News & Articles

Nationals of Iran Subject to Additional Screening at U.S. Port of Entry

Published on 1/6/2020

There have been recent reports that individuals of Iranian descent were detained at the Canadian-U.S. land border crossing in Blaine, Washington for extended periods of time over the weekend.  Many of those impacted were placed into secondary inspection and held for up to 10 hours, where they were subject to extensive questioning regarding their family and other ties to Iran.  It appears that all of those individuals subject to additional screening, including many lawful permanent residents and U.S. citizens, were ultimately permitted to enter the U.S.  There have not been reports of any detentions or additional screening of Iranian nationals at other U.S. ports of entry or airports.

In light of this situation, we advise individuals who are nationals of Iran to exercise caution in returning to the U.S. from international travel.  Travelers could encounter heightened scrutiny and screening at U.S. ports of entry.  Click here for more information from the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) with helpful information regarding your rights at a U.S. border crossing or port of entry.

The immigration attorneys at Ryan Swanson are closely monitoring this situation.  If you have any questions regarding international travel or your rights as a temporary visa holder, lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen, please contact our office.

Amy Royalty can be reached at [email protected].
Marsha Mavunkel can be reached at [email protected].
Cody Nunn can be reached at [email protected].
Janet Cheetham can be reached at [email protected].
Joel Paget can be reached at [email protected].
Jen Chen can be reached at [email protected].






This message has been released by the Immigration Group at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC to advise of recent developments in the law. Because each situation is different, this information is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice on any specific facts and circumstances. Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC is a full-service law firm located in Seattle, Washington.

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