Passage through U.S. Customs

You have planned a trip to the United States and you have taken care of every detail? Before leaving to explore the country, you will have to go through the US customs. Many European travelers dread this moment, which is generally considered long and complicated. Don’t panic! On site, everything is done to facilitate the life of travelers and allow them to start their stay as soon as possible. If you have correctly filled out your ESTA form and obtained your pass, everything should go well.

Forms and documents to have with you at customs

Before your departure, you applied for an ESTA authorization. Without a valid ESTA authorization, no travel to the United States, hence the interest of entrusting this administrative task to a competent team! However, you should know that this mandatory document does not guarantee you entry into the United States: the immigration officer will decide on your final admission.

The U.S. government, currently led by Donald Trump, advises you toprint your ESTA form before you fly. Nevertheless, customs officers will not ask you to provide this document when you pass through because all information about you is transferred directly to them. However, you must present your valid biometric or electronic passport .

On the plane, you will have filled out a small blue form, the customs form. It will be given to you by the on-board staff and includes some of your personal information. You will need to include your passport number, where you will be living during your stay (make sure you have your exact address with you), the amount of money you have on you, and whether you are carrying any specific items such as fruits, vegetables, insects, animal products, cell cultures or even soil.

The different steps of the customs clearance

After collecting your passport and your form, the customs officers check on their computer that your ESTA authorization has been granted.

In a second step, you will be asked some simple questions. They can be about the reasons for your trip, the length of your stay. Each traveler is then photographed and fingerprinted.

This interview is, in most cases, a simple formality. In some cases, the agent may feel that an additional interview is necessary.