CB As part of our guide to US visa types, we covered the different visa types as well all aspects of entry into the United States. But what about if you plan on leaving the United States? You may think what’s the issue, it is easy to leave. This guide covers the problems that you can run into. If you already run into a problem and just need help, please contact us. Interested in information, then please keep reading.
Leaving the United States – The Decision
You will be leaving the United States. You are done here. How could that possibly go wrong? Well that depends on your status in the US. Some aliens entered without inspection (EWI); I.e., smugglers brought them to the United States. Alternatively, aliens arrived legally, but overstayed the period of authorized stay. It maybe difficult for either of these types to aliens to leave the US. Having made the decision to no longer stay, perhaps in the face of adversity, the difficulty of earning a living without authorizing documents, aliens might believe their troubles are behind them. Perhaps some aliens cease to worry about Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In their minds they are going home so they are safe. But that can all go wrong at the border.
Leaving the United States – The Problem
The United States does not currently check people who are leaving the United States. It is true, therefore, that if you have decided to leave the United States ICE will not arrest you on the way out. The problem usually arrives in crossing the open space between the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) on the United States side and either the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) or perhaps even immigration on the Mexican side of the border. When an alien leaves the United States to go to either Canada or Mexico that country might refuse to admit them.
For example, if an alien is Costa Rican, Canada requires him or her to have a visa to enter. In our hypothetical, let us assume that this Costa Rican came to the United States legally, but overstayed his or her authorized stay listed on the I-94 card. If this alien passes through the CBP border checkpoint on his or her way to Canada, ICE will not stop this alien. However, Canada will not admit him or her in the absence of a valid, unexpired visa. CBSA will refuse the alien admission, send him or her back to the United States. Predictably, this is where the trouble starts.
Coming Back into the United States – Trouble
As we discussed, CBP will not stop the Costa Rican alien with the expired I-94 on his way out of the United States. But, CBP will definitely inspect and stop him on the way back. Moreover, CBSA is likely to have notified their counterparts on the other side of the border, so CBP will be expecting the Costa Rican refused admission CBP will easily be able to determine that the Costa Rican has an expired I-94, and has been unlawfully present, has overstayed, in the United States. The Costa Rican is inadmissible to the United States because of the previous period of unauthorized stay. CBP will arrest the alien, and CBP will give him an appearance in Immigration Court. If the alien is bondable, they might be allowed to enter the United States. More likely, they will be held for transport to an ICE detention center with an Immigration Court.
How We Help
In the event an alien who was resident in the United States runs into this kind of trouble at the border, Immigration Law of Montana, P.C. (ILM) can help. It might be possible to secure bond. If not, you might want reliable information on how your relative or friend is being held or where they are going. ILM can often get information so that you do not worry about your relative or friend. Please contact us if you would like our help.