Nepali Student Denied Entry in Chicago, Cause Unclear

050115: Vancouver, Canada - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) preclearance operations at Vancouver International Airport. Passengers depart the processing area and enter the Downstream area where they can purchase duty free mechandise and connect to airport flight gates. Photographer: Donna Burton

A Nepali student holding an F-1 visa was denied entry at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on Saturday, January 13th, and subsequently returned to Nepal on Tuesday, January 16th. Details surrounding the incident remain unclear, with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) citing privacy concerns while refusing to offer specifics.

“The Privacy Act prevents U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from discussing specifics about an individual traveler arrival records. It is important to highlight that any foreign traveler regardless of their country of nationality can be found inadmissible into the U.S. for various reasons,” stated a CBP spokesperson. “U.S. Customs and Border Protection is charged with determining admissibility of foreign nationals at U.S. ports of entry.  CBP officers are thoroughly trained on admissibility factors and the Immigration and Nationality Act which broadly governs the entry process into the United States.”

A CBP Officer processes an incoming passenger at the Newark International Airport. Photo by James Tourtellotte (United States government work)

Reports from multiple news outlets claim the student was denied entry due to insufficient financial resources for their intended studies. However, CBP has not confirmed this information. The student’s identity and planned university have not been released due to privacy concerns.

The student’s permanent residence is in Nepal, Kavre, and she is expected to reach Nepal on Wednesday.