Denied Entry to the US: Reasons and Measures

Traveling to the United States has always been an exciting opportunity. Over the years, however, there has been an increase in the number of individuals who are denied entry to the country for various reasons, including those with student visas, employment visas, and visitor visas and green cards. This article will explore the various reasons why travelers have been denied entry to the US and what measures have been proposed or have taken place to prevent this from happening.

Denied Entry to the US: Reasons and Measures

The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or simply the US, is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district... It was founded on July 4, 1776, with the ratification of the United States Constitution and was declared a separate nation from Great Britain. The USA has been world's most developed country since 2013, surpassing Japan.

The US is one of the most popular destinations in the world, with more than 10 million foreign tourists entering the country every year. But in 2022, if you’re planning to visit New York or Miami Beach and celebrate your summer holiday there, you might get denied entry at the border – not because of any health-related reasons but because you don’t meet the requirements of an ESTA visa waiver application. Here are some reasons why you may be denied entry to the US and what measures will be in place to counter this issue.

Entry into the US

Like most countries, visiting or entering another country is a privilege. It's not a right. And yet, many travelers are surprised when they find out they were denied entry into another country. I wish I could say that’s uncommon; it isn't.

While each country's laws vary, there are some measures in place to help you make sure you're not denied entry at an airport, border crossing or other checkpoint. The following measures may change over time so always check your travel documents for specifics before traveling internationally or even within your own county.

Reasons for Being Denied Entry into the US

Having a criminal record will prevent you from being granted a visa; some crimes might make it impossible for you to receive a visa no matter how good your intentions may be. Other reasons for denying entry into the United States include overstaying your visa, financial difficulties, or other reasons that make it impossible for you to enter legally.

In fact, a shocking 4 out of 5 people who attempt illegal entry are caught—and denied entry. If they manage to elude detection by border patrol, they can be detained at any time by local law enforcement or federal officials. Given that background checks are increasingly thorough and usually take weeks if not months (especially if there’s an existing warrant out on your name), illegals have become much more likely over time.

Here are some reasons for Entry denials

  • Incorrect paperwork
  • Conflicts with travel documentation
  • Health concerns
  • Being previously denied entry
  • Overstaying your visa
  • Insufficient funds to support themselves during their stay
  • Problems with a background check
  • Suspicion of malicious intent
  • Having worked illegally in the US
  • Being convicted of a crime
  • Criminal history
  • Suspected or known ties to terrorism

What are My Options for Refused Entry to the US?

The first thing that you need to do is stay calm. Your entry has been refused for one reason or another, but don’t take it personally! It isn’t personal—it’s business. If you can remain calm, you will be able to make better decisions about how best to handle your situation.

You might not be able to determine why your entry was denied at first, but try not to let that stop you from thinking things through thoroughly. The first decision is whether or not to challenge your entry denial with an appeal or a waiver application. If it is simply a mistake on their part, maybe they will reconsider upon seeing more information.

Waivers for Non-immigrants (Temporary Residence)

Non-immigrants are foreign nationals who do not have lawful permanent residence status. If you are a non-immigrant and need to travel outside of your home country for more than 90 days, but are not eligible for a visa, you may be able to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility. The process can be complicated, so it is important that you discuss your situation with an immigration attorney if possible.

Denied entry: There are many reasons that can cause someone to be denied entry into the United States including criminal history or health-related issues. When someone is denied entry into the U.S., they will generally remain denied until he or she is able to return with proper documentation and overcome any other requirements at that time.

What is the Processing Time for the I-192 Waiver?

It takes 30-45 days on average for USCIS to adjudicate an I-192 waiver application. This includes reviewing your case, collecting all necessary evidence, and then making a decision whether or not to grant you permission to enter or re-enter the United States. In some cases, though, it may take longer. For example, if your medical condition is severe or if there’s a backlog of applications for waivers at your local USCIS office.

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Why Start with My Visa Source with a Free Online Assessment?

If you’re planning on traveling to or moving permanently to America, it’s always a good idea to start by getting your visa situation sorted out. But what if you want or need an entry visa for educational purposes? According to US immigration laws, one of three things must happen before your visa will be approved: You must have a job offer from an American company or organization sponsoring your work-based green card; you must prove that you can financially support yourself during your stay through family sponsorship; or you must qualify for a student visa—in which case, international students typically receive financial assistance from their college or university.

Why Could You Be Denied Entry at US Airport

You could be denied entry at an airport if you have certain criminal convictions. There are some serious offenses that can lead to a long-term ban on entering the United States, but there are also seemingly innocuous crimes for which people face these bans. In fact, getting banned from visiting is often something people don’t even realize has happened until they attempt to cross into U.S. territory.

That’s when they find out their legal past will no longer let them through customs, making it impossible for them to enter America unless they overcome that ban somehow or change their pasts completely. Here’s what you need to know about why you might be denied entry into the United States—and how you can ensure your travel plans go off without a hitch in future visits.

According to the Department of Homeland Security website, travelers may be denied entry to the US for the following reasons:

  • Previously worked illegally in the US
  • Suspected of overstaying their visa
  • Suspected of having ties to terrorist or criminal organizations
  • Previously overstayed a visit to the US

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  • Don’t have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay in the US
  • Inadmissible by Health: anyone with a “communicable disease” or “physical or mental disorder that may pose, or has posed, a threat to [the person] or others” or “a drug abuser or addict”)
  • Being convicted of a criminal offense

What To Do When Denied Entry to the US at the Airport

Denying someone entry into a country is one of those things that most people think happens to others. It's easy to believe it could never happen to you—after all, you haven't done anything wrong! However, as travel becomes easier and more accessible, more of us are encountering problems when we want to get back into our home countries. Since returning home isn't always so simple, here are a few things you can do if denied entry at your next trip abroad.

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Here are some things you should do:

  • Ask for patience
  • Ask follow-up questions
  • Take notes
  • Find a quiet place to collect your details
  • Call a lawyer

Denied Entry to the US with a Visa

If you’re hoping to enter the United States with a visa, it’s important that you work with a reputable visa service agency. Applicants who are approved for visas by national agencies enjoy a number of benefits, including lower fees and faster processing times. However, applicants who choose less reliable agencies may have difficulty obtaining approval for their visas or could face delays or denials due to issues such as counterfeit documents.

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In addition, since VisaHQ acts as an intermediary between clients and consulates, some travel experts advise against applying directly to US embassies abroad. This increases your risk of being denied entry because an embassy employee might deny your visa application simply because he or she doesn’t like you or doesn’t like Americans.

If you have been denied entry with a visa, you have the right to:

  • An exclusion hearing before a judge to determine your admissibility;
  • An administrative appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals;
  • A judicial review or appeal of any, or all, of the above decisions.


Can you be denied entry to the US with a visa?

Yes, you may be denied entry to the US for a number of reasons, even if you have a Visa. Some reasons could be failing to demonstrate sufficient ties to your home country, not having sufficient funds to support your stay in the US, having a criminal history, or health concerns.

Can you be denied entry to the US at an airport?

Yes, you can be denied entry to the US at an airport.

Can US customs deny entry?

Yes, US Customs has the authority to deny entry.

What previous crimes make you inadmissible to the US?

Many common convictions can cause you to be denied entry, such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI), drug offenses, assault, or Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT).

An act is classified as a CIMT on a case-by-case basis and acts done with evil intent or recklessly will generally warrant CIMT classification.

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The following crimes are often classified as CIMT:

  • Spousal and Child abuse
  • Fraud
  • Bigamy
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Manslaughter
  • Homicide

If I am denied entry to the US, can I try again?

Yes, if you are denied entry to the US you can try to re-enter the US provided you apply for a Waiver of Inadmissibility.


All of these reasons were taken into account when the Act was passed. Many people would point out that not everyone has been denied entry, but those same people do not consider that there are now over six billion people on earth, so even one-tenth of a percent is a massive number. In fact, while it seems like a small percentage overall, it means hundreds of thousands of immigrants have not been allowed entry.

And as we mentioned above, all hope is not lost for an immigrant who is denied entry—they can simply apply for permanent residency or citizenship through another family member already established in America.

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