Deferred Inspection

What is Deferred Inspection?

Upon arrival to the United States at designated points of entry (POE), foreign nationals, including lawful permanent residents (LPRs), are inspected for admission. There are three (3) types of inspection: primary, secondary and deferred.

If the Customs Border Protection (CBP) Inspector requires more information, then you may be placed in Secondary or Deferred Inspection. LPRs returning from vacations and travel outside of the U.S. are also considered returning aliens and must be inspected before they are admitted. A Deferred Inspection scenario occurs when the CBP inspector cannot admit the arriving LPR at the time of entry because there exist legal problems or suspected violations with the immigration documents (visa). Typical problems involving LPRs returning to the U.S. include: remaining or residing outside of the U.S. for more than six (6) months or having been convicted of crime(s) after becoming an LPR that now make the returning LPR inadmissible or deportable (Removable).

What should I do if I am a lawful permanent resident and have been ordered to appear at a Deferred Inspection?

If the CBP Inspector decides to place you in Deferred Inspection, then there are several options, including taking you into custody if the officer determines that you may be a flight risk, or granting you "parole" to enter the U.S. Your I-94 (arrival and departure record) is stamped to show that you were "paroled" into the U.S., rather than admitted. This stamp will typically have a deference date of not more than 30 days. You will then receive a written notice from the immigration customs and border patrol for your appointment to appear at your local immigration office for a deferred inspection. You must attend this appointment in order to avoid the consequence of being placed directly into removal proceedings.

You should immediately consult with an experienced immigration and criminal defense attorney. At the Deferred Inspection, we personally appear with our clients at the Deferred Inspection. Because the stakes are so high - being immediately ordered into removal proceedings - most Deferred Inspectors will allow us to assist in sorting out our clients' immigration problems. As experienced immigration and criminal defense attorneys, we will obtain and provide to the inspectors, relevant documents and records supporting our clients’ admissibility. Moreover, we oftentimes will ask for and obtain a continuance of the deferred inspection date in order to gather exculpatory evidence as well as to meet with and prepare our clients for all of the relevant issues that will be covered at the inspection.

In many cases where our client(s) have criminal convictions that make them inadmissible or deportable. Rather than concede this, we ask for the Deferred Inspection Officer (CBP) for enough time to obtain Post Conviction Relief in the criminal courts where the conviction(s) occurred. Once the conviction is vacated and dismissed, then we present that evidence and the CBP Officer will then close (terminate) the Deferred Inspection. Thus, our clients avoid the heavy and expensive burden of having to retain us to defend them in the Immigration Courts.


E-mail: Stephen Eckdish, Esq. – seckdish@sfatty.com
Benjamin Hall, Esq.  – bhall@sfatty.com

649 Mission Street, 5th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
Telephone: (415) 776-1633
Facsimile: (415) 974-6745
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