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Denied Entry to the USA at the Airport 2024: Next Steps

By Sam Moser October 31, 2012 (Updated January 30, 2024) 7 min. read

In this article, we will talk about:

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.

What Happens at the Airport When Denied Entry to the US?

The good news is that even if you have attempted to enter the US, and you have been refused entry, there might still be an opportunity for you to enter the country. There are many reasons to be denied entry into the United States which can include turning you around at the airport. Being turned away at the airport can be embarrassing and inconvenient. If you are denied entry into the United States after a long flight, you might be tempted to argue with the airport officials. Do not argue. Many foreign travelers are denied entry to the US at airport terminals every day.

When you get to the airline counter, three things could happen:

Immigration officers will conduct a background check on those traveling internationally.

Background Denials Might Include:

The most common reason individuals are turned away at an airport is paperwork. Travelers may have overstayed a prior visa or passport allowance. They may even have expired documentation.

It is rare for most travelers to be denied entry into the States because of criminal background problems, but this can cause trouble. However, if you have been refused entry into the United States at any point in the past, even for an expired passport, the previous denial is reasoning enough for future denial.

Why Could You Be Denied Entry at US Airport in 2024?

According to the Department of Homeland Security website, travelers may be denied entry to the US for the following reasons:

  1. Previously worked illegally in the US
  2. Suspected of overstaying their visa
  3. Suspected of having ties to terrorist or criminal organizations
  4. Previously overstayed a visit to the US
  5. Don’t have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay in the US
  6. Inadmissible by Health: anyone with a “communicable disease” or “physical or mental disorder that may pose, or has posed, a threat to [the person] or others” or “a drug abuser or addict”)
  7. Being convicted of a criminal offense

What To Do When Denied Entry to the US at the Airport

You will probably be standing in the airport terminal when you discover that you have been denied entrance into the United States. When you receive this bad news, you must follow these steps before doing anything else. Arguing will not help and will usually hurt your case. If you can, consider returning home and consulting with a US immigration attorney to ensure that you can re-enter the US again. Contact your airline to see if you can get a refund for your ticket.

  1. Ask for patience: If you can avoid having your record officially entered as denied entry, you will benefit in the long run. Ask to call a lawyer first if possible.  VisaPlace Legal has lots of experience helping people who have been denied entry and can provide the guidance you’ll need to overturn the decision, if possible.
  2. Ask follow-up questions: Do so in a calm, non-threatening manner and do not accept “no” for an answer. If you are shown disrespect, remain calm and continue to ask questions.
  3. Take notes: It is essential to write the responses to each of your questions regarding your denied entry. Be as detailed as possible.
  4. Find a quiet place to collect your details: You want to pay particular attention to your paperwork at this time. You will likely have been given the reason for your denial. Recheck all paperwork to confirm the details of your entry refusal.
  5. Call a lawyer: If you have not established a lawyer for a case such as this, take the opportunity to contact ones like VisaPlace and relay the details of your case appropriately.

The truth is, is that no one is guaranteed entry to the US, even citizens. Even if you have the correct documentation, visas, or legal status, you could still be denied entry to the US so being prepared for the worst is the best thing to do.

Denied Entry to the US with a Visa

If you arrive in the US with a visa and an immigration official refuses your entry, you can insist on a review of your case before a judge. However, if you travel to the US as a visitor under the visa waiver program, you ‘waive any rights to a review or appeal of an immigration officer’s determination as to your admissibility, or to contest any action in deportation.

If you have been denied entry with a visa, you have the right to:

What a US Immigration Attorney Can Do:

Once an immigration attorney learns about your denied US access, he or she will go to work on your case and help you solve the rejection of your visa. It is possible and likely that you will find a solution that will allow you into the country if you follow the steps regarding your rejection.

Certainly, if you have a criminal background and were denied for that reason, or if you do not have the proper paperwork, or if you did not respectfully navigate your interactions with US airport employees, you might be in a dead-end case. If you are worried about being denied entry to the US at the airport, a lawyer can help you take the next necessary steps to gain US access or return safely home for further work on your travel documentation.

Why Hire Us to Help You With Your Denied Entry Case?

For over 25 years, we have helped countless individuals who thought they had no hope of 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.

If I Am Denied Entry to the USA, Can I Try Again?

Yes, if you are denied entry into the United States, you can try to re-enter by applying for a Waiver of Inadmissibility.

These waivers, which can be valid for up to five years in some cases, can allow you to enter the United States even if you are ineligible. The waiver must be presented to immigration officials each time you enter the country.

Who Pays For Your Return Flight If You Are Denied Entry?

When it comes to denied entry and flying fees, there are some cases when you may wind up paying the bill. These scenarios frequently involve instances in which travelers seek to enter a country without legal documentation or when they are on their way to another country.

However, each airline has its own set of rules and regulations surrounding denied entry. Passengers must become acquainted with these policies to be aware of their rights and entitlements.

Best Practices for Gaining Entry Into the US

You will want to make sure you follow all of the rules and requirements for your background checks, applying for your visa, and also any rules and regulations about your visa when entering the United States.

There are many reasons you could be deemed inadmissible to the US, so make sure you check the regulations before applying for a visa or speaking with an immigration lawyer.

If you arrive with a visa and immigration officials deny you entry, you can request a review of your case before a judge. This includes the right to an exclusion hearing or an administrative appeal. However, if you’re a visitor under the visa waiver program, you give up the right to review or appeal an immigration officer’s decision on your admissibility.

If you’re denied entry due to a criminal record, lack of proper documentation, and inappropriate behavior with airport staff, your chances of overturning the denial might be limited.

Are You Coming to the US and Are Worried About Being Denied Entry?

If so, Contact VisaPlace today. All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals, and consultants who work for VisaPlace Legal an award-winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Ready for the next step? Book your 1 on 1 consultation now or call us at 1-877-296-0874.

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Mary Connin

Bansuri was very helpful in explaining the reason she was asking me certain questions about my upcoming appointment. She was polite, clear and persuasive – excellent qualities for someone who does her job, and really a great first impression for The visa Place. Thank you, Bansuri.

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My interaction with Brenda was cordial and professional, she understood what I needed and made sure that I got all my questions answered. Dumb thing to say maybe but I felt her smile coming through the phone. Thank you Brenda!

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Christopher Miller

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Michael Klaper

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Michael Klaper, M.D.

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Laurence Arpin

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Barb Petruzzi

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blake naze

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