I was stopped at the border and issued an expedited removal order. I have been living in the U.S. for the past 10 years and now I am barred from returning to my home. What can I do?

Question: I was stopped at Rainbow Bridge on December 30, 2012 and was sent to secondary where I was questioned for hours. I was told by officers that I would not be allowed to enter the United States and fly back to California. I have been living in California for the past three years with my fiancé. Now, officers at the Rainbow Bridge told me that I “overstayed” and that I misrepresented myself. I was presented with a document that indicated I was barred from entering the United States for five years. I have read your blog listing many cases with hopeful options. I understand that I will need waiver(s) and was hoping I would be able to parole in for a short entry to at least put my belongings in storage (these are my belongings accumulated over my entire life that I worked hard for). I would also like to see my fiancé who is in a very emotional unstable place right now without my support and care. What are my best options? When officers questioned me, I was shocked, very nervous, and scared. This has never happened to me in all of my travels back and forth from the United States and Canada.

Answer: Thank you for your question.

Based on your email, it seems that CBP is alleging that you may have accumulated unlawful presence and is charging you with misrepresentation. We have had a considerable amount of success in resolving these issues – whether through a waiver or through requests that CBP review their previously issued decision; however, each strategy is developed on a case-by-case basis, so this is the reason why we highly encourage a consultation.

Unlawful Presence

Generally, when an individual is in the United States without proper permission/status they begin to accumulate “unlawful presence.” A (3) three-year bar is applied to individuals who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for a period of “more than 180 days but less than one year,” and a (10) ten-year bar is applied to individuals who have been unlawfully present in the U.S. for a period of one year or more and who seeks admission within 10 years of his or her removal. While there are some exceptions, we do not know if any apply to you at this time without further reviewing your immigration history – especially since you indicated that you have frequently traveled back and forth from Canada in the past and you are a Canadian citizen who was likely given a ‘soft inspection’ on many instances.


Generally speaking, anyone who attempts to enter the United States through fraud/misrepresentation can be found inadmissible pursuant to INA § 212(a)(6)(C)(i). The penalty for willful misrepresentations is a lifetime bar to the United States, unless the foreign national is successfully able to have the fraud charge vacated or obtains a waiver of this ground of inadmissibility.

Expedited Removal Order

You indicated that CBP issued you a document stating that you were banned for five years from re-entering the U.S. More than likely, you were issued an Expedited Order of Removal, which is an ‘informal’ removal process which prevents you from re-entering the U.S. for a period of five years or until you are able to obtain a waiver of the same.


In your email you mention applying for parole. Parole is a legal fiction that allows for the physical entry of an individual into the United States without actually "admitting" him or her into the country. Parole is commonly used to allow otherwise inadmissible individuals to enter the country for specific reasons, for a limited period of time and usually involves a degree of urgency. Recently, Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") has been less willing to extend parole to anyone who does not meet a higher threshold of "humanitarian need."

Since you seem eager to understand what options may be available to you, I strongly encourage you to call our office at your earliest convenience and set up a consultation to speak with the SRW Border Lawyer team. A consultation will give us an opportunity to look closely at each aspect of your case and develop a strategy for you that addresses your unique and specific immigration matters, as well as meets your short-term and long-term goals. We look forward to hearing from you.

Fraud/Misrepresentation Charge of Inadmissibility under INA §212(a)(6)(c) Vacated By U.S. Customs & Border Protection for Canadian Citizen

Last week, we received a formal letter from U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) confirming that the Expedited Removal Order that had been issued against our client had been modified to vacate the fraud/misrepresentation charge lodged against our client under INA §212(a)(6)(c), which is a huge success for our client and has significant ramifications for her future U.S. immigration options.

In August 2010, our client, a Canadian citizen and former Chinese national, misrepresented to CBP that she was living in Canada, when in fact she had remained in the U.S. after being laid off from her H-1B position.  Our client, an engineer, had first come to the United States in TN status and had eventually changed to H-1B status.  Unfortunately, because of the weak economy, she was laid off from her sponsoring employer, which resulted in her losing her H-1B status.  Instead of returning to Canada, our client remained in the U.S. in hopes of securing new employment, which she was able to do.  However, since she had failed to maintain her non-immigrant status, she was ineligible to change her to status to TN from within the U.S. and needed to depart the U.S. and apply for admission in TN status at a Port of Entry.

While our client was successfully able to obtain TN approval, it was during one of her attempts to re-enter the U.S. that she was issued a Expedited Removal Order under INA §212(a)(7)(A) and INA §212(a)(6)(c).

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Completing the ESTA Form after Visa Refusal under INA §221(g)

Question:  When completing the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) form, do I have to disclose a recent visa refusal under §221(g) as a visa denial?

Answer:  Yes, when completing the ESTA form, foreign nationals should indicate that they have been denied a visa, even if they had a visa refused under §221(g).  CBP may deem the failure to disclose visa refusals as a misrepresentation under INA §212(a)(6)(c)(i), which has serious adverse consequences on the foreign national’s ability to enter the U.S. in the future, whether as a non-immigrant or as an immigrant. 

If a foreign national is unsure of their status, it is in their interest to consult with an experienced immigration attorney regarding how best to proceed - before unintentionally running afoul of the lifetime bar under INA §212(a)(6)(c)(i).