter the US, all depends on the Officer . What kind of advice would you give me on my rights or what I can do further to prove to them . It was not a great experience .

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hello Ewelina

      This is a common scenario. If you are engaged to an American and intend to move there, consider applying for a K-1 Visa. This is really important as you can get a visa to enter the US this way but you will have to get married within 90 days of being issued a K-1. There are other ways you can enter as just a visitor the US but since you are engaged you have to take proper formal steps to regulate your status.

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  34. Laura says:

    Hi Michael,

    I have recently applied for a B2 visa to the US for the first time, and in my application form I mentioned that I plan to stay from October 5 to October 20 (15 days). My visa application was approved and I am waiting for my visa now.

    However, due to my family’s request, I am planning to stay for 35 days in the US (that is 20 days longer than what I wrote in my DS-160 form and interview).

    Do you think officers at the border will not let me enter the U.S. because now I plan to stay 20 days longer than my original application form (i.e. 35 days instead of 15 days)?

    Thank you for your time and response in advance,



    • Michael Niren says:

      Hello Laura

      Once you receive your Visa application make sure you note the expiry date on it and whether it is a single or multiple entry visa. Generally B visas are issued for a number of years so that upon entry to the US, you will likely be admitted for a duration longer than 35 days. If the officer at customs asks you how long you intend to visit, you are obliged to advise the officer and ensure that you have proof that you will leave the US after your visit. This is key

  35. Ivan says:

    On my last trip into the USA in 2011, my American family and I decided we should apply for the extension of stay at the USCIS. We applied well early, some 60 day before my I-94 date (May 4th 2011), of course the application was denied, and i got decision in mail on may 12th. I left the USA for Europe on May 19th 2011, and turned in all my papers and I94 upon departure at the airport. I am planning to visit my family again for Christmas, but i am afraid either my visa is not good anymore or that i might be refused to enter the USA because i overstayed. Any advice would be helpful.
    Thank you!

    • Michael Niren says:

      Hello, if your overstay was less than 180 days your application could possibly be approved. However, since you had a visa-history there is no guarantees that your application will be approved. You can contact us for a consultation at

  36. Zack says:

    what is difference between refused entry to a country and deported from a country and refused VISA for a country.

  37. Michael Niren says:

    Hi Erika

    Your relative, like all people entering the US, must show sufficient ties to their home country in order to be considered as a genuine visitor. He should prepare what we call an “Entry Package” showing all is ties very clearly in order to maximize his chances for entry to the US.

  38. Michael Niren says:

    Hello Scott,

    Depending on your charge, you may need a Waiver or may been to apply for Humanitarian Parole in order for a quick entry to the US for work. Generally the USCIS requires a final disposition of the offence before issuing a waiver. And in order to get a US Work visa, and actually work in the US, you have to be admissible or have a waiver approved first

  39. Marketa says:

    Hi i am a canadian citizen. Me and my boyfriend tried crossing the usa border to go christmas shopping. Course they stoped us and searched us. We were in customs for 6 hours. They strip searched us finger printed us and took pictures. They denied us to the usa. I have never had a recored or been in trouble with the law in any way. They interragated us. I go to collage and am a good citizen. I did admit to smoking a joint 6 months ago. I have two children. Can they ban me like that and is there anything i can do about this. It was very upsetting, and im still upset about my experience at the border.

  40. Erika says:

    I was wondering a close relative was recently denied his entry to the U.S. However it’s not the first time he enters the U.S. They said he didn’t have enought proof of ties of him being in Mexico. He has his own buesiness his a full-time student.. he ws just coming for the holiday’s. How long does he have to wait before he try’s to enter the U.S. As well the took his finger prints and was photgraphed.. Hope ypu can help me!

  41. thinlay says:

    i have travelled with indian passport from 2005 till 2008 four times first with p3 visa and three times with b1-b2 and at the fourth time i was denied and asked me to voluntarily withdraw application, because i earned few dollars while travelling with b1-b2 and did not know that i had to pay tax., and now my wife has won asylee case in the US. and try to unite the family, and we are asked to travel with refugee status. will it be no problem travelling with refugee travel document than the indian passport? my children does not have any passports and i also made mistake to tell my children age incorrectly during the questioning at the NY airport because i was totally tired was not feeling well and worried and nervous, is it ok about this? .,
    will appreciate your help Thank you

  42. scott says:


    I was just recently charged with a very minor misschief charge in canada, I obtained a lawyer and the crown offered alternative measures. .y work is sending me to the united states soon and need me to get a work visa. If I take alternative measures will it effect my chances of getting approved for the visa?

  43. joy says:

    I am pregnant and would want to have my baby in the U.S. or Canada. But I was denied a visa to the U.S. around March as a student in the U.K. They claimed that I have not stayed up to 6 months in the U.K. I would like to know if a visa can be denied if i pay for a hospital to give birth to my baby in both countries?
    Thank you.

  44. Lisa W. says:


    Last week I tried to enter the U.S. to visit the U.S. for a total duration of 2.5 months. When the Customs officer asked me when I would be returning to Canada, I said the following week (because I had a wedding to go to). He noticed that I was bringing a lot of luggage and proceeded to go through my belongings. In my carry on, he found a notebook which showed my initial trip plans. My notebook also showed that I thought about getting a job in the States.

    All this planning and note-taking were done before I learned that I needed a visa to work in the States. I told the officer that I truly had no intention to work in the States and was only going there to visit. The officer took my notebook to his personal office and when he came back, he was determined that I was lying. I informed him that I was indeed returning to Canada for school in September 2011. But, it seemed that he still did not believe me.

    I had my fingerprints and photos taken. The officer also told me that I would never be able to enter the States again even with proof my ties to Canada.

    What’s going to happen now? What if I still want to visit the U.S.?

    Thank you.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Lisa,

      Before giving you any answer, I need to know what documents you recieved on that day from the officer. Based on the facts you provided, it’s possible that you are now inadmissible because of misrepresentation. If so, you would need to apply for a U.S. Waiver to enter the U.S. However, I suggest that you consult with an immigration lawyer with all the documents you recieved to better assess your situation.

      Thank you.

  45. Bill says:

    Hello there,

    I was denied entry to the U.S. this spring due to my old minor conviction that occurred 22 years ago. I dont want to ask a question that has been over asked, but I need to enter the U.S. to visit a sick relative. Should I apply for a Waiver?

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Bill,

      You would have to apply for a Waiver. However, if you need to enter the U.S. urgently for a temporary period of time, you should consider a Humanitarian Parole. A Humanitarian Parole will allow you to enter the U.S. relatively quickly for urgent reasons.

      Thank you.

  46. Louie Di Gianni says:

    Hello there,

    A few years ago I was denied entry to the U.S. because I did not have sufficient ties to my home country. I am now in college. Would this be sufficient enough for me to enter into the U.S.? Should I apply for a UEP?

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Louie,

      I would need more details about your situation to answer your question properly (i.e. what kinds of ties did you present to the U.S. border officers a few years ago). However, generally, you need to demonstrate that you have immediate family members, bank accounts, investments, school, or permanent residence in your home country. A UEP is always a good idea when you are uncertain as to whether or not you will be admitted or refused. I suggest that you consult with a qualified immigration lawyer in order to determine the best options for you.

      Thank you.

  47. Martin says:


    A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to get a TN visa at the U.S. border. But, the officer said my job title didn’t match the TN visa list. I was photographed and finger printed. I was allowed to voluntarily withdraw my application. I intend to visit the U.S. for a week to visit my family but I am afraid they will deny me again. What documents should I bring to the border? I am a Canadian citizen.

    Thank you.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Martin,

      If you were allowed to voluntarily withdraw, you would not have to apply for a waiver.

      If you are concerned, you may apply for a U.S. Entry Package (UEP). A UEP is a prepared set of documents with a cover letter addressed to US Customs and Border Protection outlining your ties to Canada and that you wish to enter the U.S. as a genuine visitor for a temporary duration.

      Thank you.

  48. frankie says:

    I went to the U.S. in 2008 and overstayed my visa. Will I have any problems going back to the U.S.? I am also taking my son with me. My son is a U.S. citizen and is 3 years old. What are my options?

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Frankie,

      Depending on the length of your overstay, you might be inadmissible to the U.S. To overcome your inadmissibility, you would have to apply for an I -192 Waiver. Even if you are accompanying a U.S. citizen, you still have to apply for a Waiver.

      Also, you need to apply for a U.S. Waiver in advance as it usually takes 6-8 months to process.

      Thank you.

  49. Steve says:


    I live in the U.K. and am planning to go to Canada with a friend for just over a week in June, 2011. Last year, I was refused entry to the U.S. I am now concerned if this will affect my entry to Canada this time.

    Many thanks,


  50. Kelly says:


    I am a Canadian citizen by birth. In 2005, when I was 23, I had a small joint of marijuana on me and a police officer found it. I went to court, did community service and paid a fine. My record was cleared. In 2006, I moved from Toronto to Vancouver and was planning to go through the U.S. border by car. I couldn’t prove I wasn’t moving to the States, so the border officers searched me and my car, photographed and fingerprinted me. They found an eyelash sized piece of pot in my purse. They didn’t explain why they were sending me back to Canada (the small pot or not being able to prove I wasn’t moving to the USA).

    Now, I have to go to a meeting in Seattle for a few days every 3 months or so and am not sure which form or waiver I should be applying for, and what other processes I will have to go through.

    Since then, I’ve also been married and changed my last name.

    Thanks a bunch!

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Kelly,

      Based on the facts provided, you may have to apply for a U.S. Waiver (I-192) along with a B1 Business Visitor Visa. However, to better assess your situation, I suggest that you consult with a qualified immigration lawyer with all the documents relating to the incidents in 2005 and 2006.

      Thank you.

  51. Joe says:

    In May 1999, I left the U.S. and returned in May of the same year. Customs suspected that I was illegally working in the U.S. They told me that I was not being deported but instead being turned around. They also told me that I could re-enter the U.S. after 5 years. Now, it has been 13 years since this incidence happened. Can I apply for a visa now?

    Thank you.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Joe,

      I would suggest that you consult with an immigration lawyer with all the documents you received on this day to better assess your situation.

      But, based on your information, if they just let you turn around, you may apply for a visa. However, I would suggest that you prepare a U.S. Entry Package to ensure that your entry this time. This package includes a coverletter and supporting documents addressed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and serves to clearly show that you wish to enter the U.S. as a genuine visitor for a temporary duration.

      Thank you.

  52. Elske says:

    Hi there,

    I am a Dutch citizen and planning to travel through the U.S. In 2007, I was denied entry at the U.S. border because my passport was issued by the Dutch embassy in Guatemala in Mexico. The border officer refused my entry and I was fingerprinted and photographed.

    This time I will be travelling to Canada, then cross the U.S. border to carry on to Mexico. Would I look like a genuine traveller? What can I do in order not to have any problem at the border?

    Thanks for your help.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Elske,

      Based on the fact provided, it seems the best option for you is to apply for a U.S. Entry Package (UEP). A UEP includes a coverletter and supporting documents outlining your ties to Canada and that you wish to enter the U.S. as a genuine visitor for a temporary duration. A UEP is addressed to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection and serves to clearly show that you wish to enter the U.S. as a genuine visitor only for a temporary duration.

      However, to better assess your situation, I suggest that you consult with an immigration lawyer with all the documents you recieved in 2007.

      Thank you.

  53. John says:

    I am a US Citizen and my wife is a Canadian citizen. We have been married for 4 years now and have 2 kids. We live in the US. She has overstayed here in the US and has recently gotten a new Canadian passport. I have already filed a petition for permanent residence for her. Can she go back to Canada to visit her family while waiting for this petition? I know she has overstayed so I am not sure if she will be allowed back. They did not stamp her old passport so we do not know the exact date when she came here and now she has a new passport. Thanks.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear John,

      If your wife overstayed in the U.S., she will be subject to an overstay bar. When she tries to re-enter the U.S. after visiting her family in Canada, she would have to apply for a Waiver. Waiver applications usually take 6 – 8 months to process. The fact that she is married to a U.S. citizen and have two children in the U.S. may be a positive factor for her waiver application. However, I suggest that you discuss your situation with an immigration lawyer before her departure to better explore her options.

      Thank you.

  54. Stanley says:

    Hi Niren,

    I’m so glad I’ve found this site. Can you advise me on this matter on what action I should take?

    I’m Canadian. Last year when I was travelling to the states while applying for a TN visa at the border, my girlfriend was coming with me. The CBP officer suspected that she was an intending immigrant and denied her entry to the US. The officer had her fingerprints and photos taken and asked her to come back with proof of ties to Canada (hydro bills, proof of property ownership, and etc).

    It was really upsetting. Does she now have to bring all those documents (proof of ties) whenever she crosses the border? Sometimes CBP officer still did not believe her even with her documents because she just started her own business in Canada that makes very little money. She’s okay with that in Canada because her parents can support her, but CBP officers didn’t think so. They seem to think she’s is trying to live with me in the US.

    What process/application can we do to make her border processing easier?

    - We get married, get her a TD visa. But if my TN visa expires (and so will hers) and we go back to Canada. The next time she travels to US, will she need to show those proof?
    - I apply for US citizenship. Get her a US citizenship after I did. (This may take 5~6 years, I think). I found this solution seems to fix everything. US cannot deny its citizen from entry to US. But then what are the con for her to have US citizenship? (pay tax to US?) or is there no con?

    Thanks very much for your time. If I’m not located in Vancouver, I’ll definitely use your service because by reading your web site, you seem to be a well-established firm with very skillful immigration lawyers. Is there any lawyer you can recommend in the Vancouver area?

    Once again, thank you, and I really like Canada more than the US. (The people, the water, the tree, and everyone!) :) It’s only after I’ve worked in the US, then I realized it!


    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Stanley,

      When US border officers do not believe that you are a “genuine visitor” (i.e. you do not have sufficient ties to Canada to warrant admission to the US as a visitor), one of the best solutions is to prepare a “US Entry Package (UEP).” We prepare a persuasive cover letter addressed to US Custom outlining your ties to Canada and clearly demonstrating that you are indeed a legitimate traveller.

      For a more detailed strategy, I recommend that you consult an immigration lawyer with more information to better assess your situation.

      Hope this helps.

  55. Daniel says:

    I’m 17. I am planning to travel on my own to the U.S. next Monday. I am from the U.K. and travelling under the Visa Waiver Program. What are the chances of me getting denied entry?

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Daniel,

      Minors may travel to the U.S. However, you may need a notarized written consent letter from your parents. Please contact the embassy to address admissibility questions.

      Thank you.

  56. MIke says:

    I was denied entry to the U.S. in 2007. I was fined $500 for violating 19USC1497 and sent back to Canada. I was fingerprinted and had my photo taken. There was .69 grams of marijuana in my car at the time.

    I was told I could re-enter after 5 years, but was given no documentation on it. Is there a way to find out whether I can re-enter the US?

    Also if not, what are the steps necessary to regain entry? I have a sister in-law in the states and my family often visits them.

    Also, will my past history affect my wife and child from entering?

    Thank You,


    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Mike,

      Based on the facts you provided, you would have to apply for a U.S. Waiver. However, to better assess your situation, I would recommend that you consult an immigration lawyer with details of what happened and any document you received when you were denied entry in 2007.

      Thank you.

  57. Kevin says:


    I am planning to enter the U.S. this summer. However, I have committed an online fraud on E-bay (I purported to sell something but did not send the item to the buyer). This person is going to report it to the police.

    I am from the Netherlands. Can I enter the U.S. without obtaining a visa?

  58. Sara says:


    I’ve been to the U.S. twice. Once in August, 2010 for a week and once in January, 2011. I was going to stay only for 3 weeks, but ended up staying for two months and 20 days (almost 3 months).

    During my travel, I met someone in the U.S. and want to visit the U.S. as his girlfriend for 3 months. But, I do not have any plans for getting married at all for now.

    Do you see any problems I may encounter at the border? Would they possibly deny my entry? If so, why?

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Sara,

      If you are from Sweden, you must be travelling without obtaining a visa to enter the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The VWP allows you to stay in the U.S. for 90 days or less. So, if you left within 90 days on your previous visits, you should not have any problem.

      However, the VWP is granted only for tourism purposes. So, since you do not have any plans of getting married in the U.S. and remaining in the U.S., you should be careful not to mislead the border officers to suspect that you may remain in the U.S. You should make it clear that you will be a genuine visitor only and you will return to your home country within 90 days.

      Hope this helps.

  59. Sulay says:


    I live in the Niagara Falls area. I hold an Indian passport. I have no intention of remaining in the U.S. and I have always come back to Canada. Last time, I was crossing the border to visit my relatives in the U.S., but the U.S. border officers stopped me because I did not have a return ticket. They took my fingerprints and photos and sent me back. They asked me to get more details to cross the border.

    What should I do if I want to cross the border one more time?

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Sulay,

      Based on the fact you provided, it seems that US Customs did not believe that you were a “genuine visitor” and did not have sufficient ties to Canada or your home country to warrant admission to the US as a visitor.

      One solution is to prepare a “US Entry Package (UEP).” The UEP is usually for people who are denied entry to the U.S. on grounds that U.S. Customs does not believe that you are a genuine traveller. A UEP includes a cover letter addressed to US Custom outlining your ties to Canada and serves to clearly show that you are indeed a legitimate traveller.

      Hope this helps.

  60. Paolo says:


    I am 17 years old and from Italy.

    I went to the U.S. in November, 2010 under a Visa Waiver Program to visit my uncle in the U.S. During my visit, I ended up attending school for two months without a student visa. I was not aware of the fact that I needed a student visa at this time.

    In January, 2011, I visited my grand-father in Canada and tried to come back to the U.S. But, I was refused entry because they found that I attended school in the U.S. without a visa.

    Now, my Mom is trying to apply for an E-2 visa and I was just wondering if my immigration history can adversely affect my Mom’s chance of getting her E-2 visa.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Paolo,

      It is not likely that your prior immigration history will directly affect your Mom’s E-2 visa application although there might potentially be a problem if you wish to follow her as a dependent. I suggest you consult an immigration lawyer to see what options you have should you wish to apply as a dependent.

      Thank you.

  61. jamie says:

    I had a baby in America a couple of years ago on a tourist visa. Now,I’m applying for a Canadian study permit. Do you think this will affect my chance of getting this visa?

  62. Mark says:

    There has been some helpful information on this site but I believe I will still need a specialist to help my application.

    I am a U.K. citizen. I have no criminal record and although I have consulted US companies for business purposes, I have never had employment in the US. I did however, after raising $1.25M for a US firm to keep it going, overstayed my U.S. visa by more than 6 months. This was an inevitable choice for me at that time as I was involved in a legal proceeding.

    Then, I returned to the U.K. for 6 months.

    I needed to come back to give evidence in court. They asked if I over-stayed my visa, I said yes and they denied my entry claiming that they did not believe my passport was issued in the UK and that I had been working in the US in order to pay bills. Both of these reasons can be proven wrong by my corporate accounts and lawyers but my main question is:

    Will I still be forced to wait 6-8 months for an application to be processed?

    The Canadian Immigration checked my passport the same day and gave me an instant 6 month visa.



    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Mark,

      Based on the circumstances, you may have to apply for Humanitarian Parole. Humanitarian Parole allows entry to applicants on account of urgent matters or other emergencies. The processing time is less than 60-90 days and applicants are granted entry for a period of time to coincide with the duration of the urgent situation.

      However, since review of these applications is quite stringent, I recommend that you consult an immigration lawyer to better assess your situation and to prepare a strong case.

      Thank you.

  63. medel says:

    Since 1995, I have had no problem with entering the U.S. with a B1/B2 visa. I have never overstayed in the U.S. and do not have any criminal record. From 2001 to 2005, I lived in the U.S. on an I-20 and in 2002 after my “ex” applied for adjustment of status, I got approval for a Green Card. Five days before my interview in 2005, I had to move out of the U.S. due to the breakdown of our relationship. I returned to Canada.

    In 2007, I got a new B1/B2 and I visited the U.S. three times for business purposes. I did not have any problem.

    In 2009, while I was traveling by land (at Buffalo), I was held and removed from the U.S. on the ground of 212 (a) (7) (A) (i) (I) and asked to voluntarily withdraw my application. The officer suspected that I permanently lived in the U.S.

    After they checked my bag, they found two new cars registered under my name in the U.S., several credit cards, four checking accounts with large amounts of money and a business registered in the US – all of these are legal and used for my business running outside the U.S.

    Also, they noticed that my GC case has not been closed.

    Currently, I am happily married for 6 years and have a 3 year old baby, a good house, a job in Canada. And I need to enter the U.S. for business purposes. I am a Canadia citizen.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Medel,

      It seems that U.S. Customs did not believe that you were a “genuine visitor.” But, if you were allowed to voluntarily withdraw, you may not have to apply for a waiver although it would be a good idea to have an immigration lawyer review all the documents you received to best assess your situation.

      Even if you do not need a waiver, I suggest that you prepare an Entry Package. An Entry Package is a prepared set of documents outlining your ties to Canada (i.e. your immediate family members, house, and job in Canada) and your wish to enter the U.S. as a genuine visitor for a temporary duration. This package is usually for people in your situation who are denied entry on grounds that US Customs does not believe you are a genuine visitor to the US.

      Thank you.

  64. Bryan says:


    My wife got denied entry to the U.S. with her tourist visa. I have an H1-B visa. She was denied because the Immigration officer was suspecting that she would change her status from a tourist to an H-4 visa. They took her picture and let her sign the a document and also cancelled her tourist visa. We are planning to apply for an H4 visa in our home country. Will this affect her chances of getting a visa? Will this cause a problem when she will get back to the U.S.?

    Thank you.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Bryan,

      If you were allowed to voluntarily withdraw, you would not need to apply for a waiver. But, it might be a good idea to have a lawyer review all the documents you recieved at the border to best determine whether or not you need a waiver.

      Even if you are not deemed inadmissible, it might be a good idea to prepare an entry package to make sure you will not be denied entry again. An entry package is a prepared set of documents with a cover letter addressed to US Customs and Border Protection demonstrating that you wish to enter the US as a genuine visitor for a temporary duration.

      Thank you.

  65. Michelle says:


    I am a Canadian citizen with direct family memembers living with me in Canda. I visited the US in the past for several times for personal purposes without any issues. A few days ago, I was going to the US again but was denied. My trip was for both personal and business purposes, but I was confused and said it was personal only. I had a random check, had my fingerprints and photos taken. Then, I was asked to withdraw my application voluntarily, which I did.

    I need to have a business trip to the U.S. in a few days. I have prepared return tickets, business trip invitations and agenda, hotel reservation, Canadian house ownership, utility bills, and pay stub.

    My questions are:
    1. Anything else I need to prepare?
    2. Will they ask detailed information about my past trips to U.S., which I may not remember?
    3. What will happen for this coming trip, will I be approved or denied again?


    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Michelle,

      If you are entering the U.S. for busienss purposes, you may have to apply for a B-1 Visa. Canadian citizens may obtain a B-1 Visa at a U.S./Canadian port of entry. B-1 applicants are typically asked to present documentation showing ties to Canada (i.e. bank records), evidence of close family relatives in Canada, property deeds, and documents showing that the applicant will be engaging in permissible B-1 activities. Please note that as a B-1 Visa applicant, you are not allowed to engage in the U.S. labor market.

      It is hard to give you any guarantee that you will or will not be approved. However, to have the best chance of success, I suggest that you prepare a U.S. Entry Package with a qualified immigration lawyer.

      They may ask you about your past trips to the U.S. If they do, you have to answer to the best of your knowledge. Otherwise, you will be denied entry and subject to an entry bar for misrepresention.

      Hope this helps.

  66. Alex says:

    I am a Canadian citizen. I am an Electrical Engineer. Last Friday, I was denied entry to the U.S. because my job title was not on the TN list. What are my options? Thanks.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Alex,

      Even if your job title does not appear on the TN list, you may still qualify. I would suggest that you consult a qualified immigration lawyer with a detailed description of your position.

      Hope this helps.

  67. Tawnya Harding says:

    I have a waiver to enter the U.S. I need a waiver because I had a 30-year-old criminal record from when I was 16. I didn’t know I had a record until I was refused entry to the U.S. I have since gotten a pardon in Canada. My employer wants me to work in the U.S. for two or three years. Will I be eligible to work in the U.S. if I have a waiver? Will my employer need to be aware that I have a waiver, as they will be applying for the necessary work permit. Please advise. Thanks.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Tawnya,

      You can work in the U.S. with a Waiver. However, if your employer is asking you to work for 3 years, a B1 visa may not be the right choice. You may have to apply for a TN visa or H1-B.

      With respect to your criminal record, since the offence was committed when you were under 18, you may qualify under the Youth Offender Exception which does not render one inadmissible. Also, it may not be necessary for your employer to know about your criminal issue.

      However, to better assess your situation, I would recommend that you consult with an immigration lawyer with more detailed information in order to determine which avenue is best suited for your situation.

      Thank you.

  68. Heidi says:


    On March 4, 2011, my Canadian born daughter, my American born grand-daughter, and I were crossing the border to enter into the U.S. However, we were refused entry because the officers thought we did not have enough ties to Canada.

    What constitutes “ties to Canada” and can we try to enter the U.S. again?

    Thank you.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Heidi,

      “Ties to Canada” means any connection you have with Canada. The more ties you have to Canada, the more assurance you can give to the border officers that you will be returning to Canada after your temporary stay in the U.S. Usually, one’s mortgages, investments, utility bills, government issued identification cards, employment in Canada or immediate family members living in Canada can be used to show his/her ties to Canada.

      However, in order to better assess why you were refused entry to the U.S. and to prepare yourself better for your next entry, I would suggest that you discuss with a qualified immigration lawyer.

      Thank you.

      • Heidi says:

        Thank you Kim.

        I own my home here in Canada. I did not apply for any mortgage to purchase this home as I had enough cash. As for immediate family members, I have a 26 year old son, and a 67 yr old mother in Canada. I also have a piece of land under my name. I have propery tax bills, my driver’s license, and government issued ID cards (including my health card and SIN card). I had some of these documents with me last week when I was trying to enter Canada at the border.

        • Alicia Kim says:

          Dear Heidi,

          Based on the facts you provided, I would suggest that you consult an immigration lawyer with all the details and documents you recieved from the border officer on that day to figure out exactly why you were refused and to make sure your next entry will be successful.

          • Heidi says:

            Thank you Alicia!

            Unfortunately, when they refused our entry to the U.S. they did not tell us anything or gave us any documents. They simply told us to come back after 6 months with proof of ties (i.e. utility bills, bank accounts, pay receipts or mortgage statements). What should we do?

            • Alicia Kim says:

              Dear Heidi,

              In that case, I would recommend that you prepare an Entry Package with all the documents they asked you to bring with you. It might be a good idea to have a qualified immigration lawyer to prepare clean and persuasive submissions for you in order to ensure that you will not be refused again. It is much better to do it right the first time than getting refused again. We see a lot of clients who apply for a Waiver after getting refused and these are much harder cases.

              Hope this helps.

  69. Martin says:

    I am a Canadian citizen. I recently crossed the US border from Canada with a Entry Waiver good for one year due to my past US immigration violation. I was given an admittance card which was I-94 valid for six months. On my way back to Canada, the border officer did not check my I-94 and did not stamp on it. So, now I have a record of my entry to the U.S. but no record of my departure from the U.S. Would there be any problem when I travel to the US again? Thanks.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Martin,

      If you departed within the six months, as indicated on your I-94, you should not have any problems entering the U.S. However, if your I-94 has expired, you should surrender it right away at the port of entry and ask for another one. You may have to consult an immigration lawyer to review the dates on your I-94 more carefully.

      Thank you.

  70. afua quarm says:

    I have secured my U.S. Visitor’s Visa last year, but my Canadian Visitor’s Visa was refused. On my visit to the U.S., I was found inadmissible because the border officers found that I intended to re-apply for a Canadian Visitor’s Visa in the U.S. I had in my possession a letter of acceptance to a school in Canada. I was made voluntarily withdraw my application and sent back to my country.

    Can I get a U.S. visa again or can I try re-entering the U.S. once more?

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Afua Quarm,

      If you were allowed to voluntarily withdraw, you may not have to apply for a waiver. However, I would suggest that you consult an immigration lawyer to review the documents you recieved to best determine whether you need a waiver. Even if you are not deemed inadmissible, it might be a good idea to prepare an entry package with an immigration lawyer to make sure you will not get denied entry again.

      Hope this helps.

  71. paul biris says:


    I am a Romanian citizen. I was denied entry to the U.S. last year because I overstayed my visitor’s visa by 3 months. I ended up overstaying in the U.S. because my girlfriend gave birth to my child. Two weeks after my baby was born, we all returned to Romania. I was also convicted of a misdemeanor 5 years ago.

    Do I need a waiver in order to get a new visa?

    Thank you. I look forward to hearing from you.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Paul,

      Since you overstayed in the U.S. by less than 6 months, you are not subject to an overstay bar. However, depending on what kind of misdemeanor you were convicted of, you may or may not need a Waiver. If you satisfy the requirements of the “petty offense exception”, you may enter the United States without a Waiver.

      Thank you.

  72. peter says:


    I am from Australia. I was denied entry to the U.S. six years ago because I forgot my passport. I need to apply for a Visitor Visa now to go to the U.S. Do I need to declare this on my application?

    Thank you.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Peter,

      If you are a citizen of Australia, you would not need to apply for a visitor visa to enter the United States. However, when you are asked about your immigration history by an immigration officer, you must declare the incidence. If not, you may be barred from entry for misrepresentation.

      Hope this helps.

  73. Jordan says:


    I just need a quick answer. I was trying to travel to the States last weekend. I got nervous when I was asked questions by U.S. immigration officers at the border and said I was going to work in the U.S. Actually, I wanted to visit a friend for a week. The officer denied my entry saying because I did not have a visa. Do you think it will be ok that I try one more time? They did not take any pictures or finger prints. How can I then visit my friend in the U.S.?

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Jordan,

      You do need a visa to be able to work in the U.S. However, you are Canadian and your purpose of visit is just to visit friends in the States for a short period of time, you should have no problem crossing the border next time without a visitor’s visa.

      Thank you.

  74. Renee says:

    Hi ,

    I am from Australia. I was refused entry to the U.S. one year ago because I had a criminal conviction that I didn’t declare. I didn’t declare my criminal conviction because it happened so many years ago. How can I apply for a tourist visa?

    Renee .

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Renee,

      If you have a criminal conviction, you may require a U.S. Waiver of Inadmissibility to be admitted to the U.S. again. Since Australia is one of the visa exempt countries, you may be able to enter the U.S. for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visitor’s visa.

      In addition, if your conviction occurred 5 years ago or longer, you may be eligible to make an application for Criminal Rehabilitation to enter Canada. If a Criminal Rehabilitation application is approved, it will wipe out your criminal inadmissibility that prevents you from entering Canada. An application for Criminal Rehabilitation can be made at a Canadian Consulate or Embassy. Since a Criminal Rehabilitation application often invovles technical legal questions, you should always consult with a qualified Canadian immigration lawyer to determine your eligibility and to make a strong case.

      Thank you.

  75. john says:


    I have overstayed in United Kingdom for 3 months. Will that affect my entry in US?

  76. Sandra says:


    I am a Canadian citizen. I was barred from entering the U.S. for misrepresentation. I want to join my snowbird friends in Florida. Can I re-enter the U.S.? What are my chances? What kind of information do I need to provide? Do I need to show my ties to Canada?

    Thank you.


    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Ms. Sandra,

      You would have to apply for an I-194 Waiver. You would need police clearance, a personal statement from you concerning the circumstances surrounding the misrepresentation, reference letters, and any documentation showing your ties to Canada. Processing time for waivers ranges from 6 to 9 months and you must attend at a designated port of entry to make application in person. Your submissions need to be presented in a persuasive manner as the officer reviewing your submission has a lot of discretion.

      Hope this helps.

  77. Billy says:


    I am a Canadian citizen. I was denied entry to the US in November, 2010 because of my overstay in the U.S. I married a US resident in 2007 and have a child born in the US.
    My husband is still in the US. I need to apply to re-enter the US.
    Kindly advise.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Billy,

      You should apply for an I-192 Waiver. If it is approved, you could enter the US during up to a 5 year period depending on the duration of the Waiver.

      Alternatively, if you have to enter the U.S. urgently, you may apply for a Humanitarin Parole. This may be an expedited means for entry to the US if you have strong humanitarian grounds for entering. However, you must show that you will be returning back after your temporary visit to the US is finished and that you have sufficient ties to Canada.

      Thank you.

  78. Emma says:


    In 2007, I went to the U.S. on a visitor visa. After I got married to my boyfriend, I applied for adjustment of status. However, in 2008, I had to drop the application as I had family emergencies back in the U.K. I was subsequently classified as an overstay because my application was never complete. Am I subject to a three year overstay bar?



    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Emma,

      If you have been classified as an overstay by U.S. immigration, you are subject to an overstay bar. Generally, if you overstayed in the U.S. for 180 days or more, you are are subject to an automatic 3 year bar. To overcome your inadmissibility, you may apply for a Waiver to the US and be admitted despite your overstay in the US.

  79. Drew says:


    My friend was denied entry into the U.S. In order to return to the U.S. to visit, what should she apply for? Is there a chance that she is going to get denied again because she was already denied once?

    Thank you.

    • Alicia Kim says:

      Dear Drew,

      Depending on her nationality, she may need a visitor visa to visit the US (Canadian citizens do not require US Tourist Visas to enter the U.S.). When she applies for a U.S. Visitor’s Visa, she will have to disclose her travel history to the U.S. on the forms. She would therefore also require a waiver to re-enter the U.S.

      Hope this helps.

  80. Naomi says:

    Previously in the past I was denied entry for medical reasons ( when crossing in 2005 accidently provided OHIP card ) instead of driver’s license and was questioned about details in my medical history. Was advised I was a medical risk to the US and denied entry – Yes was even finger printed and photo’d.
    I am concerned because I also had a minor criminal conviction in the past from 1998 that showed up on my history. I have since obtained a pardon because I thought the criminal record was gone since it was received when I was a minor. Now I am concerned about completing the medical because I hear that once the US knows about a conviction they NEVER forget. Any advise??

    • Your conviction, depending on what it is, may render you inadmissible to the US even if you recieved a Pardon (the US does not recognize them). If this is the case you may have to apply for a US waiver to be admitted to the US on criminal or medical grounds. But do not mispresent anything US customs otherwise you could find yourself barred from the US for many years.

  81. kamal says:

    Thank you for responding. I have one more question: on filling the immigrant visa application, should I answer the question related to if I have committed any crimes?

    • You have to answer all and every question on an immigration form truthfully. However it is essential to understand the legal consequences of information you put on an application form as well.

  82. kamal yousef says:

    I am still wondering that if I am inadmissible, does it mean that my wife and kids who will accompany me to the interview will be found inadmissible too?

  83. kamal yousef says:

    I have an approved I-130 filed as a brother of US citizen and my visa is now available, but i may be found inadmissable due to a crime commited in 1990. If my immigrant visa is denied, does it mean that my wife and my children will be inadmisable as well?

  84. karla says:

    I got a US visa on 1992 and was denied entry to the US because they found out that I was already living there. Well I entered illegally again, then had a baby, but left on 2000. Now I want to visit the US with no intention of staying. Can I reapply for a US visa? My parents are legal residents and my sisters are US citizens. I live and work in Mexico.

    • Hello
      You can possibly apply for a new US Visa but it will not be easy given your illegal entry and overstay in the US. You have to have a very strong application showing your ties to your home country and that you will be staying in the US on a temporary basis

    • Assuming you are a Mexican national you can apply but given your US immigration history, getting an approval will be a challenge

  85. Dave H. says:

    Three years ago, I was crossing the U.S. Border for a sporting event with my family and, according to the border officer, I didn’t have the proper documentation (my fault) but the officer was very belligerent and reminded me of a $30.00 fraud conviction I received when I was 18 (24 years ago). He felt I was being difficult (believe me, I was not!) and proceeded to have my prints done and told me I was unable to enter the U.S. again. This seemed extreme but there is nothing I have been able to do. Is there an appeal process for me?

    • Your fraud conviction may be considered a CMT (Crime of Moral Turpitude) which could render you inadmissible to the US. You may therefore require a US Waiver of Inadmissibility to be admitted to the US again. Were you given any documentation to fill out by the US officials when you were denied?

  86. Gabriel says:

    Michael, Me and my wife overstayed our visitors visa. And US Customs is aware of this. We have planned to go back to the US but that has held us back. Is there a website or somewhere you can go to see if we are going to be admissible to the US?

  87. Sean says:

    Michael, Thank you. My offenses are 2 misdemeanors (from one incident). Are you aware of a list of offenses that woulder render me inadmissable? I am aware of the list of crimes that are constitutes as “Crimes of Moral Turpitude”, but mine are not on that list. Also, can you recommend council for Central Florida?

  88. Hello Sean
    Depending on your record, you may have to apply for a US Waiver and are inadmissible to the US. If, as you mentioned, the courts withheld adjudication, it may be that your offense does not render you inadmissible. In such a case, it is always advisable to have the court documents with you at any time your cross to the US in case you are questioned about your record.

  89. Sean says:

    I have a minor criminal record. My H1 B visa does not expire for a few years. However, I am concerned that any travel out of the US, they can deny my entry to the US because of my record (even though the courts witheld adjudication). Is this something that I should be concerned about? Or should I just travel with court documents that show I have completed their requirements? Any recommendations?

  90. 13 months is a long time. I am assuming that you applied for an I-192 US Waiver. Usually US waivers take around 6 to 8 months to process. In cases like yours we would contact the DHS and make the appropriate inquires to find out what is the reason for the delay and then take it from there.

  91. sophia says:

    I have been waiting for over 13 months and no news yet. The reason that this happened in the first place was that I said I was not married (I had just gotten married and it was an honest mistake) and even though I corrected it on the spot, I was still denied entry to the US. Both my husband and I are foreign citizens to US. I was just working in the US on TN visa as highly educated professional. I never had any issues with the law in my life. After 13 months, I am still waiting.

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