DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry for Student Traveler

DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry for Student Traveler

  • Applicant: Mr. Liao
  • Nationality: China
  • Applying for: DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program
  • Case Type: I-20 SEVIS ID, DHS Form 590 Authorization to Release Information to Another Person
  • Challenges:
    • Demonstrating factual computer errors regarding date of departure
    • Establishing the factual dates of the internship
    • Multiple legal forms to be completed


Mr. Liao tried not to show his frustration when once again the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at Los Angeles International airport (LAX) had pulled him to the side. This was the fourth time the twenty-six-year-old Chinese student was subjected to secondary screening. Now, he knows by experience he’s looking at waiting in line for hours only to be dismissed within a few minutes of the officer examining his file. Mr. Liao knows never to have friends or family pick him up when his flight arrives at LAX because he can’t predict how long it will take to get through customs. And all of this is happening because his paperwork is flagged for a minor, addressable computer error. Mr. Liao knows if he doesn’t want to continue to be subjected to additional screening each time he enters the U.S., he’ll need to have his file corrected. Fortunately, he turned to the immigration law experts at Tsang and Associates.



Tsang and Associates met with Mr. Liao and soon discovered he was quite an amazing person. He was a top student at UCLA studying International Relations. One semester he made the unpredictable move to take an internship with a business in China rather than in the U.S. This meant he had to leave college for part of the year. Being an upstanding and conscientious person, Mr. Liao followed the proper procedures and had his I-20 SEVIS ID inactivated for the duration of his 3-month internship. While Mr. Liao did nothing wrong and the CBP officers had no ill intent, a computer error regarding his departure dates caused him to be flagged upon each entry into the U.S. Tsang, and Associates realized this was a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. The U.S. had to bear the added cost and time wasted due to the additional screenings, and Mr. Liao had to deal with the constant hassle on his trips back and forth to China. Tsang and Associates understood careful negotiations could turn the situation into a win-win for all parties. On Mr. Liao’s behalf, the team applied for the DHS Travelers Redress Inquiry Program. In support, they wrote a brief with 10 exhibits:

  1. The DHS Form 590 Authorization to Release Information to Another Person and Form G-28.
  2. The DHS Trip Traveler Inquiry Form
  3. A Current Passport
  4. Non-Immigrant F-1 Visas
  5. The I-94 Admission Form with Computer Error regarding the date of departure.
  6. Mr. Liao’s Employment Authorization Card
  7. The Form I-20 (2)
  8. Mr. Liao’s Itinerary showing Proof of Departure on Dec. 24, 2014
  9. The UCLA transcript showing a break in Winter Quarter (Jan-March) 2014-2015
  10. The email correspondence with UCLA showing Reactivation of I-20 on March 12, 2015

The package created by Tsang and Associates (delivered by Mr. Liao to the CBP officers) proved the documentation error was attributable to a computer and was no fault of Mr. Liao’s.



Tsang and Associates is happy to report after his internship Mr. Liao had his I-20 SEVIS ID reactivated and he returned to the United States on March 20, 2017, to complete his studies. He continues to travel between China and the U.S. without complications. Tsang and Associates was able to use their expert mediation skills to achieve a positive result with only a small charge to the client.