Details about Visa for USA and Customs Information
IMMIGRATION AND VISAS
All travelers except the following require a passport:
- Residents of the United States of America with A Permanent Resident or Resident Alien Card or US ‘Re-Entry Permit’ or US ‘Refugee Travel Document.’
- Citizens of Palau Island with an authenticated birth certificate along with a government-issued photo ID.
- Travelers with a Hong Kong ID.
- Travelers with a valid Form no. I-512
- Travelers with a temporary or emergency passport.
- Travelers with a transportation letter that is issued to citizens or residents of the US.
- Citizens of Canada and the US with a NEXUS card that valid is on arrival provided they are:
- residing in the US or Canada.
- Traveling between Canada and the US.
- Traveling at a specific NEXUS airport.
Passports or alternative papers must be valid for at least six months after the date of departure from the US. Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and the US nationals may enter with a passport and alternative documents, or either. And residents of the United States of America may enter with travel documents valid on arrival. Travelers with visas (type A1-2 or G1-4) are allowed to enter with a passport valid for the period of the intended visit.
Children aged 15 years or younger are entitled to fly on the passport of their parents. A person included in the passport of another traveler may not use the passport for travel unless he/she is in the bearer’s company. However, children who wish to enter the United States of America under the Visa Waiver Program must have their passport. The passport in which their names are included must include the child’s visa.
All travelers must hold a visa except the following:
- Nationals of Canada and the US.
- Residents of the US provided they have: A Permanent Resident or Resident Alien Card or United States ‘Re-entry Permit’ or United States ‘Refugee Travel Document.’
- Travelers who are eligible to travel under the US Visa Waiver Program traveling on holiday, on business, or for transit purposes only and staying for no more than 90 days
- Travelers with British passports endorsed ‘British Citizen.’ Such passports have the automatic right of residence in the UK, but this is not clearly stated in the passport.
- Citizens of Andorra, Commonwealth of Australia, Republic of Austria, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, Kingdom of Denmark, Finland, French Republic, Federal Republic of Germany, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Italian Republic, Japan, Principality of Liechtenstein, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Principality of Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of San Marino, Republic of Singapore, Slovenia, Kingdom of Spain, Kingdom of Sweden, Switzerland, Czechia, Republic of Estonia, Hungary, Republic of Korea, Republic of Latvia, Lithuania, Malta or the Slovak Republic.
- Citizens of the countries mentioned above traveling under the US Visa Waiver Program must fulfill the following conditions:
- The traveler must have a machine-readable passport issued for each accompanying family member, including babies;
- The traveler has onward or returns tickets or an electronic ticket record with a final destination to a country other than Canada, Mexico, or neighboring countries or islands located in or bordering the Caribbean Sea unless the traveler has proof of residence in or is transiting to such country or island; in that last case, onward or return tickets to that country are accepted. The ticket is valid for one year regardless of fare type provided:
- The traveler is not an immigrant, and the total stay in the United States of America should not exceed 90 days.
- Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands People.
- Before leaving the Bahamas, citizens of the Bahamas provided that the Customs and Border Protection Pre-Examination was valid.
- Travelers with passports of the Republic of Marshall Islands, Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau.
- Travelers with a certificate of Indian Status issued by the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs and an ID proving that traveler has no less than 50% American Indian blood.
- Citizens of the British Overseas Territory of Bermuda.
- Citizens of Mexico with diplomatic or official passports, including accompanying spouses or dependent family members less than 19 years of age, who are military or civilian officials of the Federal Government of Mexico, shall live for a period of six months. This exception does not apply if the traveler is assigned to the office of the Mexican Federal Government in the US as a permanent employee.
TWOV (Transit Without Visa)
The US Department of Homeland Security, US Customs and Border Protection suspended all US Visa-free transit and International-to-International services until further notice on August 2, 2003. All foreigners traveling to or through the United States must have a valid C1-Transit visa. This provision does not extend to people with an exemption from a visa.
A Transit Traveler Inspection Pilot Program has been introduced for travelers traveling between Hong Kong and Toronto, Canada. This does not reinstate the TWOV or International-to-International Scheme, and an In-Transit Lounge Agreement has only been signed by Cathay Pacific. Outside of the sterile, Federal Inspection Service / Customs and Border Protection area, travelers from the Transit Traveler Inspection Pilot Program are not permitted. The in/transit lounge agreement between the Customs and Border Protection and Cathay Pacific applies to foreign travelers seeking to pass through the US in an immediate and continuous transit without stopping, and the whose planned trip includes a single stop within the US at Anchorage Airport due to the Airline schedule. Transfer of travelers to another plane is not permitted. However, the Transit Traveler Inspection Pilot Program is not permissible to the Republic of Cuba, Islamic Republic of Iran, North Korea, Republic of Sudan, and the Syrian Arab Republic.
All travelers coming from any country, except those pre-examined in Canada, must get off the plane and directly continue to either the Federal Inspection Service area for examination or to a Customs and Border Protection-approved in-transit or clearance lounge.
All in-transit travelers and travelers on proceeding flights will be examined at the first United States port of arrival. This follows the in-transit traveler processes.
United State visas (Categories no. A1, 2, and 3) issued to Libya citizens are canceled unless they are issued for United Nations purposes. Travelers entering with a C1-transit visa are allowed to transit the US to a third country as long as this trip is 29 days or less and then transit again, as long as it also takes 29 days or less for the other journey.
Travelers who do not respect entry or transit regulations will be subject to:
- Fines varying between USD 2,000 and USD 3,300 per each traveler;
- Fines of USD 1,000 per each traveler if the information on the white I-94 Form for entry or the
- Deportation of the traveler to their home country at the expense of the transporting carrier or delay for the traveler for an indefinite time at the entry point or transit area.
CUSTOMS AND FOREIGN EXCHANGE
When imported into the USA, articles from specific nations are granted special duty preferences. For more information, contact the US International Trade Commission or US representations abroad.
- Returning residents of the US are allowed to import duty-free articles up to a value of USD 800 as long as their stay abroad was at least 48 hours and their duty-free exemption was not used in the last 30 days (see 4. below – ‘if not entitled’).
- The duty-free allowances may include the maximum of Tobacco products: 200 cigarettes, a reasonable amount of tobacco, and 100 cigars. Perfumes, lotions, Eau de Cologne, etc. If not under a trademark restriction registered in the US Department of the Treasury. One quart of alcoholic beverages for persons of 21 years or older. One gallon of water for those who are under 21.
- Members of a family residing in one household returning together to the USA may group articles acquired to apply the flat duty rate.
- If not entitled to the USD 600, USD 800 or USD, 1200 exemption articles, not exceeding a value of USD 50 may be brought in, including not more than 4 ounces of alcoholic drinks or ten cigars or 50 cigarettes (by travelers aged 21 years old or more) or 4 ounces of alcoholic perfume. This exemption of USD 50 may not be grouped for family members.
There are several restrictions on articles brought to the US from other countries than the Republic of Cuba, Cambodia, North Korea, and Vietnam.
Importing Cuban cigars from any country is forbidden. Please contact the nearest United States Consulate for more information or write to the US Customs Service.
Can import the following items for personal use free of duty:
One hundred cigars or 200 cigarettes or 4.4 lbs. (2 kg) of smoking tobacco (persons of 21 years or older), or a combination thereof. They can import gifts of max. Value of USD 100.-Duty-free once every six months, given that their stay in the USA is not less than 72 hours.
The following items are prohibited from being imported:
For both residents and non-residents (fines ranging between USD 25 and USD 50 will be imposed on any traveler who does not respect such rules):
- Narcotics, marijuana, dangerous drugs, absinthe.
- Fresh, dried, or canned meat or meat products, plants, seeds, vegetables, fruits, soil.
- Fish – unless certified as disease-free – cannot be imported from anywhere except North America.
- Goods from Iran and leather souvenirs from Haiti.
- Restrictions are applicable to wildlife, fish, and their goods. Articles manufactured from wildlife such as clothing and shoes are prohibited. Contact the United States representations overseas or US Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife for more information.
- Fuelless lighters are allowed in checked luggage or for a limit of 2 lighters with fuel if adequately enclosed.
- One book of safety matches is allowed as carry-on items.
- Dairy products and eggs from certain countries.
Free export of an unrestricted quantity of alcoholic drinks and tobacco products.
To bring in cats and dogs, quarantine officers must examine them at the port of arrival. Also, dogs, excluding puppies less than three months old, must be vaccinated against rabies less than one month and not more than 12 months before arrival. Without a rabies vaccination certificate, access may be given if the owner shuts the dog at home for 30 days and vaccinates the dog within four days and not more than ten days after arrival at the port of entry. The entry or transit of birds is regulated strictly. It is possible to import just one or two privately owned pet birds into the USA. Department of Agriculture Animal Import Centers of the US that provide quarantine facilities. Until traveling, full information should be collected from the consulate of the United States or directly from the Veterinary Services (APHIS, (301) 734-8364). Birds imported without permission will be confiscated. Further information concerning the importation of pets may be acquired from the US Department of Agriculture (for birds) or the US Public Health Service (for other pet animals).
Baggage Clearance regulations
A traveler’s luggage should be cleared at the first entry point in the United States of America. Passengers making an international move are not allowed to collect their bags at certain US airports.
When leaving the airport, all passengers are not allowed to pay any airport fees.
Rules of Currency Import & Export
There are no restrictions on importing o exporting local currency (USD) and foreign currencies so long as arriving and leaving travelers to declare any sums of money or other monetary instruments grater than USD 10,000 to customs people.
Gold: gold coins or small quantities of gold must be declared upon arrival.
Arms and Ammunition regulations
Foreign non-residents can import firearms and ammunition only if they have an authorized Form ‘ATF Form no. 6, Part 1.