The most common reasons non-permanent residents (visa holders) are deported or removed from the United States are if they entered the U.S. without inspection or without valid entry documents, or if they entered legally on a visa, but then overstayed the period of time they were authorized to remain.

Visa holders should be prepared to prove that they are entering the United States for allowable functions and that they intend to leave in accordance with the terms of their visa. In instances of inspections at the U.S. border, however, foreign nationals can in fact be determined “inadmissible” and will not be allowed entry into the U.S.

Those individuals are generally either allowed to retreat their applications for admission into the U.S. or are simply denied entry into the U.S. and must immediately depart.

Even lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who have remained outside the United States for more than one year, must be prepared to provide evidence at the port of entry that their absence was caused by circumstances beyond their control.

Any individual that is in the U.S. may be subject to deportation or removal if he or she:

–         is present in the U.S. in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act or any other U.S. law;

–         is an inadmissible alien according to immigration laws in effect at the time of entry in the US or adjustment of non- immigrant status;

–         terminated a conditional permanent residence;

–         violated non-immigrant status;

–         was convicted of criminal offenses;

–         committed marriage fraud to gain admission to the U.S.;

–         aided any other person to enter the U.S. illegally;

–         engaged in activities that endangers public safety or creates a risk of national security.

Generally, removal proceedings begin with a Notice to appear (NTA) issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and filed with the immigration court. A Notice to Appear contains general information about the immigrant (name, country of origin, etc.), but also states the reasons for the deportation or removal.

Moreover, when an alien is determined to be removable, if eligible, they can apply for a form of relief to avoid having to leave the U.S. The types of relief are usually divided into two categories: discretionary relief or administrative/judicial relief.