On November 7, 2014, I was ordered expedited removed. What steps do I have to take to return to the U.S. to be with my U.S. citizen fiancée?

Question:                             

I have a question about my recent expedited removal. I am a Canadian citizen currently living Calgary, Canada. I am engaged to a U.S. Citizen. I met my fiancée at a music festival in Canada, and it was love at first sight. Our wedding is planned for December 20, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. After I proposed, I began researching ways to enter the U.S.; however, by the time I discovered the K-1 fiancé visa, the wedding was too close for the K-1 visa to be a viable option. We decided not to pursue the fiancé visa. Rather we believed I could wait until I was married in the U.S to begin the immigration process. We were clearly wrong.

On November 7, 2014, I attempted to enter the U.S. When the immigration officer asked what was the purpose of my visit, I stated that I was going to visit my “girlfriend.” I was pulled over and my car was searched. The search resulted in officers finding a “save the date” letter for the upcoming wedding. I was taken to secondary inspection and questioned again about my intentions for entering the U.S. I told the truth about my intention to marry my fiancée and live with her in Georgia. An expedited removal order was issued against me because I was found inadmissible pursuant to INA § 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) and I returned to Canada.

What steps do I have to take to return to the U.S. to be with my fiancée?

Answer:

Thank you for your question. Your case appears to be complicated, so I encourage you to call my office and set up a consultation. In the meantime, below I provided some information that you may find helpful.

Order of Expedited Removal

Expedited removal is a process used to remove people from the U.S. who attempt to enter without proper documents. Thus, if an officer believes you are trying to enter the country either by fraud or without proper documents, the officer can refuse your entry and order you immediately removed. If you are expedited removed, you are barred from returning to the U.S. for five years. Unfortunately, an order of expedited removal is final (with no appeal process) and generally does not provide for an opportunity to speak with an Immigration Judge.

Based on the facts you provided in your question, you were expedited removed on the basis that you were inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) as an intending immigrant without a valid unexpired immigrant visa or other suitable entry document. Pursuant to INA § 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I),

… [A]ny immigrant at the time of application for admission- (I) who is not in possession of a valid unexpired immigrant visa, reentry permit, border crossing identification card, or other valid entry document required by this Act, and a valid unexpired passport, or other suitable travel document, or document of identity and nationality if such document is required under the regulations issued by the Attorney General under section 211(a) …is inadmissible.

Fortunately, you were not found inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(6)(C)(i) [Fraud or misrepresentation], which carries a lifetime bar to reentry (unless a waiver is obtained). 

Form I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States after Deportation or Removal

The order of expedited removal issued against you bars you from seeking admission into the U.S. for a period of five years, unless you file a Form I-212 and obtain “consent to reapply for admission.” The Form I-212 is submitted to overcome your inadmissibility under INA § 212(a)(9)(A)(i) as an alien previously removed.

In adjudicating I-212 applications, all pertinent factors relating to the applicant should be considered. These factors include the: (1) basis for the prior removal, (2) recency of the removal, (3) applicant’s moral character, (4) applicant’s respect for law and order, (5) evidence of applicant's reformation and rehabilitation, (6) applicant’s family responsibilities, (7) other grounds of inadmissibility (if any), (8) hardships to the applicant and others, and (9) need for the applicant's services in the U.S. Therefore, your application should address, among other things, any:

·      Mitigating factors surrounding the basis of your prior removal;

·      Hardships to you, your wife and family;

·      Evidence of your good moral character and respect for law and order; and

·      Evidence of your reformation and rehabilitation.

Request for Humanitarian Parole

Humanitarian parole is used to bring inadmissible individuals into the United States for a compelling reason for a temporary period of time. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can grant humanitarian parole. You may consider making a request for humanitarian parole for the sole purpose of going forward with your wedding. Weddings are expensive and require a tremendous amount of planning, so an argument may be made that attending your wedding rises to the level of a compelling reason.

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

Finally, once you and your fiancé are married, your can file an I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The I-130 petition is filed with USCIS for the purpose of establishing the existence of your marital relationship.