Never say or do these things in front of a Customs officer when traveling to the United States | CBP | USA | US | EU | USA | ANSWERS

If you thought to travel for a season to Keep in mind that to enter this country you must necessarily go through an interview with an agent of the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), even if you have an approved visa.

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Depending on how you answer the questions I ask you, your entry may or may not be successful.. Remember that this conversation will serve to confirm that you are visiting the North American nation temporarily and that you will return to your country of origin in less than six months.

However, your nerves could play tricks on you, especially if this is the first time you visit the United States. To avoid inconvenience, we give you some keys of the things that you should not do or say in front of the officer so that he does not send you with other agents to an additional inspection and perhaps, in the end, they will cancel your admission.

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A customs officer displays an identification and fingerprint scanning machine at New York’s JFK airport on January 5, 2004 as airport officials demonstrate the new state-of-the-art technology customs entry program Immigration and Visitor Information Board (Photo: Don Emmert / AFP)

WHAT THINGS SHOULD YOU NEVER SAY OR DO IN FRONT OF A CUSTOMS OFFICER?

Before you should know that the interview can be in English or Spanish, depending on how the officer answers you when you greet him. If you find yourself nervous, it is best to do it in Spanish and if he responds in the same language, let the dialogue be that way; otherwise, you will have to adapt to English. Do not hesitate and when you answer, watch your body language and the way you speak.

In addition to confirming that you are traveling with a tourist visa, the agent must make sure that you will not enter for illegal purposes and that you are not carrying more money than allowed or prohibited items. Here the important thing is that your reason for travel matches your type of visa and to know certain information in a timely manner so that they do not bring you problems, the portal specifies .

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1. NOT KNOWING THE ADDRESS YOU ARE GOING TO

When they ask you where you are going, you should mention the tourist destinations you will visit. If in case they ask you for a specific address, learn the exact place where you will be staying and if you have a reservation, show it to them. If you do not answer with certainty, you will raise doubts in the Customs officials.

2. DO NOT SPECIFY THE TIME YOU WILL BE

In order to make sure that your trip is temporary and you will not stay to work or live in the United States with a tourist visa, it will ask you how long you will be. Answer the number of days and months, justifying your presence for that time. You can validate this by showing your return tickets, and hotel tickets and places you will visit.

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A Customs and Border Protection officer guarding the middle of the Paso del Norte Bridge on November 4, 2018 in El Paso, Texas (Photo: Paul Ratje / AFP)
A Customs and Border Protection officer guarding the middle of the Paso del Norte Bridge on November 4, 2018 in El Paso, Texas (Photo: Paul Ratje / AFP)

3. SAY YOU HAVE UNDOCUMENTED FAMILY MEMBERS

You will not have any problem if you say that you are going to visit relatives with permanent residence (Green Card) or US citizenship. But if you have undocumented relatives, better not mention it, since they will think that you will stay to live with them, in addition to asking you where they live, putting their presence at risk.

4. INDICATE THAT YOU WILL WORK WITH A TOURIST VISA

Even for a short time, you should never say that you are going to work in the United States with a tourist visa, as this requires another approved document. If this happens, you will go through an extra review and possibly be denied admission.

5. RESPOND WITH LONG STORIES

Answer the questions briefly, do not tell long stories that could generate some doubts in the Customs officials, who will ask you more questions about it. For example, when they ask you where you are going, just say the name of the place you will visit, where you will stay, etc. But if you additionally give some information such as visiting my mother who lives here for several years, they could ask you who she is, why she lives in that state for so long and more.

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A police officer and a security officer observe the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office, part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in Washington DC on October 4, 2017 (Photo : Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP)
A police officer and a security officer observe the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office, part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in Washington DC on October 4, 2017 (Photo : Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP)

REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER THE UNITED STATES

  • Tourists must verify that they are vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • Travelers must present a negative rapid test or PCR.
  • The airlines will collect contact information (phone numbers and emails) to be able to communicate and alert flight passengers of any possible exposure to the virus.
  • Fully vaccinated tourists will not need to undergo mandatory quarantine upon arrival at their destination.
  • U.S. citizens must also submit a negative COVID-19 test upon return to the United States.

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