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Navigating U.S. Inadmissibility

There are a range of reasons that a person may be inadmissible to the United States, some more common than others. Regardless of the cause of inadmissibility, handling the consequences can be complicated.

For some people, being inadmissible to the U.S. means restricted job opportunities or not being able to visit loved ones. For others, it simply means that they cannot travel freely. The implications of being inadmissible are lifelong and permanent, making it critical to understand what you are up against.

Inadmissibility 101

According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, individuals who are inadmissible cannot enter or stay in the United States. The grounds for inadmissibility are determined in the country’s Immigration and Nationality Act. There are several categories under which a person may fall if they are considered inadmissible including, but not limited to:

  • Inadmissibility due to health
  • Inadmissibility due to criminal reasons
  • Inadmissibility due to national security reasons
  • Inadmissibility due to likelihood of becoming a public charge
  • Inadmissibility due to fraud or misrepresentation

Depending on the reason for inadmissibility, it may be possible to qualify and apply for an entry waiver.

Entry Waivers

Working with a lawyer experienced in cross-border issues can help you determine whether you qualify for an entry waiver. In some cases, border guards may have made an error which could result in bypassing the need for a waiver altogether. If a lawyer determines that your status as inadmissible is valid, you may be still be able to move forward.

Unfortunately, applying for an entry waiver is not a one-time event. Waivers must be paid for and renewed every few years which can add a significant degree of cost and complication to cross-border travel. A skilled lawyer can provide practical guidance by filing applications, assisting with supporting evidence, and developing strategies to work towards gaining lawful entry.