The U.S. advises foreigners visiting the country to exercise normal safety precautions in the country. Everyone who comes to the U.S., will be subject to inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials. You will be granted entry into the country only after a CBP official conducts an immigration inspection. Even if you hold a valid nonimmigrant visa to come to the U.S., you may be turned off at the port of entry, if the CBP official denies entry for some reason or if you do not comply with the country’s entry requirements.
CBP officials aim at maintaining security and making sure that those arriving at the port of entry are eligible to get into the U.S. Recent terrorist attacks have resulted in stricter border security, so it is important to know what to do and what not to do at the U.S. port of entry.
When the CBP official conducts an immigration inspection, make sure you answer truthfully to the questions he or she asks. Consequences of withholding information can be severe. So it is important to fill the customs declaration form truthfully and be truthful to the officials. Be prepared to present the required documents as border protection authorities will inspect your travel documents.
If you are visiting the U.S. temporarily on a B-2 visa, you may be required to provide information on the purpose of your trip and on your return date. If you are a business visitor holding a B-1 visa, you may be asked to show the letter from your employer indicating the purpose of your visit. U.S. business plans, travel itinerary, agendas and other documents related to your business trip may be required. If you are traveling to the U.S. on a temporary work visa such as an H, L, O, R or P visa, you will have to present an employment verification letter confirming your employment in the U.S. If you are an F or M student, you will be required to show your Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, endorsed by the International Student Office.
You must remember that you will be directed to the secondary inspection area, if the border protection officials are unable to verify your information or if you do not present all the required documents. This secondary inspection may take hours to complete. The authorities will search all your belongings and require you to confirm your identity. Secondary inspection does not mean that you will be denied entry into the U.S. Many inspected at the ports of entry are granted entry into the country after they are determined eligible for entry into the U.S.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks, the U.S. has tightened security and new restrictions are in place on the Visa Waiver Program and other visa programs. So you are more likely to face strict searches while traveling to the U.S.