What Happens When You’re Denied Entry into the US at the Airport?

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 into the US at airport terminals everyday. The causes may vary because of the traveler’s background.



Background Denials Might Include:

• Criminal history
• Prior US entry denial
• Suspicions of malicious intent
• Problems with paperwork
• Conflicts with travel documentation

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, prior denial is reason enough for future denial.

Steps to Follow 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.


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.  Niren and Associates has lots of experience helping people out 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, nonthreatening manner and accept no for an answer. If you are shown disrespect, remain calm and continue to ask questions.
3. Take notes: It is very important 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 special 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 one like Niren and Associates and relay the details of your case appropriately.

What A Lawyer Will 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 followed 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 to take the next important steps to gain US access or return safely home for further work on your travel documentation.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.

Tags: airport border denied entry Denied entry to US immigration us

About Fadi Minawi

Fadi is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the University of Toledo College of Law. He is called to the New York State Bar and is registered as a Foreign Legal Consultant with the Law Society of Upper Canada. He is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and is currently serving as the Media Liaison for the Canadian Chapter of AILA. Fadi has extensive experience in US immigration matters and is the firm’s lead in the area of US immigration. He is specialized in corporate and family immigration, as well as issues dealing with US inadmissibility.

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