The globalized world surely requires people to travel across the borders of their own country of residences for various purposes such as education, business, or travel. However, while traveling from one country to the other, the visitors need to be aware of the basic rules and regulations while entering such other country of visit. Primarily, the visitors would only be allowed to enter the other country of a visit once they clear their customs and immigration check. During such a process, usually, the customs officer asks numerous questions which need to be answered correctly and legally by the visitors to such countries of the visit. While traveling to US, the visitors need to answer some important customs questions at the US airport such as those mentioned below:
US Customs Questions At The Airport
United States of America (USA) has been a popular country of visit among people from all countries since quite a long time. The country, therefore, has certain stringent guidelines regarding the persons visiting the country and the items that they can carry within the country. The first level of check upon visiting the country that every passenger needs to pass through is the strict customs and immigration checking counter. Such officials would make sure that the visitors are not carrying anything harmful or illegal within the country. Therefore the visitors need to understand the rules and regulations well before entering the country such as
While the visitors are supposed to understand these limitations and regulations, they should also prepare themselves for the basic questions that the customs officials can ask at the immigration counter. Further, the individuals should also prepare themselves to show and present important documents such as passport, residence proof, hotel reservations, among others. It is thus advisable to keep such documents handy.
Commonly Asked Questions By The Immigration Officers
Questions regarding the destination one is visiting from by asking questions such as “Where are you flying from?” which should be answered as “I am flying from India” or in case of multiple locations “I flied from India to Dubai and then Dubai to US.”
1. Questions on Purpose Of Visit
Questions about the nature of the trip and the basic itinerary by questions such as “What is the purpose of your visit?” which should be answered as “Tourism. I am here on a vacation for …. days” or “Business. I have a meeting/conference on ….. at ………"
2. Questions On Citizenship
Questions about the citizenship of the visitor by asking “Which country are you a resident of?” and can be answered as “I am an Indian” followed by your citizenship proof
3. Question on Place Of Stay
Questions regarding the place of stay in the US by asking “Where are you going to stay?” and the answer can be “At …… Hotel in ………….” Or “With my family at …………” or “With my friends at ………………..”
4. Questions on Duration Of Stay
Questions about the period of stay by asking “How long are you staying in the US?” which can be answered as “For 1 week” or “For 10 days” or “We plan to fly on …………..” or “For 1 year and we have work visa” depending on the length of stay and permitted nature of visa.
5. Questions On The Luggage You Are Carrying
Questions regarding the items being carried by the visitor which might be followed by a search of the luggage of the visitor if required by asking “What all are you carrying to US?” or “Do you have anything to declare?” which needs to be answered diligently since the baggage would be duly checked under any circumstances.
6. Questions On Customs Duty
The final step in the process would be paying the appropriate customs duty after assessing the dutiable items leaving the duty free items. While doing so, the visitors need should ask the officer regarding the rules of duty calculations and rates, if he/she is not clear about the same. The declaration of items at the customs counter should be endorsed on the passport of the visitor in order to avoid any charge of duty on the return journey on the same items.
The visitors to USA also need to declare the money at the Customs check counter. This essentially needs a total value declaration of foreign currency being carried by the individuals. The individuals visiting US have a restriction of carrying not more than a total of USD 10000 or equivalent in any other foreign currency. Further, the individuals cannot carry more than USD 3000 in currency notes alone. Any amount of foreign currency carried over and above these limits, as mentioned above, should be declared in the prescribed Currency Declaration Form.
The Customs and Immigration Officers would then ask the individuals to screen their right and left hand for their fingerprints which would be followed by a photograph taken by them (which certainly doesn’t need one to smile like in normal circumstances) and then the individual is formally welcomed into the USA.
Interestingly, the Customs and Immigration officers are merely doing their duty of making one’s stay in US comfortable and peaceful. Therefore, it is in one’s benefit to declare anything they are carrying which should be declared as per the provisions of US Laws. When in doubt, it is always beneficial to declare and let the officers decide. Remember the customs questions asked by the US authorities at the airport are merely for your non-troublesome stay in the country.