Understanding 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) Determination

212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) is a section of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that outlines the criteria for inadmissibility of foreign nationals seeking to enter or remain in the United States. This section relates to determining whether a foreign national is likely to become a “public charge[1]” in the United States or not having proper paperwork to support admission under the requested visa status. This section of the INA is invoked by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) at the airport or land border when a visa holder is denied entry into the United States.

The purpose of this section is to ensure that those who enter the United States (whether on a visa or through the Visa Waiver Program) are self-sufficient and will not become a burden on the US taxpayer. The US government will consider a number of factors when determining whether an alien is inadmissible under 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I), including the alien’s age, health, education and skills, family status, assets and resources, and likelihood of employment. Any prior receipt of public benefits may also be considered a negative factor by the government in its determination.

If the foreign national is allowed to withdraw their application for entry into the US under section 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I), the CBP inspector will revoke the visa, and the foreign national can return to the US Consulate and apply for a new visa in the future where the foreign national will have to re-establish his qualifications for the visa. If a CBP officer orders expedited removal of the foreign national when making a section 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) determination, the foreign national will be barred from entering the US for five years. If on the other hand the CBP inspector also determines that the foreign national committed fraud or material misrepresentation, the foreign national will be barred from entering the United States permanently.

In conclusion, section 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) of the INA is an important component of US immigration law, designed to ensure that those who enter the United States are self-sufficient and not likely to become a burden on the US taxpayer. Section 212(a)(7)(A)(i)(I) findings has serious consequences even if the CBP inspector does not make an expedited removal or misrepresentation determination.


[1] A “public charge” is defined as an individual who is likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence, either through the receipt of public cash assistance or through institutionalization for long-term care at government expense. In other words, a public charge is someone who is likely to rely on government assistance for their basic needs.