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Does US Customs & Border protection actually check for active warrants when you re-enter the country?

Denver, CO |

I'm planning on taking a trip to new Zealand I'm curious on the way back into the USA do they see active warrants when they run your passport and how likely is it that i would get arrested at that point , how about if its just a statewide warrant and im not flying through that state?? would i be bothered? I'm not sure i have one but it is a possibility ,for checks i did not even write , so i would like to be safe and make sure

Im a US Citizen only my passport is scanned

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Attorney answers 4


Yep, they scan your fingerprint so whatever comes up comes up.

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If you have any issues--whether active warrants or a past plea or conviction--this is reviewed prior to your readmission to the US.

You should talk to an immigration lawyer, before making plans--just to make sure your situation won't result in being refused admission, detained or referred for a deferred inspection. Depending on the underlying issue, you might only find you miss a flight connection, at worst, you could find yourself in immigration detention, without a bond, facing deportation. Know before you go.

This answer provides only general information and may not be relied on as legal advice. For more information about immigration law and policy, please visit or follow us on twitter (@lauralichter) or facebook, www.facebook/lichterimmigration. To find an immigration lawyer in your area, log on to Listed attorneys have been members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the nation's premier bar association for immigration lawyers, for at least two years, comply with annual continuing legal education (CLE) requirements and carry malpractice insurance.


Most definitely. They check your passport and have the ability to run you on the FBI's NCIC computer database, which would show warrants in any state or throughout the country. I would check with the jurisdiction and not chance it. You do not want to get into a situation in which you are not allowed back into the country.

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Absolutely. In fact, CBP receives the manifest for every flight arriving in the United States and will have already completed a check before your plane lands in the U.S. It also will have already contacted the agency responsible for the warrant to determine if that agency wants you held for pickup. Where you arrive in the U.S. is irrelevant. I recommend you resolve the warrant before you depart the U.S.

While this answer is provided by a Florida Bar Certified Expert in Immigration and Nationality Law, it is for general information purposes only and an attorney/client relationship is neither intended nor created. You should seek out qualified counsel to review your case and provide you with advice specific to your situation. Call +1-561-478-5353 to schedule a consultation with Mr. Devore.

Christopher Daniel Leroi

Christopher Daniel Leroi


Superb answer by Mr. Devore. He is absolutely correct.