Traveling to the United States


Non-citizens traveling to the United States with nonimmigrant visas or on ESTA visa waivers can be denied admission to the United States if U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) officers believe they do not qualify to enter the United States in the status in which they are seeking to be admitted.  CBP officers can cancel a nonimmigrant visa, deny admission, and remove foreign nationals who are not a lawful permanent resident through a process known as “expedited removal.”  CBP officers can permit arriving aliens to withdraw their applications for admission in place of being expeditedly removed and subject to a 5-year bar on their return to the United States.  Applicants for admission who can demonstrate a “credible fear” of returning to their country of citizenship can apply for asylum, withholding of removal, or relief under the Convention Against Torture before an Immigration Judge.  The best way to try to reduce the risk that an international traveler will be denied admission to the United States at a Port of Entry is for the foreign national to consult with an experienced attorney prior to travel to the United States to secure advice and if necessary, representation.  Before traveling to the United States, foreign nationals should be prepared to present documentation demonstrating they qualify for admission in the status for which they will be applying for admission.  International travelers should be aware that their computers, cell phones, wallets, purses, luggage, and social media accounts may be searched by CBP officers upon their arrival at U.S. Ports of Entry.  International travelers should be prepared to answer questions based on their travel and immigration history, their visa applications, their records of arrest or conviction as revealed by the biometric checks done during their Port of Entry inspection, and other information available to CBP officers at U.S. Ports of Entry.


Foreign nationals concerned that they might be denied admission to the United States at a Port of Entry and foreign nationals who have been denied admission should contact HSPRD at (312) 239-7675 or info@chicagovisalawyers.comto schedule a consultation for advice and representation.

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