A popular held belief that once a foreign national is granted a visa to the United States…it’s all-smooth sailing, is unfortunately not true. This short blog will explain the “behind scenes” screenings and audits with U.S. CBP or USCIS that can cause exclusion or removal from the United States that all starts with what appears to be an approved temporary non-immigrant visa at one’s U.S. consulate abroad.
A visitor visa for business or pleasure is the highest sought visa to come to the United States. The first step is to apply at a U.S. Consulate. The DS-160 is an on-line application that must be filled out accurately and truthfully. Having a clear and verifiable itinerary, ties to your home & budget explaining how you will fund your entire visit is essential for approval. While one may not work in the United States, it’s totally permissible to look for jobs and business opportunities once it’s demonstrated that you have savings, friends or family that support your cost-of-living expenses while temporarily visiting the United States.
Finally, determining, in advance, if a waiver is needed for any prior criminal, misrepresentation or prior overstay in the United States can result in an approved visa, notwithstanding these issues.
Once the visa is approved by designated U.S. Consulate, and you begin travel, the next important hurdle arises with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Most non-U.S. Citizens will not be screened or cleared by DHS U.S. Customs Border & Patrol (“CBP”) until they actually land at a United States Airport. However, upon arrival you are in “no man’s land”. Essentially, you are once again applying for entry to the United States. Arrival at the airport represents landing at a border Port of Entry only.
U.S.CBP may screen passengers while enroute to the U.S. and determine even before arrival if secondary inspection is required. All non-immigrants seeking entry to the U.S. may have their social media or phones searched, baggage and person. Denial of admission can happen after a series of questions. Arrangements are immediately made for the foreign national to return to his or home country without being admitted.
It’s important should this happen to you or someone you know ask for a copy of any written statement or recordings while being interviewed by U.S.CBP. Our immigration lawyers also request the file from CBP through FOIA, as the record could impact the ability of our clients to be granted a visa or approved to enter the country in the future.
The third and final hurdle that non-immigrant visa holders should be aware, is that despite having an approved B-1/B-2 Non-Immigrant Visa (NIV) at the Consulate, and successful entry to the United States, one’s NIV can be revoked for mistakes, errors, fraud, or omissions. An example of what may trigger a visa being revoked is filing an application to change or extend status where inconsistencies are found; or applying for U.S. Permanent status with clear conflicting intent.
It is best to always be honest and ask questions when one is unclear about the visa application process to the United States. Consider hiring a U.S. immigration lawyer to represent you, your employee or family member whenever applying for any category of visa to the U.S.
Oversight, mistakes, and inexperience causes thousands of denials to the United States each year. We have over 25 years of experience representing our clients at all phases of the non-immigrant visa process and overcoming hurdles.
To schedule a consultation, you may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call / text (703)966-0907. B&E Capital – Vassell Law Group,PC | http://www.vasselllaw.com | http://www.becapitallaw.com | Members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association for over 20 years.