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Can you be stopped at the border if you have a Visa?

Immigration Attorney Patrick A. Metcalf

by Immigration Attorney Patrick A. Metcalf



Yes, as I said before, a visa is simply a request for an entry into the United States. I have many clients complain to me that an immigration official did not let them in even though they had a visa. There are many inadmissibility issues a foreign national need to consider.

Proper Visas:

For example, if you are entering the US with a tourist visa, your intention must be just that: enter the US, visit your family and friends, spend money, AND go back to your home country after your short-term visit. You cannot be coming here to work, get married to your girlfriend or boyfriend, etc. with a tourist (B-2) visa. I cannot emphasize enough that a visa is simply a permission to request for an entry into the US. It’s not a guarantee.

Many people try to enter the US with a letter from their children saying good luck with your new job. Some with text full of messages from their loved ones on how they will get married once they arrive in the US. I even had a client tried to enter from Canada pulling a trailer full of home furniture, claiming he was just visiting. Needless to say, he was denied entry as a visitor. Remember, there’s nothing wrong with any of the above activities, if done with right intentions with proper visas. It is possible to work in the US or to get married to your loved ones in the US. But you need to be upfront with your intent when you enter the US.


There are other cases where you may be barred from entering the US such as criminal convictions, prior immigration violations, etc. You may be subject to 5, 10, or even permanently barred from entering the US resulting from your past immigration activities.

So you must be ready to withdraw your application to enter if you appear to be subject to expedited removal because you may not be able to reenter the US for 5 years. Again, it’s up to the U.S. immigration officials at the point of entry to whether to let you in to the country or not.

Please note:

This blog is not a legal advice. You should consult an experienced immigration attorney before starting you immigration process. It’s best to have an attorney review your case before you start because sometimes it’s best NOT to file anything. You can hurt your case if you file for an immigration benefit even though you don’t qualify for that benefit.

Please contact our immigration attorney at 847-882-1992 or visit us at our website www.AskImmigration.Com if you have any questions.