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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

San Francisco Immigration Lawyer Q & A: San Francisco Port-of-Entry and Overstays

Question: I am on an H1B visa and my wife is on H4. We came to the US in the year 2007. My I-129 and I-94 was extended in September 2009, however due to lack of information we did not apply for my wife’s I-94 extension. She went back to India on June 19, 2010, having overstayed her I-94 by 270 days. She finally got her H-4 visa stamp from the Delhi Consulate last week. We made a full disclosure about her overstay on the visa application [DS-160] to Delhi Consulate. My question is can CBP at the San Francisco Port-of-Entry refuse her entry due to her earlier overstay? If yes, can we do something about in advance? 

Answer:Excellent work securing the visa after the overstay! Unless CBP finds that your visa application was fraudulent, for example, that you did not disclose the overstay to the US Consulate, I see no reason for CBP to refuse entry. Your wife might expect to be pulled into secondary inspection however, and answer questions about her immigration history and visa application. I might help for her to carry copies of her visa application with supporting documentation to present, if necessary. There is not much else one can do in advance. In some cases, I might call CBP [contact information for CBP at the SF International Airport provided below] to ask them what their policy is. But again, in your case, unless there was fraud, or she is otherwise not eligible to enter as an H-4 [for example if you were no longer working in H-1B] CBP should not have a problem honoring the valid visa stamp.


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