EWI occurs when a foreign national enters the United States (U.S.) without legal permission.
In short, entry without inspection means exactly what it states: you entered the U.S. and no one inspected you upon entry.
Please continue reading. We´ll answer to some questions that commonly arise when it comes to this issue.
Were you inspected by a U.S. Immigration Officer?
EWI means that you entered the U.S. without being inspected by an immigration or border patrol officer. A common example is someone who enters the U.S. through the deserts, or hiding in someone’s trunk, in an effort to reach the U.S.
How does an EWI affects my eligibility for Adjustment of Status?
In order to adjust status in the U.S. and obtain a green card without leaving the U.S., you are required to enter with an inspection.
How can I prove I entered With Inspection?
The most common way to prove you entered with inspection is with the I-94 form. The I-94 is an admission record issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Alternatively, an entry stamp on your passport is also sufficient.
What if I do not have proof of Lawful Entry?
If you know you entered the U.S. with a visa, or were otherwise lawfully admitted, but do not have proof of your entry, you could request a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The FOIA must be sent to the State Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE), these agencies should have record on your entries. An immigration attorney could help you with the FOIA request.
What options do I have if I did Not Enter With Inspection?
If you did not enter the U.S. with inspection, we recommend that you wait until you speak to an experiencedimmigration attorney. This subject is broad and you have several options available.
Some options if you Entered Without Inspection:
a) Quilantan or Wave Through Entry
A Quilantan or “wave through” entry means that you were waived through and legally entered the U.S. Usually this happens when not all passengers in a car are checked for documents, or if the point of entry is busy and the officer waves a car through. If you are able to prove that you were waived into the U.S., then you are considered to have entered with inspection.
b) Eligibility 245 (i)
If you entered without inspection, but had an immigration petition filed for you on or before April 30, 2001, then you are eligible under Immigration Nationality Act (INA) section 245(i) and can adjust your status by paying a fine.
If you are not eligible for adjustment of status, then the best option is to file for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, commonly know as an I-601A waiver.
What is the purpose of Form I-601A?
Certain immigrant visa applicants who are relatives of U.S. citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) may use this application to request a provisional waiver of the unlawful presence grounds of inadmissibility under Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) section 212(a)(9)(B), before they depart the U.S. to appear at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an immigrant visa interview.
Have more questions?
It is important to speak to an experienced immigration attorney. You may be eligible for some of the options listed above or not. Nevertheless, it is vital to discuss your options with a lawyer before you file any document or give up on your case. Remember that every situation is different and immigration law changes all the time.
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The Law Offices of Uzoma Ubanii PLLC