Port of Entry (POE) is the immigration check counter at the US airport where you first land while flying in to US. Upon arrival at the US airport at the port of entry, you will go through immigration where the immigration officer will ask you certain questions and stamp your passport.


Step-by-step process of entering USA

Entering USA

Arrive at the US airport

When you land at the US airport, follow the other passengers to "Immigration" and stand in line.


Stand in line for US immigration

Stand in line for US immigration

If you are visiting USA on a temporary visa, stand in the non-US citizen line. Keep your passport and US customs form ready for inspection. (Beginning May 2013, arrival departure form I-94 is now automated and no paper required to be filled.)


US immigration check

US immigration check

The immigration officer will check your passport, US visa, and customs form, and may ask you questions related to the type of visa you have. You may be asked questions related to the purpose of your trip, who is your employer, what work do you do, how long do you plan to stay, etc. Answer confidently. The officer will then take your fingerprints and a digital picture, stamp the passport with the date of arrival, end date of stay & the visa class, create an eletronic I-94, and return your passport and customs form to you, and let you in.

The date stamped on your passport is the limit of your legal status in this country and not the date on the visa. If there is any mistake in the date given by the officer, you should get it corrected immediately by the officer. If you notice the error later, contact your local CBP (Customs & Border Protection) office or call 1-877-CBP-5511 Monday-Friday between 8:30am and 5:00pm EST.


Fingerprinting and photograph

Fingerprinting and digital photograph

The immigration officer will then take your fingerprints and a digital picture, stamp the passport with the date of arrival, last date of stay, the visa class and return your passport along with Customs form to you, and let you in.


Baggage claim

Baggage claim

Find the baggage claim area for your flight. Pick up a trolley from nearby to carry the baggage.


US Customs

US Customs

Go through customs with your luggage. An officer will take your customs form and may ask a few questions about your luggage. Note that you are not allowed to carry certain items like fruits, vegetables, plants, and dangerous items.


Exit the airport

Exit the airport

You can exit the airport now. If you have someone coming to pick you up, this is the time to look for them. You have arrived at your destination, and you are now in USA!


Travel Guide for Flying to USA



Watch this video to understand the complete process of flying to USA, including the US immigration process at the time of arrival in USA.

Sample immigration & customs forms
Pre-filled customs form
What to do at the port of entry

Download a printable travel guide to USA.

Once you are in USA

Now that you are in the USA, you may like to know more about American culture and lifestyle. This knowledge will help you better understand how the system works in the USA, you will surely enjoy your stay more if you know more about these things.