Denied entry to the United States? What are your options.
Reasons to be denied entry to the United States
A criminal conviction, even from long ago, can result in someone being denied entry to the United States. Being denied entry to the United States at the border can put a serious dent in your plans, whether you’re traveling for business or for pleasure. No matter who you are now, and even if you’re the most law-abiding citizen who would normally balk at a parking ticket a criminal conviction from long ago can cause problems and result in your being denied entry to the United States.
If the issue comes up at the border, try to relax and not be nervous. In most cases, you will have to relay to the immigration officials any and all offenses, convictions and problems from your past and with the more facts, the better – for example, if you were given community service or served less time than normal in prison, this may work for you.
What not to do when denied entry to the United States
All of the United States admissibility denials are kept in a database. Trying to enter via one border and then being denied is one thing, but trying to enter the United States using a different border on the same day as being denied at another will cause serious problems, and you will be found out.
Being denied entry to the United States
Despite your best efforts, you may still be denied entry to the United States. In this case, you still have options, like applying for a non-immigrant waiver of admissibility. In some cases, you may be able to prove that the United States Immigration and Nationality Act – which governs denial of entry into the United States – is not relevant to your offenses. In all cases, an immigration lawyer can help you figure out your options when you’re denied entry into the United States.
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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
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