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What is Entry Without Inspection (EWI)?

What is Entry Without Inspection (EWI)?

Entry without inspection means that you entered the United States without being inspected by an immigration or border patrol officer. The classic example is someone who enters the United States through the deserts or mountains, in unregulated terrain in an effort to reach the United States. Other examples include hiding in someone's trunk. In short, entry without inspection means exactly what it states: you entered the United States and no one inspected you upon entry.

How does an Entry Without Inspection Effect my Eligibility for Adjustment of Status?

In order to adjust status in the United States and obtain a green card in the United States without leaving, you are required to enter with inspection.

How can I prove I Entered with Inspection?

There are many ways you can prove you entered the United States with inspection. The most common form of proof is the I-94. The I-94 is an admission record issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Alternatively, an entry stamp is also sufficient.

What if I do not have proof of lawful entry?

If you know you entered the United States with a visa, or were otherwise lawfully admitted, but do not have proof of your entry, you should consider making a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The FOIA should be sent to the proper agency, usually the State Department or U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

What Options Do I have if I did not Enter with Inspection?

If you did not enter the United States with inspection, do not do anything until you speak to an immigration lawyer. There are several options.

Quilantan or Wave Through Entry

A Quilantan or "wave through" entry means that you were waived through and legally entered the United States. Often times this happens when not all passengers in a car are checked for documents, or if the point of entry is busy and the officer waves a car through. If you are able to prove that you were waived into the United States, then you are considered to have entered with inspection.

245(i) Eligibility

If you entered without inspection, but had an immigration petition filed for you on or before April 30, 2001, then you are eligible under section 245(i) and can adjust status by paying a fine.

I-601A Waiver

If you are not eligible for adjustment of status, then the best option is to file for a provisional unlawful presence waiver, commonly know as a I-601A waiver.

Contact a Skilled Immigration Lawyer

It is important to speak to skilled immigration attorney. You may be eligible for some or none of the options listed above. Further, never file any documents with immigration before discussing your options with a lawyer. Immigration law is extremely complex.