Denied Entry to the USA?

USA Waivers for Denied Entry to the US

Canadians and Americans have always enjoyed relatively easy access across our shared borders. Business travelers and pleasure seekers alike have merely had to display their proof of citizenship to customs officials at a port of entry in order to be admitted across the border.

However, under increased border security and scrutiny, the days of easy access are long gone. Many Canadians are being refused at the US Border. However if you have been refused entry to the US, you do have options.

Our law firm has handed thousands of US border denial cases with great success. Contact our law firm for an assessment of your US border denial case.

Why are you being refused entry to the US?

If you have been refused entry to the US it is likely because you are subject to one of the many grounds of inadmissibly listed under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) S. 212 [8 U.S.C. 1182] such as criminality or health related grounds.

Being Denied Entry to the US because of a Criminal Record

Basically, criminal inadmissibility involves “crimes of moral turpitude” (CMT). CMT is a legal term of art and is dealt with under INA §212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I).

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 generally relates to the following crimes:

  • Controlled Substance Traffickers – Includes “assister, abettor, conspirator, or colluder” INA §212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II),
  • Conviction of 2 or more offenses with a combined sentence of 5 or more years INA §212(a)(2)(B
  • Prostitution and Commercialized vice §212(a)(2)(D
  • Certain aliens involved in serious criminal activity who have asserted immunity from prosecution INA §212(a)(2)(E),

Do all criminal records result in being denied entry to the US?

Crimes of moral turpitude cover a large spectrum of offences from common assault to drug offences. However there are certain important exemptions found under INA 212(a)(2)(A)(ii):

1. The ground does not apply where the alien has committed only one crime of moral turpitude, the crime was committed when the alien was under 18 years of age and the crime was committed (and the alien was released from confinement to prison or a correctional institution imposed for the crime) more than five years before the date of application for a visa or other documentation and the date of application for admission to the United States.

2. The ground does not apply where the alien has committed only one crime of moral turpitude, the maximum penalty possible for the crime for which the alien was convicted or to which the alien admits having committed or of which acts the alien admits having committed which constitute the essential elements of the crime did not exceed one year of imprisonment and, if the alien was convicted of the crime, the alien was not sentenced to imprisonment for a term greater than six months, regardless of the extent to which the sentence was ultimately satisfied.

The aforementioned exemptions are collectively known as the “petty offence exception”. In practice, you will encounter many clients wrongfully denied entry to the US due to criminality who fall under the petty offence exception. It is therefore important to carefully investigate your clients’ background to determine if, despite they may have committed a CMT, they nevertheless are admissible to the US.

US Waivers when you are denied entry to the US

Under INA §212(d)(3), an alien who is excludable other than for security and related grounds (with the exception of export violations), foreign policy grounds or participation in Nazi persecution or genocide is eligible for admission as a nonimmigrant on a temporary basis despite his or her inadmissibility.

The leading case in this area is the The Matter of Hranka, 16 I&N Dec. 491 (BIA 1978). The Board of Immigration Appeals outlined the criteria for an application for a waiver of inadmissibility under INA §212(d)(3). The three criteria considered are:

  • The risk of harm to society if the applicant is admitted;
  • The seriousness of the applicant’s prior violation(s) of immigration or criminal law, if any; and
  • The nature of the applicant’s reasons for seeking entry.

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 US despite his or her criminality and is required to display the waiver for each and every entry during the currency of the waiver.

Procedure for US Waivers

For Canadians, the procedure for applying for a non immigrant waiver involves first obtaining an RCMP certificate as well as local court records of the offence in question. Further, a personal statement from the applicant concerning the circumstances surrounding the offence has to be prepared. Two application forms, an I-192, Application for Advance Permission to Enter as a Nonimmigrant and a G-325A Biographic Information must also be completed. Supporting documentation includes information relating to ties to Canada such as the applicant’s family in Canada, employment, and assets. It is also recommended that 3 character references be included. If your client has been convicted of a narcotics offence, then he or she should undergo a drug test and provide a letter of clean record from a physician.

Once the application package is ready for submission, your client must attend at a designated port of entry to make 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. The current processing fee is $110.00USD for such appeals.

Given the wide range of offences caught by the criminal inadmissibility provisions, it is essential that you investigate the potential criminal history of all your non-immigrant clients entering the US for business or pleasure before sending them to the US.

Are you a Canadian and have been denied entry to the US?

We can help! Imagine getting though the border. We are here to make that happen. Call us for a consultation or email us at [email protected]

Need a Real Life Story?

My name is Atash Khosrorad and I am currently a client at Niren & Associates.  Recently I re-applied for my Humanitarian Parole for entry into the United States.  This was in lieu of my pending Waiver Application case, which was in the hands of the USCIS at the time of my re-application.

Throughout this process, Laura Eaton was the direct contact under Fadi’s team who communicated the process and next steps as to how to best approach the matters.

My mother is currently in the United States suffering from cancer.  When Laura and Fadi became aware of the circumstances, they took immediate steps to process my case and provided the best direction as to how to process my work most efficiently and swiftly.

I can say my case for Humanitarian Parole was submitted and approved all within less than a week, and I had a piece of mind that Laura’s direction would be beneficial.  As this was my second application, there was some idea as to what to expect, yet Laura’s compassion as well as Fadi’s assistance and direction were all the most welcoming and the reason why I chose to stay with this firm.

Meanwhile, my pending Waiver Application was delayed approval.  Laura and Fadi were most persistent in following up with the USCIS as they were aware of the urgency of my circumstance.  Needless to say, when the approval of the Waiver Application arrived, Laura took the liberty to call me immediately with the wonderful news.  She was as ecstatic as I was, and her humanity along with professionalism was very comforting and warm-hearted.

When I will remain with this firm through the future in working on more cases, and am currently recommending family members to Niren & Associates, due to the service, compassion, and most of all trust that they entail.  I have had no regrets in my experiences with Niren & Associates thus far, thanks to Fadi, Laura, and the team that the law firm holds.  My family and I have much to be thankful for and it was made possible with their services.

Thank you,

Atash Khosrorad