Expect to Be Grilled When Entering Any U.S. Port of Entry

U.S. Customs and Border Protection fileIf it is your first or second time traveling to the United States of America on a temporary visa or immigrant visa via land, water or sea you will be inspected by a Customs and Border Protection agent.  The officer will examine all your documents along with your passport and visa to ensure that you have been granted authorization to enter the U.S.  Be prepared to show all your paperwork.

Officials working for CBP are experts in what they do and will not be easily persuaded by people coming into the country.  Their main goal is to ensure security and safety for the U.S.  Regardless of the validity of your travel documents an officer can decide to deny entry to a visitor.

You Will be Asked Questions

Note that the agent attending you will ask you several questions, be prepared for any random question.  It is important that you remain composed and be as polite and respectful as you can.  Do not give a hint of attitude as it could bring about suspicion.

Questions You Might Be Asked

  • Is this your first time visiting the United States of America?  Your answer should match your visa application or other travel documents.
  • What is your intended purpose for traveling to the United States? Your answer should be accurate in that your travel documents will support your claim.  For example,  if you say you’re coming to get married to your fiancé or fiancée and you do not have a K1 visa you will be immediately be put on the next ship, bus or flight home.
  • Where will you be living while in the U.S.? The agent wants to know your plans for the duration of your time you will be in the country; this will determine your entrance.
  • Who will you be staying with? This question is a little tricky because not only will it show the officer who you will be staying with but also where and what are your plans for the time being.
  • How long will you be staying? The length of stay will dictate how long you will be staying and whether you intend on returning to your home country if you are on a nonimmigrant visa.
  • Do you have the finances to cover your expenses? Financial stability during your stay in the U.S. is a positive indicator that you can support yourself and all of your expenses will be covered.
  • Have you visited the United States in the past and did you overstay your time? Here the agent is trying to figure out whether you stayed in the U.S. longer than you were authorized.  If you overstayed you might no longer be eligible to enter the U.S. and will not be able to come back for several years.
  • How often do you travel to the U.S.? This question can be a little difficult because if you are entering on a tourist visa or attempting to gain an authorized entry by fraud, you can be charged for abusing the authority granted you on the visa and for providing misinformation.  You will not be allowed to enter for a long time.

Immigrants planning to visit the U.S. rarely have any rights when entering the country especially when screened thoroughly.  Your personal belongings can be checked as well as any questions can be asked.

Talk to an Immigration Attorney

Before you make plans to visit the U.S. speak with an immigration lawyer to advise you or prepare you for travelling so as to avoid any mishap. Contact The Gambacorta Law Office today at 847-443-9303 for a phone consultation.