Airport Arrival Procedures

When you enter the U.S., it is important that you cooperate fully with U.S. Customs and Border Protection by presenting all relevant travel documentation and answering all questions clearly and respectfully.

You may be asked questions related to the information you provided on your I-94 Arrival Card and Form 6059B Customs Declaration, as well as questions about your citizenship, your trip, and any unusual items you brought with you to the U.S.

Your luggage may be opened for examination; as such, it’s important to make sure you have declared all items that legally must be declared.

Once You Arrive at the Airport

  1. After disembarking the plane, proceed to immigration.
  2. Present the immigration agent with your relevant travel documents. This includes your passport, J-1 visa, and DS-2019 form.
  3. The immigration agent will ask you a variety of questions. Expect to be asked about the purpose and duration of your stay and your address while in the U.S.
  4. All visa holders (with few exceptions) will be required to submit digital finger scans and a digital photograph.
  5. Be sure that the immigration official stamps your passport. This is your record of arrival, as well as a nice travel souvenir.
  6. After passing through immigration, follow signs to baggage claim. Check the display board for your flight number and corresponding luggage carousel. Collect your luggage and continue on to U.S. Customs.
  7. At U.S. Customs, you may be asked to open your luggage and allow an official from U.S. Customs and Border Protection to investigate your belongings. The purpose of this search is to ensure that you have not brought any restricted items with you into the U.S.
  8. Finally, you must present Form 6059B Customs Declaration to the customs official. (You will receive this form on your flight to the U.S. Be sure to fill it out prior to landing. You will find instructions on the form.)


Are You Missing Luggage?

If your luggage is lost or delayed on the way to the U.S., visit the desk of your airline at your arrival airport and file a lost luggage report. If you know the mailing address of where you will be staying in the U.S. that first night, provide this address; if you don’t, provide your camp’s address so your bags can be delivered there directly. You should also call CIEE the next business day to report that your luggage was lost and file an insurance claim.