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  • Writer's pictureCanero Fadul Immigration

What Are the Key Steps for Non-Immigrants Navigating U.S. Entry?

As of January 2004, the U.S. implemented a program requiring all non-immigrants to register their photograph and fingerprints upon entry into the country. This initiative aims to enhance security measures and streamline the immigration process. In this blog post, we'll explore what travelers can expect, address common concerns, and provide tips for a smoother entry experience.

1. The U.S. Entry Registration Process: A Quick Overview

Upon arrival in the United States, non-immigrants are required to undergo a quick registration process. As your passport is reviewed, immigration officers will request you to take a photograph and place your fingers on a pad. This information creates a new database, which is then matched to the records of the individual who applied for the visa at the consulate. It's crucial to emphasize the importance of providing clear and accurate photographs to facilitate a seamless process.

A second match is made to a comprehensive database containing criminal, customs, deportation, and visa overstay records. If any information links you to these databases, you may be directed to secondary inspection, often referred to as "the little room." It's essential to note that airlines are obligated to report their passenger manifestos to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) within 24 hours, tracking departures promptly.

2. Traveling on Advance Parole: What to Expect

Individuals traveling on Advance Parole, a document allowing certain applicants to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad, can anticipate being directed to secondary inspection where an officer may ask you about your ongoing process. This additional step aims to verify the legitimacy of the issued Advance Parole, as fraudulent cases are not uncommon.

Expect to wait in the "little room" for 20 to 90 minutes. Officers will review your case to ensure the validity of your Advance Parole. Be prepared for potential delays, especially if there are numerous individuals undergoing secondary inspection.

3. Dealing with Legal Issues: What to Do if You've Been Arrested

If you have a history of arrest, it's crucial to be prepared for frequent secondary inspections. Always carry certified copies of your final disposition, court orders, and evidence of compliance with legal requirements. Additionally, having a letter from your attorney explaining your admissibility, even though it may not guarantee a smooth entry, can provide pertinent legal information to supervisors making decisions. If issues arise, having access to a cell phone to contact your attorney is highly beneficial.

4. Similar Name, Different Record: Navigating Challenges

Individuals with names similar to those with arrest records may face prolonged secondary inspections. As the U.S. Visit program expands, officers may have improved tools to differentiate individuals. However, for now, expect longer wait times as officers meticulously research your case. Homeland Security mandates a thorough review for potential security risks, making patience essential in such situations.

5. Unadjudicated Visa Extension: Leaving Before a Decision

If you filed for an extension of a B-1/B-2 visa and it has not been adjudicated before your departure, the application will be denied due to abandonment. However, this does not automatically mean you have overstayed your authorized period if the extension was filed timely and not frivolous.

6. Reporting Poor Treatment: Providing Feedback on Entry Experience

If you feel you have been treated unfairly by officers during entry, it's crucial to report your experience to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Utilize commentary cards available on-site to document your experience, or visit the CBP website to submit a formal complaint. Making valid complaints is essential in ensuring that CBP addresses issues and improves the overall experience for travelers.

Conclusion: Navigating the U.S. Entry Process with Confidence

Understanding the intricacies of U.S. entry requirements and potential challenges is crucial for non-immigrants. By being well-prepared, providing accurate documentation, and addressing issues through proper channels, travelers can navigate the entry process with confidence. The U.S. continues to prioritize security measures, and cooperation from all parties ensures a smoother and more efficient immigration experience for everyone involved.

If you need help understand your immigration options? – We can help!

At Canero Fadul Immigration, we're all about immigration law – that's our expertise, and we're passionate about it! Our team of attorneys and paralegals specialize in personalized services like employment, family, humanitarian cases, waivers, citizenship, and more. We're here to make your immigration journey smooth and successful.

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Our track record speaks for itself. We've helped thousands of clients get their green cards through employment and family-based applications, along with various types of visas. Plus, we've conquered countless denials, turning them into victories for our clients.

Ready to take the next step? Contact us today at (305) 579-9218 (Office Phone) or text us on WhatsApp at (844) 8MI-GRAR (844) 864-4727. Let's set up your initial consultation and get your immigration journey on the right track. We're here for you every step of the way!




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