I am a Canadian citizen who continues to be denied entry into the U.S. as a visitor. How can I enter the U.S. to visit my vacation home?

Question:

I am a 75-year-old citizen of Canada. In 1996, I purchased a vacation home in Sarasota, Florida that I visit during the winter months. I am divorced with two adult children and four grandchildren (all live in Canada). Recently, I retired from my job as a self-employed consultant.

During my time as a consultant, I entered the United States in H-1B and TN statuses. Since retiring, I have entered the U.S. in B-2 visitor status for pleasure. In 2013, I attempted to enter the U.S. and was directed to secondary inspection and questioned for several hours before being refused entry under INA 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I). Several months later, I sought entry into the U.S. and was refused entry again. However, I was granted parole for a short period of time in order to collect personal property at my Sarasota vacation home.

I sought entry into the U.S. again, but I was stopped and questioned for several hours. I was denied admission, but informed that I should return with additional evidence of my ties to Canada. Several days later, I returned to the same port of entry and was questioned under oath. After the questioning, the officer explained that there was not enough information to deny me entry. I was subsequently granted admission into the U.S. in B-2 visitor status.

In 2014, I applied for entry into the U.S. at the CBP preclearance at Montreal’s Pierre Trudeau International Airport. I was directed to secondary inspection and questioned by an officer. I was subsequently denied entry into the U.S. and allowed to withdraw my application for admission.

At 75-years-old, I am no longer healthy enough to work. I have been in a relationship with a U.S. citizen for five years and hope to continue the relationship. I have no plans to marry. How can I enter the U.S. to visit my vacation home and my boyfriend?

Answer:

It appears that you have an issue under INA § 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I). Pursuant to INA § 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I),

In general, except as otherwise specifically provided in this Act, any immigrant at the time of application for admission 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.

In addition, pursuant to INA § 214(b),

Every alien…shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for a visa, and the immigration officers, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15).

Under INA § 214(b), every foreign national seeking admission into the U.S. is presumed to be seeking admission to remain in the U.S. permanently. Thus, a foreign national seeking admission into the U.S. as a nonimmigrant may nevertheless be denied entry into the U.S. as an intending immigrant.

As you indicate in your question, you have been traveling between Canada and the U.S. since 1996. Since your retirement, I assume your travel to the U.S. has increased. Your increase in travel to the U.S., recent retirement, and relationship with a U.S. citizen are all reasons that may raise CBP’s suspicion as to your intent. Remember, at each application for admission you must prove to the satisfaction of immigration officers that you are entering the U.S. temporarily.

Request for Entry into the U.S. as a B-2 Visitor for Pleasure

To gain admission into the U.S., you must overcome the presumption of immigrant intent. One way to do this is by evidencing your ties to Canada through documentation. Examples of relevant documentation include, but are not limited to, the following: Canadian passport, driver’s license, health insurance card, lease agreement, home insurance policy, automobile insurance and registration, bank statements, provincial and federal income tax.

For additional assistance, please contact my office to set up a consultation to discuss your case in greater detail.