U.S. Customs & Border Patrol

Until you become a United States citizen, you are always subject to the immigration laws and will be considered as an “applicant for admission” with Customs & Border Patrol (CBP). As a lawful permanent resident returning from travel abroad, you will be subject to “inspection” at the airport in order for the CBP officer to determine whether you are admissible to the United States.

This is one of the many reasons we advise you to apply for U.S. citizenship if you are eligible. In order to learn more about the citizenship process, visit our Citizenship & Naturalization page.

What might make me inadmissible to the United States?

There are many different possibilities, but there are two (2) more common scenarios that take place. One common scenario occurs when a CBP officers determines that an applicant has prior criminal offenses that makes him/her inadmissible to the United States according to the immigration laws.

Another common scenario is when an applicant for admission remains outside the United States for too long. Generally, CBP will determine that an applicant is admissible for having “abandoned” lawful resident status if the applicant remained outside of the United States for a continuous period of more than six (6) months. However, in some cases, CBP may make this determination for travels less than six months depending on the applicant’s travel patterns. If this happens, the applicant will be paroled into the United States for further proceedings.

What happens if CBP finds me inadmissible to the United States?

CBP will issue a Notice to Appear (NTA) for the purpose of initiating removal proceedings. The case will then need to be presented to the Immigration Judge. Depending on the scenario, it must be determined whether you are eligible for a defense in the Immigration Court.

In cases involving criminal offenses, the first step is to review the allegations and determine whether the determination made by CBP is accurate. If so, our attorneys will review the case to determine whether a waiver of inadmissibility or a defense in the Immigration Court is available. In cases where CBP alleges that you remained outside of the United States and abandoned your lawful resident status, you will then need to be prepared to prove that it was not your intent to abandon your status. “Intent” is a discretionary determination made by the Immigration Judge.

Learn how we can help you through the immigration process

We’ve helped people throughout Massachusetts and across the Country qualify for U.S. citizenship. If you have questions, call us to schedule a free initial consultation. Our law offices are located in Boston and Watertown, Massachusetts with easy access and ample parking. Visa and MasterCard are accepted.