What Happens Right After Flight Lands in USA (Port of Entry)

I have written few articles on this same topic about what to expect at Port of Entry in America.

  1. Steps: From Port of Entry to Connecting Flight in USA

Here is a quick overview of what happens right after you land in US Airport at Port of Entry.

Port of Entry Steps in USA

  • You will be given I-94 and Customs form to fill while in flight to USA. ( I-94 is now electronic )
  • Your Flight will land in the International Terminal
  • Take your cabin items and belongings from the flight.
  • Wait in Queue for your turn.
  • Step 1 – Clear Immigration Check
    • Have the Forms (Hand over the I-20, Customs Form and Passport)
    • CBP (Customs and Border Protection) officer at Port of Entry will ask you few questions
    • He will stamp, I-20 and stamp your customs form, take photo and finger print.
  • Collect your Checked-In Bags (you may have to get  a baggage cart)
  • Clear Customs (they might ask if you have any food items)
  • Give the customs form and they will let you go to next destination.
  • If Port of Entry is your final destination, then walk out and wait for pickup help.
  • If you have connecting flight, check in you bags again to the next flight. ( in the same terminal as you walk out)
  • Go to domestic terminal to board your next flight. ( could take 10 to 30 minutes of walk or air train or shuttle)
  • You may have to go through security check again to enter domestic terminal.

Question about Port of Entry

I got my visa for  Troy university, Alabama. I’ve planned to visit my sister’s place (San Jose,California) stay there for few days and then report back to Troy university, Alabama. In my case I would be landing in San Francisco, will that be a problem or do I have to report to the college then fly to CA.

Yes. Port of entry can be different.

You will not have any problems flying to SFO.

Many students flying to USA will have different port of entry from where university is located.

If asked, you can say that you plan to stay with your family for few days before reporting to the school.

Next : Watch this video about Port of Entry Procedures : Port of Entry Procedures (Video)