Earlier this month, our office assisted a client, a Canadian citizen, in obtaining a port-of-entry parole so that she could enter the U.S. for four (4) days to attend a family wedding and participate in various wedding festivities. While these activities are perfectly permissible B-2 (visitor for pleasure) activities, our client could not enter the U.S. in B-2 status because she is inadmissible to the U.S. and does not have a valid non-immigrant waiver. While a port-of-entry parole is not to be used as a means of circumventing the non-immigrant waiver process, in various circumstances, CBP can discretionarily exercise their authority to parole an individual into the U.S.
As background, after years of traveling to the U.S. without incident, our client unexpectedly learned of her inadmissibility last year due to two criminal convictions in Canada from the early 1990’s (‘Fraud Over $1,000’ – writing bad checks). Upon learning of her inadmissibility, she promptly began working with a company to prepare her non-immigrant waiver application, which included obtaining her RCMP Report, as well as requesting the necessary court records relating to her convictions. Despite her proactive actions, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that she finally received her waiver application packet from the company she had hired.
Prior to submitting her non-immigrant waiver application, our client contacted our office and scheduled a consultation to ask a few questions about the filing process at the Port of Entry, adjudication timelines, expedite possibilities, etc. During the consultation, we answered our clients questions but gave her the disappointing news that currently, the Admissibility Review Office (ARO), which is responsible for reviewing these applications, is taking 4-6 months to adjudicate these applications, and we did not believe an expedite request would be granted in her case. Accordingly, unless she is able to secure another lawful means of entering the U.S. for her cousin’s wedding, she would not be able to attend this important and long-awaited family event. We then went on to explain that she could have one option – we could attempt to apply for a port-of-entry parole on her behalf to let her enter the U.S. for a few days. We explained the highly discretionary nature of the request, the importance of complying with its terms if granted and explained our strategy – we would outline how our client unexpectedly learned of her inadmissibility, explain and document her attempt to timely obtain a non-immigrant waiver, confirm her only ground of inadmissibility was a result from her convictions in the 1990s and she had never again violated any laws, and that she had strong ties to Canada and was a productive and contributing member of society.
CBP reviewed the parole request and ultimately, approved our client’s request for a port-of-entry parole, which allowed her to attend the family wedding – a fact that she, the bride, and the rest of the family was quite elated about.