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5 Common Reasons I-94 Cards Are Denied

The Form I-94 used by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services is the document that determines the length of time a foreigner can remain in the country. This form is completed at the port of entry and serves as proof of admissibility. A foreigner arriving in the U.S. will not be allowed to proceed until this form is approved and the exit date is clearly determined.

Since late 2013, this document has adopted a new name. Although the form number is still I-94, the document is now known as the Arrival/Departure Record managed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Instead of a form and paper card, the I-94 is now issued electronically as part of an automation process that still features a passport stamp. The “Admitted Until” date on the form can be prolonged by means of a visa extension request, which is subject to approval or denial.

It is worth mentioning that the I-94 record may not always reflect the length of permanence indicated by the non-immigrant visa. In some cases, it may be shorter, but it is important to remember the determinations made by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials are final. Though you do not need an I-94 form if you have an immigrant visa, San Diego immigration lawyers recommend learning why an I-94 card may be denied in case you one day need to enter the country with a non-immigrant visa.

1. Inadmissibility

Even if a foreigner has been granted an entry visa or is attempting to enter the U.S. under the visa waiver program, the final determination of admissibility is made by the CBP officer at the port of entry. A valid visa stamped on a foreign passport does not guarantee entry, particularly under the Trump administration. Section 212(a) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act defines the grounds for inadmissibility.

2. Documentation Discrepancies

Anyone who arrives at an American port of entry is subject to inspection. Even if the foreign passport is stamped with the proper visa, an identity document that contradicts naming convention, origin, gender, age, or nationality may be perceived as a fraudulent attempt to enter the country, and thus an I-94 record may not be processed.

3. Criminal Convictions

A foreigner who has been convicted of more than one criminal offense in the period between getting a passport visa stamp and entering the U.S. may be denied an I-94 record. This can be a problem for those who come from jurisdictions where misdemeanors are processed under the in flagrante delicto doctrine, which often involve abbreviated convictions that do not require full trials.

4. Lack of Vaccination Record

Depending on the country of origin, foreigners may be required to present a record of vaccination against communicable diseases such as pertussis, diphtheria, hepatitis B, yellow fever, and others. In the absence of this record, an I-94 may be denied.

5. Visa Extension or Adjustment of Status Denial

This is a common reason for I-94 denials. If a request to extend a visa, change the visa, or adjust the status from non-immigrant to immigrant is rejected, the I-94 record will also be denied.

Many aspects of immigration law can be difficult to understand without the help of trained, dedicated professionals. If you’re looking for the best San Diego immigration lawyer, get in touch with KS Visa Law. Call our office today at 858-874-0711 to schedule an appointment.

May 2024