When beginning your travels after obtaining your visa, you should always have all of your immigration documents on you. Having copies of all your immigration documents can benefit you greatly in case one set gets lost during travel. You will be required to provide them at the inspection at the US port of entry before obtaining your luggage, so keep them on your person at all times.

What is “Applying for Admission”?

Upon arrival to the US, a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent will review your documents, such as your valid passport (valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry) and your valid visa demonstrating your intentions while in the US and all other immigration documents. You will apply for official “admission” to the US at this time. Additional documents may be required based on your country and the visa you have obtained. Keep in mind that security is the priority of the CBP, so they will ask questions to determine if you pose no safety risk upon entrance.

Does Passing Through the US Border or Port of Entry Take a Long Time?

Hundreds of thousands of individuals need to be screened at the “primary” inspection throughout any given year. This can cause long lines and delays during this process. All individuals will be screened and fingerprinted unless their particular visa or age exempts them from this requirement.

Suppose the officer finds an issue that can’t be immediately resolved (typically a security risk due to further information needed). In that case, you may be required to undergo a second interview that is lengthier and more thorough. Nearly all immigrants with valid visas will be sent to the second interview process. This is common and provides the officer additional time to review your file.

What Types of Questions are Asked?

Some of the most common questions are listed below. Keep in mind that the officers are trying to mitigate security risks while working as quickly as possible. Remain calm and patient while answering the following questions or other questions they choose to ask.

What is your reason for visiting the US? This is one of the most common questions. They generally look for your response to match the reason shown on your visa for entry and provide further details regarding your access.

Have you previously visited the US? This question provides insight as to if you have entered the US before, and follow-up questions may reference how long you stayed in the past and what your intentions were during that stay.

Can you provide evidence of a Covid-19 vaccination? This is a common question as it is a requirement for immigrants to provide proof of their vaccine before entry.

What Else Should I Prepare For?

Luggage inspections and medical screening are standard processes upon entry to the US. Luggage inspections rule out evidence of your belonging contradicting what your visa states as the reason for entry to the US.

Medical screening may be required depending on the country of origin. You may be required to take your temperature, fill out health questionnaires, and more, depending on health concerns specific to your country.

Entering the US can be an exciting and overwhelming time. There isn’t a specific process that each individual will face as it pertains to your particular details. National Security is the top priority for the CBP, and they take their positions seriously.

As an immigration attorney, I have years of experience helping immigrants obtain their visas and gain entry into the US to achieve their American Dream. Contact me at 407-499-5680 to learn more about how I can help you and get your specific questions answered.