I have written detailed step by step process for What happens right after you land in Port of Entry in USA.
Let me add few more details in addition to steps listed in above post.
You could have connecting flight from Port of Entry to your final destination within USA.
If flight reaching USA is delayed, don’t panic, airlines will get you on next available flight.
There could de delay in flight that reached USA. If in case your flight is delayed, follow these steps
- Clear the Immigration and Customs
- Check in your bags to next destination
- Get the information about your next flight (if flight is different from your previous schedule)
- Find a phone to call and inform the people who is going to pick you from the airport.
Booking Flight Tickets
In the above post, read the comments posted by Vijay. His travel agent misspelled his first name. Make sue such mistakes doesn’t happen when you book the flight tickets to USA.
After Port of Entry and Clearing US Immigration
- Clearing the immigration is the first step you will do after entering USA.
- Immigration officer will stamp your passport, write D/S in your I-20. D/S – Duration of Stay.
- Stamp your Customs Form.
- Then collect your checked-in suitcases.
- Walk to Customs Officer, give the customs form.
- Customs officer will ask you of you are carrying any food items, tobacco or similar stuffs.
- After you clear the Customs, you are officially in USA.
- Next, you have to check-in your bags to final destination.
- Go to counter of that specific connecting airline. For instance, you will be flying in British Airways from India till New York. Then connecting flight will be American Airlines or Delta (or others)
- Go to their kiosk and check in your bags.
- Sometimes, they will give new boarding pass (or you might already have the boarding pass)
Now, you are all set to reach final destinations. for example, you are in New York (JFK). I think International Terminal is #3. After you walk out of customs, to your left side, you will see the counter to check-in your bags to final destination.
Next, you will have to go to other terminal to catch the next flight (via AirTrain). So, when you check the bags, ask the airline agent, which terminal you have to go to catch the connecting flight.
In my case, I had to go to Terminal 8. Took about 20 minutes to go from Terminal 3 to 8.
At Terminal 8, you will have to clear the security. Essentially when you walked out of Terminal 3, you are outside secured area. So, you will have to go through the security to get into Terminal 8 (or other terminal).
Show your passport and boarding pass at security area, then go through the security check, then you are inside the terminal area. Then find the gate number, and walk to your gate.
Gate number will be on the boarding pass. Also, check the Departure Monitor on the airport for right time and gate number. Gate number could change.
Long Security Queue
If you are getting late to the connecting flight and there can be long queue in security area. In such case, request the TSA security agent to get you in front of the queue.
Clear the security check. Walk to your gate and board the flight to final destination.
Hope, I have explained port of entry process in detail compared to previous post. If you have additional question, post the questions below.
Related : 25 Air Travel Tips From India to USA