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Top 7 Reasons You May be Denied Entry to the United States

Published On: November 22, 2016

Top 7 Reasons You May be Denied Entry to the United States

Grounds for Inadmissibility

The ability to travel to the United States is not an automatic right—not even for Canadians!  You may be denied entry to the United States for one of the following reasons:

Criminal Inadmissibility – You have a criminal record that makes you inadmissible to the United States. Convictions such as common assault, mischief, and DUI are normally not of concern. However, Crimes of Moral Turpitude (crimes of dishonesty and crimes of violence where harm was intended) and Drug Offences will almost always make you inadmissible.  There are exceptions.

The USA does not recognize Canadian Pardons or Record Suspensions. Conditional and Absolute Discharges are treated like convictions and may still render you inadmissible even if no conviction resulted. You may also be denied for offences you admit to having committed even if no conviction resulted. Youth offences may make you excludable if you were tried as an adult for felony violence or felony drugs.

Criminal Inadmissibility even applies if the offence happened 30 years ago!  Once a conviction makes you inadmissible, it always makes you inadmissible. However, remember, not all convictions will get you banned from entering the USA–either because they are not excludable or the exception rule applies.

A United States Waiver allows you legal entry into the United States if you are inadmissible. Inadmissibility could arise due to a number of factors, including criminal inadmissibility (above) and other factors described below.  For your free consultation, click the button below.

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Medical Inadmissibility – Though driving impaired and driving over .08 does not make you criminally inadmissible to the USA, multiple driving-related offences may make you inadmissible to the USA for medical reasons. You can also be denied for other medical reasons based upon your appearance or any prescription-related drugs you may have in your possession.

Other medical issues that can make you inadmissible to the United States include having a communicable disease of public health significance, being unable to provide proof of required vaccinations on request, a physical or mental disorder with associated harmful behavior, and drug abuse or addiction.

Though medical insurance is no guarantee that you will be let in, having proof of medical insurance may assure the border guard that you have the resources to pay for your medical expenses should you encounter medical issues in the United States.  If you are denied entry to the USA for medical reasons, you may be given an opportunity to get a medical test done to prove that your medical issues will not be a burden to the USA.

Illegal Work in the USA – If it is determined that you do not have enough funds to support your stay in the USA and/or you do not have a return ticket or job in Canada, you could be denied entry if it is suspected that you intend to work illegally in the USA.

You are allowed to enter the United States without a work visa for work purposes such as attending a business meeting or conference, to negotiate a contract or even to take orders for goods manufactured abroad on behalf of a Canadian or foreign company. If you are not sure if the work-related tasks you are performing require you to get a work visa, please call our office for a free consultation.

You need to do your own homework.  You can’t always trust that your employer will complete the paperwork properly.  Otherwise, you can be held personally responsible for the actions (or inaction) of your employer.

Illegal Immigration to USA (Intending Immigrant) – You could be denied entry to the USA if you are going to visit a new partner and there is not enough proof that you intend to return to Canada prior to the end of your authorized visit. Having proof of your residence and employment in Canada will help support the fact that your stay in the USA is only temporary and that you intend to return to Canada.

If you intend to stay permanently or are suspected of same, you must provide documents to prove authorization to do so, or you will be denied entry and deemed inadmissible.

Admission of Drug Use – If you admit to drug use, you can be denied entry. Use of an illegal substance is a crime in the United States, and even without a conviction they can deny you entry.  What should you say if asked “Do you smoke pot?” when crossing into the United States?  Click here for more information.

Improper Documentation – If you are not a Canadian (this includes Permanent Residents of Canada) you may require a visitor visa from the USA Consulate in order to visit the USA. If you fail to travel with the proper visa, you can be denied entry. To find out if you need a visa waiver, please CLICK HERE – VISA WAIVER.  Other visa requirements include Work Visa and Study Visa.

Traveling with an Inadmissible Alien – You could be denied entry to the USA if you are traveling with someone who is inadmissible to the USA. If you do it knowingly, you could be charged with harboring an illegal alien.

Immigration and Nationality Act Sec 212

The laws governing inadmissibility can be found here: Immigration and Nationality Act

US Waiver Question and Answer Guide

Learn more about this guide and download a copy.

How to Overcome Criminal Inadmissibility

Would you like more information on US Waivers of Inadmissibility? If yes, click the image to the right and obtain your free guide. What you will learn:

  • Definition of a United States Waiver
  • Travel Risks
  • What are Grounds of Excludability
  • What is a Crime involving Moral Turpitude
  • Summary vs Indictable offenses
  • Conditional and Absolute Discharges
  • Admitting to Drug Use
  • Traveling to the U.S. with a Pardon
  • Fact or Fiction? Myths About Traveling to the USA with a Criminal Record
  • 1 Yr, 5 Yr and Permanent Waivers
  • and much more!

Other Border Issues

Have you been ordered removed or deported from the USA?  Did you work or live in the USA illegally?  For these and other cross-border issues, please contact us.

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