Deferred Inspection is the process by which an officer from the USCBP (“United States Customs and Border Protection”) inspects and assists USICE with inspecting you prior to being permitted to enter the country, usually at the airport (in Chicago) or at the border.
If you are a non US citizen and seek entry into the U.S., you will be required to have valid entry documents. If you are a returning non citizen in any status, including a Legal Permanent Resident (“green card” holder), and have any number of arrests in your background, you will be placed in what is called “deferred inspection.”
In this instance, you would be questioned at the airport about the arrests and allowed to enter the country (i.e., “paroled”) in order to permit USICE to conduct a further inquiry. The reason the inspection is “deferred” and not completed at the border or port is because the USCBP does not have all the information concerning the arrests and, second, it is within USICE’s jurisdiction to determine whether you will be admitted.
Deferred Inspection Appointment
The USCBP officer will ask that you obtain certified copies of the dispositions for all your arrests to determine:
- Which ones resulted in convictions; and
- Which of those convictions, if any, may constitute an inadmissible offense(s).
During a deferred inspection, an experienced immigration attorney will be able to assist you to ensure that the correct interpretation of the offenses is made by the USCBP officer. For example, in some cases, there are offenses which are considered felonies under state law, but under federal law, may actually be misdemeanors. If this is addressed by your immigration attorney at the deferred inspection, sometimes it can prevent you from being issued a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court.