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What Is A “Deferred Inspection”?

It is not uncommon for our office to receive phone calls from people who have been asked to appear for a “deferred inspection.”  We have appeared at a number of these inspections at Newark Liberty International Airport with our clients to deal with Customs and Border Protection or “CBP.” What exactly is a deferred inspection? A deferred inspection usually arises when an immigration officer cannot make an immediate decision as to whether someone is “admissible” to the United States.  This usually occurs, for example, at the airport.  Due to whatever circumstances may be present in one’s case, the officer may not feel comfortable granting that person admission into the United States; however, he or she does feel that the situation can be resolved in the applicant’s favor at a later time—provided that the applicant appears at a designated time and place and presents whatever additional evidence is requested.  For example, an individual with a criminal record may be flagged by immigration because there is a “hit” with Customs and Border Protection.  The immigration officer may defer an individual’s inspection so that he or she can come back and furnish certified dispositions reflecting that the offenses have been resolved.  It is important for people in these situations to realize that they have not yet been admitted into the United States; they have only been “paroled, ” and a final decision as to whether they are admissible will be made at the deferred inspection.  In fact, the person will be given an I-94 that bears a stamp indicating that the individual has been paroled.  It is crucial that anyone asked to appear for a deferred inspection follow CBP’s instructions scrupulously and secure any and all documentation that may be relevant to clearing up the matter.   If there is any doubt as to what immigration is requesting, the individual should seek qualified legal counsel to review the matter.