3 very important things to do as soon as you land in the United States
Arriving in the United States is one thing, the passage to immigration (to believe all the anecdotes that one hears on this subject) is really another. The American Immigration services are, in fact, the subject of several clichés and we must have already told you that they were intractable and particularly severe.
Rest assured, however, the reality is quite different! If the authorities can indeed be intransigent, because their work requires it, if on your side, everything is in order, you will have nothing to fear to pass to the United States. As soon as you arrive on American lands , you will have to do 3 things:
– Fill out forms, two to be more precise: one white and the other green
– Talk to the immigration officer
– Go through customs
Fill out immigration forms when you arrive in the United States
When you arrive at the airport, you will be given two forms to fill out:
– The first, in white, is intended for customs services . There you will find the usual questions regarding your luggage, if you have things to declare, etc. – The second, in green, is intended for immigration services . There you will find questions such as:
“Do you suffer from a contagious disease; physical or mental disorders; or do you use drugs and narcotics or are you addicted? »« Have you ever been arrested or charged with a felony or misdemeanor relating to the use of narcotics; etc.
Some airlines will give you these forms when you check-in your baggage in France so that you have plenty of time to fill them out once on the plane. Note that erasures are not welcome, so absolutely avoid in these forms.
The passage to immigration, a mandatory step on your arrival
It is not uncommon to wait more than an hour at US immigration!
When you exit the plane, long before you can collect your luggage, you will be guided into a room where you will be given a lane number. With your green form , you will already have to queue for your passage through immigration. As much as you prepare for it, the queue will be long. It can be several hours before your turn arrives so don’t complain, don’t try to overtake others, in short, avoid being noticed, because it could be very frowned upon.
The good news is that several counters are open and the wait will give you time to prepare the necessary documents for your interview with the officer: passport, green form, plane ticket, hotel reservation, etc.
When your turn arrives, an attendant will direct you to your counter. If you are alone, you will walk past the agent alone. If you are with friends you will go one by one, but if you are with family you can go all together. The immigration officer will ask you about your stay in the United States. In this case, you will have to answer the following questions:
“Why are you coming to the United States?”
“Where are you going to stay?”
“Do you have a return ticket?”
“Are you coming to the United States for the first time?”
“Have you been to the United States before? Why are you coming back? ”
“Why are you staying x days?”
“Are you married ?” Etc.
Some tips to avoid immigration problems
– Respond naturally, without
showing your stress even if you are nervous – Respond by giving precise answers, without ever beating around the bush
– Respond frankly, and do not try to joke in order to relax the atmosphere. This will only make matters worse
– Respond normally, even if your English level is a bit low. Note that the agent does not expect you to speak like Americans. On the contrary, knowing that you are a tourist, he will understand your vocabulary gaps, your weird accent and your lack of speech.
After the interview, the immigration officer will take your fingerprints (for both hands) and take a picture of you. Let it go, this is the normal procedure. And it is only at the end of the latter that you will be able to collect your luggage.
How do you go through customs smoothly in the United States?
The final step before leaving the terminal is going through customs . Once your suitcases have been collected, you will have to pass in front of a customs officer to whom you will have to give your white form. He will review it quickly and if you have nothing to report, he will let you go.