Understanding the Us Border: What You Need to Know
Travelling can give some of the best memories of a lifetime. Hundreds of millions of people travel every year. However, in as much as traveling can be an awesome experience, it could really be scary traveling from one country to the other. Getting a hang of everything, from paperwork, to conversing in a local language and so many things might really be stressful. There are so many things to be done, and taking a misstep might turn what is intended to be a wonderful vacation into a horrific experience. That is why it’s always advisable to use an agent like ClearitUSA for easy experience at the border.
Another cause of paranoia for travelers is the process of going through customs.
In this article, you will find some very useful tips that will give you a picture of what you need to expect when you are walking into the US customs and border patrol. By the time that you are done reading this, you will have a better understanding of how legit visitors to America go through when they are passing through customs.
#1: Do Not Forget Your Passport
When you are in another country, you are likely to run into a couple of problems. You might miss your way, you might lose your hotel keys, lose your tour group and so on. All these problems can be easily settled. One problem that can hardly be quickly settled, however is getting your international passport lost or stolen. It is the most guaranteed way that could turn your holiday into a nightmare in no time.
To be on the safe side, you would be sure to remember to keep your passport as safe as you can. Make sure that you always have with you at all times. Keep it very safe and always remember that the stress you could get from losing your passport is capable of ruining your vacation.
#2: Rule of Arrival
Understanding custom procedures can really be tedious given its complexities. However, rather than let all the problems of custom clearance bear on your mind, you only need to remember one very vital thing: the rule of arrival. Know that customs only happen when you are arriving into a new country. Remember that countries are far more concerned when you are coming into the country than when you are leaving. On a general note, customs are only concerned about what you are bringing into the country, your purpose of visiting, among other things.
#3: Be Patient at the Airport
It is quite advisable to always exhibit patience whenever you are at an airport. It is true that at times, it is a mad house hat you want to get out from as soon as possible but at the same time, to avoid any kind problems later on, make sure that you hang on in the airport long enough to make sure that you cross all your t’s and dot all your I’s.
#4: Declaration Form
You will need to fill a declaration form. This can be quite stressful and sometimes hard to figure out what to fill out where. However, we are luckily in the internet age and there is a lot of information that you can get from the net, including how to fill out custom issued declaration forms.
#5: Passport Control
This is when you come face to face with customs officials. You will have to submit your passports and papers for processing. Some airports today use self-service kiosks so that the queue can move faster but you may still find yourself meeting an agent. You may be asked a series of questions. Make sure that you never tell a lie to customs agents, no matter how small. Look the agents in the eye, be clear and confident. You will most likely get a welcome greeting and your passport stamped.
#6: Get Your Baggage
After passport control, get your luggage. Try not to leave anything behind. Remember that either the airport is the final destination or if it is a connecting flight, you will have to get your bags before going through custom.
#7: Customs and Declaration
At this juncture, you are with all your bags and baggage and you will have to submit all forms filled before another CBP agent. What Customs and border patrol do is to audit what you say that you are bringing into the country. The CBP agents are basically looking out for harmful, illegal, prohibited or suspicious stuff. Make sure that you are not in possession of any of those.
Then you finally have to go through the last security wall, the TSA. When you arrive back in the USA, the last custom security that you will go through is the TSA. You might have to take out your shoes, laptops, etc and stand in a magnetic body scanner.
Then after passing through TSA, you are home free. You can either get your baggage or find the gate where you embark on a connecting flight.at the end of the day, customs processes may be long and hard, but you will find out that it isn’t impossible to scale through and we hope that through this article, you get an idea of how going through customs at a U.S airport seem like.