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Immigration Law

Expert David Ware: Student Visa No Guarantee of Entry

Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, Jan. 22, 2020

"An Iranian student with a visa to attend Northeastern University was denied entry to the United States last weekend at Boston’s Logan International Airport and removed from the country despite a court order blocking his removal, his lawyer said.  Immigration lawyers and advocates for Iranian Americans say they have seen a rise in cases of Iranians with valid visas being turned away at airports, at either the port of departure or entry. ... David Ware, an immigration attorney, said Iranian students hoping to travel to the U.S. are frequently subject to long delays while their visa applications undergo administrative processing, which he described as a euphemism for security checks.  But even a student who makes it through the security check and gets a visa isn't guaranteed entry. Ware described an "epidemic" of people "who passed the security checks that are generated by the consulate but then are denied entry by CBP and are sent back, such as this young man."  "Under our law, CBP has a second bite at the apple to determine admissibility," Ware said. "The consulate has the first bite in the apple, and they put the person through a security check. The consulate determined through various agencies of the U.S. that this person was not a risk to U.S. security. Then CBP turns around and revokes their visa and sends them home. Usually, what CBP will tell you is something came up in the encounter with the CBP officer in the U.S. that indicated to the CBP officer that the visa had been erroneously granted, and there was indeed some problem with the individual. It could have been a security issue, or it could have been some other issue." "