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Business immigration clients who seek admission to the United States must first satisfy U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials that they are admissible to the U.S. Even after approval of a petition by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and visa issuance by a U.S. Consulate, a CBP inspector may challenge the arriving applicantÂ’s admissibility. For example, visitors may be refused because the inspecting officer suspects that they intend to work or reside in the U.S. Applicants with criminal or negative U.S. immigration histories may find themselves turned away or even put into detention facilities until they can be removed from the U.S. CBP officers who find that applicants have committed fraud can remove them and impose a five year bar on re-entry.

Since 9/11/01, CBP has become very aggressive during immigration inspections. This new attitude, coupled with the large number of newly hired inspectors with limited field experience, can result in erroneously refused admissions. Individuals who are barred from the U.S. must go through a time-consuming waiver application process in order to enter. In some cases, however, individuals may not have to apply for a waiver but have legal grounds upon which to challenge the CBP officerÂ’s findings of inadmissibility. ABIL lawyers can provide guidance to help manage a complex border refusal at any port of entry.

Canadians are a unique class of business immigrants, in that there are several laws, regulations, and privileges afforded to them as a result of the close relationship between the U.S. and Canada. Canadians are (for the most part) visa exempt and will therefore have the majority of contact with U.S. officials at the port of entry as opposed to a Consulate. Canadian applicants for admission in Trade NAFTA (TN) status must make their applications for such status with CBP at a port of entry. ABIL lawyers are conveniently located in many border cities and are available to meet the TN applicant at the port of entry to facilitate a smooth adjudication.

Julie Pearl
San Francisco, California
Bernard P. Wolfsdorf
Santa Monica, California
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