Inspection at a U.S. Port-of-Entry

All individuals arriving at a U.S. port-of-entry are inspected by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officer. Such officers are required to question all arriving persons to determine whether they are admissible to the U.S. Inspection procedures can be lengthy and frustrating but are unavoidable and the following tips may prove helpful.

Applicants for admission must be in possession of required documents and must be able to articulate the purpose of their trip. When questioned, applicants may want to limit answers to the questions posed. Applicants should never attempt to answer questions they do not understand. Instead, applicants should ask the immigration officer to repeat or rephrase such questions. If questioned about the length of intended stay in the U.S., applicants should indicate the exact period of time they anticipate remaining in the U.S. during the current trip. Applicants should answer all questions honestly.

CBP may also examine baggage or vehicles and have the legal authority to do so.

Travel delays due to the inspection process should be anticipated. Airport wait times are available at http://apps.cbp.gov/awt/.