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Deferred Inspections at BWI (Baltimore Washington International Airport), Dulles International Airport or Regan International Airport

Your flight has just landed safely, your relaxed and ready to settle down from the hassles of travel, then suddenly you as a non-citizen are met with a surprise from Customs Borders and Patrol (CBP) called “Deferred Inspection”.

Once you are not a Citizen of the United States, and you intend to return to the U.S. after being overseas for even a brief visit, CBP redetermines and revaluates if you are eligible for entry into the United States.  It is important to note that this includes U.S. Permanent Residents, no matter how long they have resided in the United States. There are a number of reasons why entry may be denied.  A deferred inspection is granted to allow non citizens temporary admission into the United States to prove that they are eligible for entry if they produce the required documentation and evidence requested by CBP.  CBP provides a date and meeting time in which the individual would be required to come back to the airport.  An attorney should accompany the individual.  A reputable immigration attorney will be allowed into the deferred inspection meeting, despite the federal regulations not giving the non-citizen an explicit “right to counsel or an attorney”.  It is a mistake to attend this meeting without legal counsel.

A few reasons why a non citizen individual may be not be admitted into the United States is listed below:

  • Any criminal history, even if no conviction has taken place.
  • Questioning the underlying basis of a visa
  • Abandonment of Permanent Resident Status. If individuals have had very extensive or lengthy visits, CBP could question if status has been abandoned.

Recently a client came into our office and she was given a deferred inspection because her H1B visa was being questioned based on the legitimacy of the underlying company.  If the company was found to have immigration issues, the visa would have been revoked.

We have had numerous clients who believed that because they were Permanent Residents of the United States, they could never lose their status.  However, due to major changes in immigration law this is farthest from the truth.  Permanent residents are always under the possibility of having status revoked for a variety of reasons we do not explain in detail in this article.  However, it is highly recommended that if a U.S. permanent resident has any questions or issues regarding any problems that have arisen over the course of his or her residency, they should not hesitate to get legal counsel regarding immigration consequences.

The good news is that deferred inspection allows a non-citizen to address any lingering issues upfront which could pop up later in a citizenship application, or simple renewal of one’s green card.  CBP’s decision to grant entry to the United States and success in a deferred inspection is usually binding for the future, and lays to rest any lingering issues.  The non-citizen can be at rest with their status and freely interact with the Department of Homeland Security at various levels whenever needed, including future travel.

If you have any questions, we invite you to contact me at info@scottcclaw.com or 703.261.6881/202.296.0122 .

Glendia Rice-Mondesir

Attorney-at-law

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