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How to Prove Lawful Entry to the US as Required for an Immigrant

2.75 minute read
"As an immigrant applicant to the US, you will be required to provide evidence of your entry into the United States to file for adjustment of status. Proof of entry supports the fact that you underwent inspection and were admitted or were paroled upon your last entry into the US. It states that you entered the US legally."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jun 9, 2021
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As an immigrant applicant to the US, you will be required to provide evidence of your entry into the United States to file for adjustment of status. Proof of entry supports the fact that you underwent inspection and were admitted or were paroled upon your last entry into the US. It states that you entered the US legally. 

What Are the Ways to Enter the United States?

There are 3 types of entry into the US: by inspection, admission and parole. Inspection is the process by which foreign nationals present themselves physically to an immigration officer at a US port of entry to determine whether they are eligible to enter the US. One of the following scenarios are possible in this process:

  • You are admitted to the US, meaning that you were authorized to enter
  • You are paroled into the US, meaning that you are temporarily admitted but not yet fully admitted to the US
  • You are denied entry to the US
  • Your admission is deferred to the US

What Are the Different Types Of Proof Of Entry to the US?

Evidence of Admission/Parole With a Form I-94: 

The Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record documents your admission or parole. You can file a Form I-102, to request a Form I-94. If you have to replace your Form I-94 for any reason including lost, stolen or destroyed, then you can file Form I-102, Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant Arrival-Departure Document to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). These forms are usually processed within 5 to 17.5 months. 

I-94 Website: 

If you entered the US after April 20, 2013, by an airport, then you may have been issued an electronic I-94 form by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). 

FOIA Request: 

You can also gain proof of entry by requesting the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA). This act allows you to request certain federal agencies for information. This request must be submitted to the CBP FOIA Division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). However, this process may also take several months to complete. 

Entering With a Travel Document: 

If you are entering the US with a travel document, for example, a Border Crossing Card, Temporary Resident Card or another such document, then it can also serve as a proof of entry. However, if you were not issued an I-94 and your travel document or passport was not stamped by the CBP, then it will be hard to demonstrate the date of your entry into the US. 

In such cases, it helps to also present proof of a valid travel document at the time of entry and other evidence of admission to the US such as flight tickets, travel itinerary or other documents. However, if you do not have evidence of a valid travel document, then you can take the route mentioned above, by submitting an FOIA request to the agency that issued the travel document. 

Waived Through At Port Of Entry: 

If in some cases, you were waived through an inspection after you presented yourself physically to an immigration officer, then you could be considered inspected and admitted by an immigration officer on the condition that you make no false claims for US citizenship. However, these cases are complicated as you would be required to present evidence that you were waived at the port of entry and the adjudicating officer must find your claim credible.

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