Except as provided in subsection (b) and subsection (c) no immigrant shall be admitted into the United States unless at the time of application for admission he (1) has a valid unexpired immigrant visa or was born subsequent to the issuance of such visa of the accompanying parent, and (2) presents a valid unexpired passport or other suitable travel document, or document of identity and nationality, if such document is required under the regulations issued by the Attorney General. With respect to immigrants to be admitted under quotas of quota areas prior to June 30, 1968, no immigrant visa shall be deemed valid unless the immigrant is properly chargeable to the quota area under the quota of which the visa is issued.
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1182(a)(7)(A) of this title in such cases or in such classes of cases and under such conditions as may be by regulations prescribed, returning resident immigrants, defined in section 1101(a)(27)(A) of this title, who are otherwise admissible may be readmitted to the United States by the Attorney General in his discretion without being required to obtain a passport, immigrant visa, reentry permit or other documentation.
The provisions of subsection (a) shall not apply to an alien whom the Attorney General admits to the United States under section 1157 of this title.
(June 27, 1952, ch. 477, title II, ch. 2, §211, 66 Stat. 181; Pub. L. 89–236, §9, Oct. 3, 1965, 79 Stat. 917; Pub. L. 94–571, §7(c), Oct. 20, 1976, 90 Stat. 2706; Pub. L. 96–212, title II, §202, Mar. 17, 1980, 94 Stat. 106; Pub. L. 101–649, title VI, §603(a)(7), Nov. 29, 1990, 104 Stat. 5083.)
1990—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–649 substituted "1182(a)(7)(A)" for "1182(a)(20)".
1980—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 96–212, §202(1), inserted reference to subsection (c) of this section.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 96–212, §202(2), added subsec. (c).
1976—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 94–571 substituted reference to section 1101 "(a)(27)(A)" of this title for "(a)(27)(B)".
1965—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–236 restated requirement of an unexpired visa and passport for every immigrant arriving in United States to conform to the changes with respect to the classification of immigrant visas.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 89–236 substituted "returning resident immigrants, defined in section 1101(a)(27)(B) of this title, who are otherwise admissible", for "otherwise admissible aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence who depart from the United States temporarily".
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 89–236 repealed subsec. (c) which gave Attorney General discretionary authority to admit aliens who arrive in United States with defective visas under specified conditions.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 89–236 repealed subsec. (d) which imposed restrictions on exercise of Attorney General's discretion to admit aliens arriving with defective visas.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 89–236 repealed subsec. (e) which required every alien making application for admission as an immigrant to present the documents required under regulations issued by Attorney General.
Amendment by Pub. L. 101–649 applicable to individuals entering United States on or after June 1, 1991, see section 601(e)(1) of Pub. L. 101–649, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 96–212 effective Mar. 17, 1980, and applicable to fiscal years beginning with the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 1979, see section 204 of Pub. L. 96–212, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.
Amendment by Pub. L. 94–571 effective on first day of first month which begins more than sixty days after Oct. 20, 1976, see section 10 of Pub. L. 94–571, set out as a note under section 1101 of this title.
For effective date of amendment by Pub. L. 89–236, see section 20 of Pub. L. 89–236, set out as a note under section 1151 of this title.
For abolition of Immigration and Naturalization Service, transfer of functions, and treatment of related references, see note set out under section 1551 of this title.