Entering the US: Forms and More for Entry in the United States
Entering the US Entry Enter USA
You should familiarize yourself with the inspection process for U.S. entry and the forms involved. Despite any visa you may have received from a U.S. Consulate or Embassy, a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. A separate U.S. agency, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), has authority to deny admission at the port of entry. Also, the period for which you are authorized to remain in the U.S. is determined by the CBP upon arrival, and it may not be the same period as your visa. For more information, see Inspection Process for U.S. Entry and What is a US Visa?
You may also want to review U.S. Customs information (see below), particularly if you are bringing any food, plants, or pets. Both U.S. citizens and non-citizens are restricted regarding the items they can bring with them.
If you are a temporary visitor (nonimmigrant), we have provided some helpful links below that explain how to extend your stay in the U.S., revalidate your visa, perhaps obtain a work permit, and more.
If you are living in the U.S. and have a Green Card application pending (an application for permanent residence), you should be very careful about traveling outside the U.S. before your application is approved (see Advance Parole: Foreign Travel with a Pending Green Card Immigration Application).
If you have a Green Card (are a permanent resident) and plan to be outside the U.S. for more than a year (but less than two), you will need a Reentry Permit to return to the U.S. You must apply for one before you leave the U.S. (see Green Card & Travel Outside the US: Documents and Issues for US Reentry).
Regardless of your visa or immigrant status, as a non-U.S. citizen you should be aware how to contact your country's embassy in the U.S. in case of emergency. You may also be interested in your rights as a foreign national if you are detained by law enforcement in the U.S.
- Inspection Process for U.S. Entry
- What is a US Visa?
- I Need a Visa:
- Visa Waiver Program
- USCIS Forms / INS Forms and Other US Immigration Forms, Fees & Filing Locations
- DS-160 Form (New) and Other Forms from the US Department of State
- USCIS Case Status: Check USCIS Case Status for Visas and Immigration
- US Visa Wait Times and USCIS Immigration Processing Times
- Premium Processing Service
- US Customs Information for Nonresidents - US Customs Requirements for Visitors to USA
- Bringing My Pet to the US: Importing My Dog, Cat or Other Animal
- Importing My Car into the U.S.
- US Customs Information for US Residents
- US Visas (Nonimmigrant Visas)
- US Visa FAQs
- Obtain a US Visa at a Different US Consulate or Embassy Than on My Approval Notice
- I-94 Form (Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94 Card)
- Length of Stay is Determined by My I-94 Form (Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94 Card) -- NOT My Visa
- Extend US Visa Status (I-94 Form I-94 Card): Visa Extension to Stay Longer on My Visit to USA
- Obtain a US Work Permit (Employment Authorization Document)
- Global Entry Program: Faster Immigration, US Customs, and Passport Control for Frequent Travelers
- Renew My A1-2, G1-4 or NATO1-6 Visa in US, and Change of Status for A, G, or NATO Visas in US
- Green Card Immigration FAQs
- Green Card & Travel Outside the US: Documents and Issues for US Reentry
- Travel Documents for Reentry to the US
- Green Card Issues (US Immigrant Visas, US Immigration)