The bride and groom in question, Navjot Saini and Simar Singh Grin, planned to wed in a traditional Indian ceremony before 700 guests in Maryland, with the festivities due to begin on Friday, August 24th. But four days before the wedding, the bride, a Canadian citizen, was caught on the wrong side of the border.
While Canadian citizens are commonly allowed to enter the US with ease, travelers coming as visitors must show they will not be staying beyond their authorized 90 days. In immigration jargon – they must convince the CBP officer at the border they have “non-immigrant intent.” That can be hard for bi-national couples like Navjot and Simar intending to eventually settle in the US. Navjot’s plan was to come to the US, get married, and then return to Canada to complete her immigration process from abroad. She had non-immigrant intent but was still denied entry – twice. The second time, the CBP Officer began to seriously question Navjot’s nonimmigrant intent, and, in essence, told Navjot there was “no way” that she would be permitted to enter the U.S. for her own wedding.
Navjot and Simar’s families went into a panic. This was not a simple courthouse ceremony that could be easily rescheduled. This was a lavish and traditional Indian wedding with 700 guests and multiple events. Preparations had started a year in advance, and now the families began to consider if they needed to call all 700 guests to tell them that the wedding had been canceled.
After that second denial of entry on Tuesday, Navjot and Simar reached out to EIG attorney Hiba Anver, who immediately went into action. Hiba worked with the couple to collect extensive supporting documents and prepared what ended up as a 133-page evidence packet. Hiba also prepared the bride to properly explain the purpose of her trip when attempting entry. While this may have been enough for some – prepare the application and the client, and wish them luck – Hiba didn’t stop. She chased leads and got a contact for a CBP immigration officer, making a direct plea for assistance.
Just a few hours later – SUCCESS! Navjot passed through US pre-flight inspection in Canada, was permitted to board her flight to the US, and safely landed Wednesday evening, TWO DAYS before her wedding.
Just another day of EIG helping our clients get to yes!