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Under increased border security, the days of easy access to the U.S. are long gone. Inadmissibility affects many people, but for some, there is hope. The details of your denial are important, and can mean the difference between denial and acceptance.
The good news is even if you have attempted to enter the U.S., and you have been denied entry, there might still be an opportunity for you to enter the country.
If you have been refused entry to the U.S., it is likely because you are subject to one of the many grounds of inadmissibility listed under the Immigration and Nationality Act. These include if you:
One of the most common reasons that an individual is denied entry to the U.S. is due to “criminal inadmissibility”. This is a category that covers a lot of situations, but that does not mean that a person with a criminal past would be inadmissible.
Criminal inadmissibility includes if you have been convicted of:
According to the legal definition, crimes of moral turpitude relate to conduct that is inherently “base, vile, or depraved, contrary to social standards of morality and done with a reckless, malicious, or evil intent”. This somewhat archaic definition covers a large spectrum of offences from common assault to drug offences, but generally relates to the following crimes:
Not all criminal records result in being denied entry to the U.S. Crimes that are not considered a CMT include where the individual has committed only one crime of moral turpitude, and:
There are 3 criteria for an application for a waiver of inadmissibility:
Waivers of inadmissibility are currently valid for a period of 5 years but could be issued for a lesser period at the discretion of the immigration officer. If the waiver is granted, the applicant can enter the U.S. despite his or her criminality and is required to display the waiver for each and every entry during the currency of the waiver.
The procedure for applying for a nonimmigrant waiver involves:
We also recommended that 3 character references be included. If you have been convicted of a narcotics offence, then you should undergo a drug test and provide a letter of clean record from a physician.
Once the application package is ready for submission, you will attend at a designated port of entry to fill out an application in person and pay the application fee. Fingerprints will be taken during this process.
Processing time for waivers ranges from 6 to 9 months and the results are mailed to the applicant. If the application is denied, the applicant has 30 calendar days to file an appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals or the Administrative Appeals Unit.
Given the wide range of offences caught by the criminal inadmissibility provisions, it is essential that your potential criminal history is investigated before entering the U.S. for business or pleasure.
Whenever someone is denied entry at the border, the individual is not only unable to enter the U.S., but he or she faces an unexpected trip back home (not to mention feelings of humiliation and depression). However, in addition to exploring opportunities to waive inadmissibility, a legal expert can help ensure that an individual is not wrongfully denied entry in the first place.
Not every crime on a person’s record makes him or her inadmissible. It is therefore important to carefully investigate your background to determine if, despite whether you have committed a crime, you may still be able to enter the U.S.
For over 15 years, we have helped countless individuals who thought they had no hope in entering the States due to a refused entry with their cases. Our experience with immigration law has allowed us to help individuals enter the U.S., who otherwise would have not had the opportunity.
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