Tag Archives: I-601 immigrant waiver

Rescission of INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i) (Misrepresentation) Finding + Grant of H-1B Visa = A True Success Story

In September 2018, the U.S. Embassy issued an H-1B temporary worker visa to my client after previously finding he is permanently inadmissible under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i), i.e. willful misrepresentation of material fact to gain U.S. immigration benefits. At the visa interview, he relied on my recommendations to explain why the misrepresentation bar does not apply to him.

The Embassy did not specify the factual basis for the misrepresentation finding. But years ago, my client’s H-1B visa was revoked by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) and he was denied entry and allowed to withdraw his application for admission.

In particular, at primary inspection, the CBP officer asked him about his relationship with the H-1B petitioner (consulting firm) and the end client. Instead of naming the consulting firm as his U.S. employer, he mistakenly gave the name of the end client, where he was assigned to work. From there, confusion began.  At secondary inspection, the CBP questioned him extensively and ultimately denied his entry under INA 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I)(intended immigrant without valid travel document) – which CBP often uses as a catch-all provision to refuse admission to the U.S.

A few years later, the Embassy did issue him a new H-1B visa based on an approved I-129 petition by another U.S. employer, without raising the misrepresentation bar. But when he later requested a visa renewal to enter the United States following a trip abroad, the Embassy requested several documents related to his previous employments in the United States. These included the I-797 (receipt and approval) notices for all H-1Bs; all I-129/H-1B petitions filed on his behalf; Labor Condition Applications in support of the H-1B petitions filed on his behalf; support letter from the end client; employment contracts; and pay statements.

Despite receiving the requested documents, the Embassy denied the H-1B visa  under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i). When he applied again for the H-1B visa three months later – at the direction of his U.S. employer – the Embassy said nothing had changed and again refused the visa under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i).

After being denied the H-1B visa twice on misrepresentation grounds, he contacted me to prepare a Motion to Reconsider and Rescind Inadmissibility Determination Under INA 212(a)(6)(C)(i). The Embassy accepted my legal memorandum and some of the documentary evidence establishing the section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) bar was applied in error. It placed the case in administrative processing and then finally granted the visa two months later.

Although my client could have filed for a 212(d)(3) nonimmigrant waiver, I explained this would take a longer time to process and a waiver grant would still leave the section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) bar intact. He also had an approved I-140 immigrant petition filed on his behalf and the 212(d)(3) waiver would not overcome the inadmissibility ground to receiving an immigrant visa or green card. With no qualifying relative (U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent) to be eligible for a Form I-601/INA 212(i) immigrant waiver, he would be subject to being denied permanent residence as long as the 212(a)(6)(c) bar remained.

Furthermore, and most important, he had made no willful misrepresentation of material fact to obtain an H-1B visa or any other U.S. immigration benefit. I pointed out that if the Embassy agreed to rescind the section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) charge, he would not require a 212(d)(3) waiver for the H-1B visa to be issued.

Two months following the visa interview, the Embassy instructed my client to submit his passport. It issued the H-1B visa to him and he re-entered the United States without any problems. 

Because the Embassy vacated the section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) charge, my client will not need a 212(d)(3) nonimmigrant waiver to receive a new H-1B or other nonimmigrant visa. He also will not require a Form I-601/INA 212(i) waiver to obtain permanent residence in the United States.

Through emails, telephone calls  and video conferences, my client and I worked together to convince the Embassy to vacate the misrepresentation bar and grant the H-1B visa. This is a true success story in which he timely received the visa after being denied it twice in a row.

Cheers,

Dyan Williams

Founder & Principal Attorney
Dyan Williams Law PLLC
(612) 225-9900
dw@dyanwilliamslaw.com

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This article provides general information only. It is based on law, regulations and policy that are subject to change. Do not consider it as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Each case is different and case examples do not constitute a prediction or guarantee of success or failure in any other case. The sharing or receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Common Reasons for Visa Refusal or Visa Denial

A visa refusal or denial brings disappointment, frustration, and confusion over what to do next to enter the U.S. lawfully.

The U.S. Embassies and Consulates ultimately decide whether to grant you a nonimmigrant visa (e.g. B-1/B-2 visitor, F-1 student, H-1B temporary worker) or immigrant visa (e.g. family-based or employment-based) for admission to the United States. Proving you qualify for a visa is rarely easy.

Before you apply for a visa, it’s important to know the common reasons for a refusal or denial. They stem from the Immigration & Nationality Act, including sections 221(g)(lack of information or documents to show visa eligibility), 214(b)(failure to overcome presumption of immigrant intent in nonimmigrant visa cases) and 212(a)(inadmissibility grounds).

Soft refusal

1. Section 221(g) – Incomplete Application or Supporting Documentation

A visa refusal under section 221(g) of the INA means you did not present all the necessary information or documents for the consular officer to determine your visa eligibility. This is a soft refusal because you get the opportunity to correct the problem before a final decision is made.

In a 221(g) notice, you will be instructed on what additional evidence is needed and how to submit it. Examples include financial documents, affidavits of support, employment letter, and criminal records. If you do not submit the requested documents within one year, you will need to reapply for the visa and pay a new application fee.

You may also be informed that the Consulate will conduct further administrative processing of your application (e.g. security checks or further investigation by another agency such as USCIS) before it instructs you on next steps or issues a decision.  This can be triggered by database hits, fraud prevention unit investigations, alerts lists, and administrative errors.

Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview, but the timing varies based on individual circumstances. For example, if the case is forwarded to USCIS or another agency for further review, this could take several months to complete.

When the documents submitted are not enough to overcome the 221(g) refusal or administrative processing reveals negative information that makes you inadmissible, your visa request will be denied.

Hard denial

2. Section 214(b) – Visa Qualifications and Immigrant Intent

Under section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, a nonimmigrant is presumed to have immigrant intent, i.e. intent to remain permanently, rather than temporarily, in the United States. Nonimmigrant visa applicants (except for H-1B and L-1s) have the burden to overcome this presumption and prove they have no immigrant intent.

Section 214(b) denials apply only to nonimmigrant visa categories. For instance, B-1/B-2 visitor visa applicants must show they have strong ties to their home country, which they cannot abandon, and intend to visit the U.S. temporarily for business or pleasure. F-1 student visa applicants must further show they are qualified to pursue a full course of study, have the financial resources to pay tuition and living expenses, and intend to return to their country after completing their studies.

A 214(b) denial notice will state you have not demonstrated strong ties to your home country to overcome the presumption of immigrant intent and therefore do not meet the standards for a visa grant. The real, underlying reason, however, may be different.

Do you fit the profile of a person who tends to work in the U.S. without authorization or will likely overstay? Did you request a change of status from B-2 to F-1 during a previous trip to the U.S.? Have you ever entered the Diversity Visa lottery or had an I-130 immigrant petition filed on your behalf? Did you seem nervous during the visa interview? Did you give birth in the U.S. during a temporary visit? Do you make regular visits to the U.S. and stay for extended periods each time?

A consular officer’s doubts about your true intentions could lead to a 214(b) visa denial. It is often used as catch-all provision even when there is no valid reason to deny your visa application.

3. Section 212(a) – Inadmissibility Grounds

Section 212(a) of the INA lists the various grounds on which you are inadmissible to the U.S. (i.e. barred from entering the U.S. or from obtaining a visa).

Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) of the INA states that you are permanently inadmissible if you, by fraud or willfully misrepresenting a material fact, seek to procure (or have sought to procure or have procured) a visa, other documentation, or admission into the U.S. or other immigration benefit.

Section 212(a)(6)(C)(ii) of the INA inflicts a permanent bar against you when it is determined that you made a false claim to U.S. citizenship to gain a benefit under U.S. immigration law, federal law or state law.

Section 212(a)(2) of the INA lists crime-related grounds that permanently bar you from entering the U.S. They include crimes involving moral turpitude (that do not qualify for the petty offense or youthful offender exception), controlled substance violations, multiple criminal convictions, and controlled substance trafficking (i.e. U.S. consular officer or U.S. government knows or has reason to believe you are a controlled substance trafficker).

Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) of the INA states the 3 year bar to re-entry applies if you were unlawfully present in the U.S. for more than 180 days, but less than one year, and then depart the U.S. The U.S. government adds up all the days you were unlawfully present in the U.S. in a single ongoing period or stay (i.e. continuous period of unlawful presence).

Section 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(II) of the INA states the 10 year bar to re-entry applies if you were unlawfully present in the U.S. for one year or more, and then depart the U.S. The U.S. government adds up all the days you were unlawfully present in the U.S., even if they were from different periods or stays (i.e. the aggregate period of unlawful presence).

Section 212(a)(9)(A)(i) of the INA states you have a five-year bar to reentry from the date of your removal if:

  • You were removed upon arrival in the U.S., i.e. ordered removed in an expedited removal proceeding by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) at a U.S. port of entry.
  • You were placed in removal proceedings upon arrival in the U.S. and then ordered removed by an immigration judge as an arriving alien.

Section 212(a)(9)(A)(ii) of the INA states you have a 10-year bar to reentry from the date of your removal if:

  • You were ordered removed, other than as an arriving alien, including by an immigration judge in removal proceedings.
  • You failed to timely depart the U.S. under an order of voluntary departure issued by an immigration judge, causing the voluntary departure to be converted to a removal order.
  • You departed the U.S. willingly, but before removal proceedings were concluded.
  • You left the U.S. while a removal order was outstanding.

Section 212(a)(9)(A)(ii) of the INA states you have a 20-year bar to reentry from the date of your removal if you were ordered removed from the U.S. more than once, whether as an arriving alien or not. It permanently bars you from reentry from the date of your removal if you were convicted of an aggravated felony.

Section 212(a)(9)(C) of the INA states you are permanently barred if you reentered or attempted to reenter the U.S. illegally after you accrued more than one year of unlawful presence in the U.S. and left, or after you were ordered removed from the U.S. The permanent bar, due to illegal entry or attempted illegal entry, applies only if you accrued the (1+ year) unlawful presence or were ordered removed on or after April 1, 1997, or entered or attempt to reenter the U.S. unlawfully on or after April 1, 1997.

Notification of Visa Refusal or Denial

When a consular officer refuses or denies your visa request, you will be informed orally and given a written notice with boxes checked off from a boilerplate list of statutory law.

In both immigrant and nonimmigrant visa cases, the officer must provide timely, written notice of:

  • The provision(s) of law on which the refusal is based
  • Any waiver of inadmissibility available (when  212(a) ineligibility grounds apply)

In immigrant visa cases, the written notice should include the factual basis for the refusal (unless such information is classified) ). The consular officer should refer to pertinent written or oral statements of the applicant, a conviction, medical report, false document, previous refusal, or the like, as the basis of the refusal.  The officer is also instructed to explain the law simply and clearly.

In Kerry v. Din, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its June 15, 2015 decision stating consular officers need not provide the factual basis for an immigrant visa denial when terrorism or national security concerns are involved. In that case, a foreign national spouse was denied her immigrant visa based on an unexplained allegation that her Afghani, U.S. citizen husband (the I-130 petitioner) supported terrorism. The court ruled that in these circumstances, a consular officer may simply cite to the statutory law without providing specific reasons for the visa denial.

In nonimmigrant visa cases, the written notice rarely informs you of the specific facts on which the consular office relied to made the decision. Usually, it will only cite to the statute (law) under which your visa was denied. Therefore, it helps to listen closely to the consular officer’s oral notice.

Consult an immigration attorney with expertise in visa refusals and denials

To prevent or overcome a visa denial, you should seek guidance from an immigration attorney who deals with consular processing. A skilled attorney can evaluate your case to verify your visa eligibility, help you respond to a request for more documents, challenge erroneous inadmissibility findings, and file for any necessary and available waivers.

For more information, read our related article, Potential Solutions for Visa Refusal or Visa Denial.

This article provides general information only. It is based on law, regulations and policy that are subject to change. Do not consider it as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Each legal case is different and case examples do not constitute a prediction or guarantee of success or failure in any other case. The sharing or receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Expedited Removal: When Does it Apply and What Are the Consequences?

You may face expedited removal from the U.S. if the Customs & Border Protection (CBP) finds you inadmissible and denies your entry, usually at an airport, seaport, or land border checkpoint. The Form I-860, Notice and Order of Expedited Removal, requires you leave the U.S. immediately and brings serious consequences, such as a visa cancellation with prejudice and minimum 5-year bar to reentry.

On What Grounds May Expedited Removal Be Ordered?

CBP officers must verify whether you are admissible to the U.S. before they let you into the U.S. The CBP not only checks your travel documents, but may also interview you extensively to confirm the true purpose of your trip. The CBP may also check its records to determine whether you have a criminal history, immigration violation or other grounds that make you inadmissible.

Your mere possession of a travel document that is valid on its face does not guarantee your entry into the U.S. Section 235(b)(1) of the Immigration & Nationality Act (INA) permits the CBP to issue an expedited removal order if it finds you are inadmissible under section 212(a)(6)(C) or 212(a)(7). The inadmissibility grounds for an expedited removal order are:

1. Section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) (Misrepresentation), i.e. by fraud or wilful misrepresentation of a material fact, you seek to procure (or have sought to procure or have procured) a visa, other documentation,  admission into the U.S. or other immigration benefit.

2. Section 212(a)(6)(C)(ii) (False Claim to U.S. Citizenship), i.e. you falsely represent or have falsely represented yourself to be a U.S. citizen for any purpose or benefit under immigration law or federal or state law.

3. Section 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I), (Immigrant Without Proper Visa or Travel Document), i.e. you are an immigrant who, at the time of application for admission, is not in possession of a valid unexpired immigrant visa, reentry permit, border crossing identification card, or other valid entry document required by immigration law, and a valid unexpired passport, or other suitable travel document, or document of identity and nationality if such document is required by the regulations.

4. Section 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(II) (Immigrant With Improperly Issued Visa), i.e. you are an immigrant who, at the time of application for admission, has a visa that was not issued in compliance with immigration law.

5. Section 212(a)(7)(B)(i)(I) (Nonimmigrant Without Valid Passport), i.e. you are a nonimmigrant who, at the time of application for admission, is not in possession of a passport valid for a minimum of six months from the date of the expiration of your period of admission or period of authorized stay.

6. Section 212(a)(7)(B)(i)(II)(Nonimmigrant Without Proper Visa or Travel Document), i.e. you are a nonimmigrant, who at the time of application for admission, does not have a valid nonimmigrant visa or border crossing identification card.

Who is Subject to Expedited Removal? 

Expedited removal applies to certain groups or classes, including:

1. Arriving aliens at designated port of entry (e.g. airport, seaport, or land border crossing)

As of April 1, 1997, all “arriving aliens” who seek admission to the U.S. or transit through the U.S. at a designated port of entry may be issued an expedited removal order upon inspection, if CBP finds they are inadmissible under sections 212(a)(6)(C) and/or 212(a)(7).

Currently, expedited removal does not apply to Cuban nationals who arrive at a U.S. port of entry by aircraft.

The expedited removal process may not be used at pre-clearance or pre-inspection units. If the CBP wishes to proceed with expedited removal, it must defer action until the vessel (e.g. aircraft) has arrived in the U.S.

2. Certain other aliens who are already in the U.S. 

Under the April 1, 1997 law, expedited removal also applies to noncitizens who have not been admitted or paroled into the U.S. following inspection by an immigration officer at a designated port of entry, and who have not been physically present in the U.S. continuously for the 2-year period prior to the date of determination of inadmissibility.

3. Foreign nationals arriving by sea, but not at designated port of entry

As of November 2002, foreign nationals who arrive in the U.S. by sea, and not at a designated port of entry, or who are intercepted at sea and brought to the U.S., may be subject to expedited removal if they were not admitted or paroled into the U.S. and have not been continuously present in the U.S. for at least two years.

Currently, expedited removal does not apply to Cuban nationals, crewmen or stowaways. [UPDATE: On January 12, 2017, the Obama Administration announced the U.S. is eliminating this exemption. Expedited removal proceedings may now be initiated against Cubans.]

4. Undocumented immigrants within 100 miles of a U.S. border 

As of August 2004, expedited removal may apply to noncitizens who are encountered within 100 miles of any U.S. land or sea border and who entered the U.S. without inspection less than 14 days before the time they are encountered.

As a matter of discretion, CBP generally applies such expedited removals against third-country nationals not from Mexico or Canada, or Mexican or Canadian nationals with criminal histories or immigration violations.

What are the Consequences of an Expedited Removal Order?

By itself, an expedited removal order carries a 5-year to reentering the U.S. This means you may not obtain an immigrant visa or nonimmigrant visa, or otherwise enter the U.S. for a minimum of 5 years from the date of expedited removal.

In addition, if you are found inadmissible under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) (fraud or willful misrepresentation of material fact to gain immigration benefit), you are barred from the U.S. for a lifetime.

An inadmissibility finding under section 212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(false claim to U.S. citizenship) also triggers a lifetime ban.

Avoid an Expedited Removal Order or Develop a Strong Basis to Challenge or Overcome It

You have very limited due process rights in an expedited removal proceeding before the CBP, unlike in a regular removal proceeding before the Immigration Court. You have no right to counsel during primary inspection, secondary inspection, or at any other time you request admission to the U.S.

Your best strategy is to avoid an expedited removal order whenever possible. At the very least, work to develop a strong factual record to later challenge it through a request for review with the CBP or to support a Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or RemovalI-601 immigrant waiver under section 212(i), when seeking reentry as an immigrant, or a nonimmigrant waiver under section 212(d)(3), when seeking reentry as a nonimmigrant.

Generally, you have only 30 days from the date of the expedited removal order to request further review by the CBP. Otherwise, to be excused from the 5-year bar, you may file the Form I-212 application at any time, in connection with an immigrant visa or nonimmigrant visa application. The same goes for I-601 immigrant waiver or 212(d)(3) nonimmigrant waiver requests to overcome a fraud or willful misrepresentation finding under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i).

If you are issued an expedited removal order, you should timely consult an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your options. You will also likely need an attorney to help you pursue a rescission of the expedited removal order or obtain the necessary waivers.

To learn more, read our other articles:

Expedited Removal: How Does the Process Work at the U.S. Port of Entry and What Are the Main Concerns? 

Expedited Removal: How Do You Avoid, Challenge or Overcome It? 

This article provides general information only. It is based on law, regulations and policy that are subject to change. Do not consider it as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Each legal case is different and case examples do not constitute a prediction or guarantee of success or failure in any other case. The sharing or receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Expedited Removal: How Does the Process Work at the U.S. Port of Entry and What Are the Main Concerns?

When you present yourself for admission into the U.S. at a designated port of entry (e.g. international airport), you may be denied entry and issued an expedited removal order if the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) finds you inadmissible on certain grounds.

The CBP must complete several steps before it issues an expedited removal order.

What Are the Steps in the Expedited Removal Order Process? 

The expedited removal process is governed by federal statute and regulations, plus the CBP’s policy outlined in the Inspector’s Field Manual (IFM). The CBP has broad authority to expeditiously remove you if it finds you inadmissible under sections 212(a)(6)(C)(i) (fraud or willful misrepresentation of material fact to gain immigration benefit, section 212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(false claim to U.S. citizenship), and/or section 212(a)(7)(lack of proper travel documents).

Before issuing an expedited removal order, the CBP must perform several procedural steps:

1. CBP Conducts Primary Inspection Upon Your Arrival at the Port of Entry

When you arrive at a designated port of entry, you will join the appropriate customs line for a CBP officer to review your passport and travel documents. U.S. citizens, permanent residents and visitors typically have different waiting lines.

You may be at your final destination or transiting to another U.S. destination or non-U.S. destination. Either way, you will have to request admission to the U.S. at primary inspection. The CBP officer will scan your passport or enter the number into the computer. The officer will also examine your visa(s) and may review the pages in your passport reflecting your travel history. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you will also have your photograph and fingerprints taken.

You can further expect the CBP officer to ask for details about your trip, including its purpose, where you will stay, with whom you will stay, how long you will stay, and whether you have any immediate relatives in the U.S. and their immigration status (if any).

If the CBP officer finds you are absolutely admissible to the U.S., your passport will be stamped for lawful entry. But if you are not clearly admissible, you will be referred to Secondary Inspection.

2. CBP Conducts Secondary Inspection (One) if You Do Not Clear Primary Inspection

The primary CBP officer will note in the system why he or she believes you are inadmissible and you will be escorted to Secondary Inspection. You may have to wait a long time (several hours) to be called for questioning by another CBP officer, usually at an open counter. The CBP officer might also check your personal belongings, including review your messages and communications on electronic devices (cell phones, laptops and tablets).

If you are admitted at Secondary Inspection, because you have no grounds of inadmissibility, but your case was just complicated, you may then claim your luggage and clear customs.

If you are found to be inadmissible at Secondary Inspection due to lack of proper travel documents, immigration fraud or misrepresentation, prior U.S. immigration violations, criminal history, or other grounds, you will be referred to Secondary Inspection Two.

3. CBP Conducts Secondary Inspection (Two) if You Do Not Clear Secondary Inspection One

Secondary Inspection Two is the last opportunity for you to be admitted to the U.S. or be denied entry, detained, and sent back to your country – with or without an expedited removal order.

During Secondary Inspection Two, a CBP officer may search and inspect your personal belongings and luggage, and ask you questions about your trip and travel history. Another, more experienced CBP officer will usually conduct the formal interview and interrogation.

4. CBP Determines Whether Other Options, Besides Expedited Removal, are Available if You Are Not Admitted

If you are not admitted at Secondary Inspection Two, the CBP has several options besides issuing an expedited removal order.

Deferred Inspection

You may be granted Deferred Inspection if the CBP believes you are probably admissible, but lack complete documentation to be admitted at the port of entry. The CBP may schedule you to report to a Deferred Inspection Site at a future date in order to present the necessary documentation and/or information. You will be given a Form I-546, Order to Appear-Deferred Inspection, explaining what information and/or documentation you must present to resolve the discrepancy.

In deciding whether to grant Deferred Inspection, the CBP will consider several factors, such as the likelihood of your establishing admissibility; the type of documents needed and your ability to obtain them; your identity, nationality, age, health, and family ties; the likelihood you would appear at deferred inspection; the nature of the ground of inadmissibility; and the danger you will pose to society.

Being paroled into the U.S for Deferred Inspection is not the same as a formal admission. If you fail to appear for Deferred Inspection, you will be issued a Notice to Appear in Removal Proceedings before an Immigration Judge and your name will be added to the National Automated Immigration Lookout System.

At Deferred Inspection, the CBP officer will review the Form I-546, review your documents, and decide whether to formally admit you, continue your parole, permit you to withdraw your application for admission, or issue you a Notice to Appear in Removal Proceedings before an Immigration Judge.

Permission to Withdraw Application for Admission

You may be given the opportunity to withdraw your application for admission and leave the U.S. immediately (e.g. on the next available flight). The withdrawal spares you from being issued an expedited removal order. But the withdrawal is noted in your record and your visa may still be cancelled, which could affect future visa applications.

The regulations allow CBP in its discretion to permit you to withdraw your application if you intend to and are able to depart the U.S. immediately.  CBP officers are instructed to balance the favorable factors and unfavorable factors to reach a fair decision.  Factors to consider are (1) the seriousness of the immigration violation; (2) previous findings of inadmissibility; (3) intent to violate the law; (4) ability to easily overcome the grounds of inadmissibility; (5) age and poor health of the applicant; and (6) other humanitarian or public interest considerations.

5. CBP Completes Expedited Removal Process if it Determines No Other Option is Available to You

If the  CBP does not grant Deferred Inspection or Withdrawal of Application for Admission, it must create a record of the facts of the case and statements made by you. The CBP officer will take your sworn statement, in a question and answer format, using Form I-867A & B, Record of Sworn Statement in Proceedings under Section 235(b)(1) of the Act.

The CBP officer shall read (or have read) to you all information contained on Form I-867A, including a warning that expedited removal carries a 5-year bar to reentry.

You will be asked questions regarding your identity (name, aliases and other biographical data), alienage (citizenship, nationality, and residence), and inadmissibility (reasons for coming to the U.S., information on facts of the case and information on suspected grounds of inadmissibility). The officer will also ask if you have any fears about returning to your home country.

Your responses to questions will be recorded on the Form I-867B and Form I-831, Continuation Page. You shall have the opportunity to read (or have read to you) the sworn statement. You may ask for corrections to be made. The CBP officer will then instruct you to sign and initial each page of the statement and each correction.  By signing the Form I-867B and Form I-831, you affirm that you have read your statement, your answers are true and correct, and the statement is a complete, true and correct record of your interrogation.

The CBP officer must advise you of the charges against you on Form I-860, Notice and Order of Expedited Removal, and you shall be given an opportunity to respond to the charges in your sworn statement.

After obtaining supervisory concurrence, the CBP officer shall serve you with Form I-860 and you sign the reverse of the form acknowledging receipt. The CBP officer must use an interpreter, if necessary, to communicate with you.

What Are the Main Concerns with Expedited Removal? 

There are several concerns with the expedited removal order process, including:

1. You Have No Right to Representation by Counsel

At the port of entry, you have no right to counsel. You have very limited due process rights in an expedited removal proceeding before the CBP, unlike in a regular removal proceeding before the Immigration Court.

You may not ask the CBP to allow you to have representation during the inspection or expedited removal process. The CBP may allow you to speak with a family member or friend by telephone call, but this is completely within their discretion.

During the interrogation and the taking of your sworn statement, you are alone with the CBP officer. The Form I-867A & B, Record of Sworn Statement in Proceedings under Section 235(b)(1) of the Act, serves as official documentation of the questions and answers during  the process. It is critical that you read (or have read to you) the sworn statement and that you fully understand the contents before you sign it.

2. You Will Normally Be Detained Until You Are Removed From the U.S. 

An expedited removal order subjects you to detention and to be held in custody by CBP until you are able to leave the U.S.  In the meantime, you are not eligible to be released on bond unless you have a medical emergency or you are needed for law enforcement purposes.

If you are unable to depart in the near future, you will be handed over to the Detention & Removal Operations (DRO) unit of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE). You will be held at a detention facility and returned to the airport for the next available flight.

Otherwise, you will have to wait at the airport in the Secondary Inspection office until your next available flight, which could be 24 to 36 hours later. CBP will fine any airline that is unwilling to transport you back to your country or departing city.

3. You Have No Right to Further Review, Except in Limited Circumstances

Once an expedited removal order is issued, there is no further hearing before an Immigration Court or review before a higher agency or appellate court. There are two main exceptions.

Seek Asylum. If you state an intention to apply for asylum under section 208 or a fear of persecution in your country, you will be referred for a “credible fear interview” before an asylum officer.

If you establish a credible fear of persecution, you will be allowed to apply for asylum before an Immigration Judge, either while in ICE custody or after you are released on a bond. If you are unable to establish a credible fear, you may request a review of this decision in a hearing before an Immigration Judge, while in ICE custody.

Generally, there is no review of the Immigration Judge’s determination that you do not have a credible fear of persecution or torture. You will be removed from the U.S. if you are denied asylum (or withholding of removal).

Claim Lawful Status. When you claim lawful status in the U.S. such as U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residence or refugee or asylee status, the CBP will review its records to verify your claim.

If the CBP finds such proof, it may then admit you to the U.S. or place you in regular removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge. If the CBP finds no such proof, it will allow you to make a statement under oath regarding your claim of lawful status, issue an expedited removal order, and give you the opportunity to have your case reviewed by an Immigration Judge. You will be removed from the U.S. with no opportunity for further review if the Immigration Judge affirms the expedited removal order.

4. You Will Be Subject to a Minimum Five-Year Bar to Re-entry, as Well as a Lifetime Bar in Certain Circumstances

An expedited removal order automatically carries a 5-year to reentry. You may not receive an immigrant visa or nonimmigrant visa, or otherwise enter the U.S. for a minimum of 5 years from the date of expedited removal.

In addition, if you are found inadmissible under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i) (fraud or willful misrepresentation of material fact to gain immigration benefit), you are barred from the U.S. for a lifetime.

An inadmissibility finding under section 212(a)(6)(C)(ii)(false claim to U.S. citizenship) also triggers a lifetime ban.

Avoid an Expedited Removal Order or Develop a Strong Basis to Challenge or Overcome It

Because an expedited removal order carries serious consequences, you should do your best to avoid it. At a minimum, you need to develop a strong factual record to later challenge it through a motion to the CBP or to support a Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal, an I-601 immigrant waiver under section 212(i), or a nonimmigrant waiver under section 212(d)(3).

Generally, you have only 30 days from the date of the expedited removal order to request further review by the CBP Field Office that issued the order. The CBP has authority to reopen, reconsider, and rescind the expedited removal order based on new documentary evidence.

Otherwise, to be excused from the 5-year bar, you may file the Form I-212 application at any time, in connection with an immigrant visa or nonimmigrant visa application. The same goes for I-601 immigrant waiver or 212(d)(3) nonimmigrant waiver requests to overcome a fraud or willful misrepresentation finding under section 212(a)(6)(C)(i).

If you are issued an expedited removal order, you should timely consult an experienced immigration attorney to discuss your options. You will also likely need an attorney to help you pursue a rescission of the expedited removal order or obtain the necessary waivers.

To learn more, read our other articles:

Expedited Removal: When Does it Apply and What Are the Consequences?

Expedited Removal: How Do You Avoid, Challenge or Overcome It? 

This article provides general information only. It is based on law, regulations and policy that are subject to change. Do not consider it as legal advice for any individual case or situation. Each legal case is different and case examples do not constitute a prediction or guarantee of success or failure in any other case. The sharing or receipt of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Photo by: Russ Thompson