USA Entry

Here you get a lot of tips for the USA entry, you have to consider as a tourist there absolutely

USA Entry
USA Entry

For the USA entry you need a valid passport and an approved ESTA form. Here you get tips on what you need to consider there. If you do not prepare thoroughly, it is possible that you will be rejected by the immigration officer at the border.

Information about the USA entry

In order to enter the country of unlimited possibilities, you must first enter the USA. Here we describe how this works, for example, at Miami International Airport. But in general the procedure is the same at every airport in the USA. It is important to know that the entry must always be made at the first airport.

This means that if you want to fly to Florida and have a stopover in Atlanta, you have to do it there. We recommend that tourists always prepare thoroughly so that there are no problems. Only the immigration officer decides if you are allowed to enter the country or not. Therefore, it is recommended to be always friendly and to answer the questions truthfully.

Passport
Passport

How long must the passport still be valid

A very important question is of course how long the passport must still be valid for entry. In any case, at least six months and then you are always on the safe side. In principle, the duration would also be sufficient for the trip. But this is not seen there at all gladly and we recommend rather to let the passport extend if this expires. With a normal identity card it is not possible to enter the USA. It has to be machine readable and if possible it has to have biometric data. Furthermore, the children also need a passport.

Fill out ESTA application form and get travel authorization

At least 72 hours before entering the USA, the ESTA form must be filled out online on the Internet. We recommend that you always do this on the official site of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. There are providers on the Internet that are not serious and there you should rather leave the fingers of it. By the way, the name ESTA means Electronic System for Travel Authorization and it is an entry permit that has to be done by every tourist. However, it is also possible to do this for family members.

The form can be filled out in German, so there are no language problems. At the moment you have to pay 14 US dollars for the processing and the debiting is done by credit card. The questions in the form must be filled out truthfully. Afterwards you will receive a number and usually you will be informed immediately whether the permit has been issued or not. You can only enter the USA with a valid entry permit. If the permit is denied, you should contact the US Embassy.

Miami International Airport
Miami International Airport
Aircraft at Miami International Airport
Aircraft at Miami International Airport

Do you need a visa to enter the USA

As a German citizen you automatically participate in the Visa Waiver Program and therefore you do not need a visa. This is then automatically granted upon entry into the USA in the form of a stamp in the passport. You should therefore check the list beforehand to see if the country where you live is listed. If this is not the case, then you need a visa that you must apply for in advance. There are of course higher costs for the traveler.

How long you can stay in the USA

Of course, you may also ask yourself how long you are allowed to stay in the USA. Usually this is decided by the immigration officer and you usually get a stamp for the duration of 90 days in your passport. There is also a date on it when you entered and on which date you have to leave again. In any case you have to keep this date and it is not allowed to exceed it.

Furthermore you have to know that this is a tourist visa. You are not allowed to work there and this is only for tourist purposes to make a vacation there. If you want to stay longer than 90 days, you can apply for a B2 visa. There you can stay up to 180 days in one piece for example in Florida. However, this is subject to fees and you have to go to the US Embassy.

Miami skyline in the evening
Miami skyline in the evening
In the evening the Ocean Drive in Miami Beach
In the evening the Ocean Drive in Miami Beach

Capture of biometric data

When entering the USA, biometric data is always collected. This means that a current photo is always taken first and then a fingerprint. As a rule, this is done for each entry because the appearance of the person may have changed. If you wear glasses, you have to take them off beforehand to take the photo.

Usually this is done very quickly and after a few minutes you are already in the country. After all, there are always many other tourists waiting there who also want to enter. There are always enough counters at each airport so that you do not have to wait so long. But it always depends on how many planes have just landed. There are also peak times.

Procedure of the USA entry at Miami airport

Here we describe how the entry at Miami airport works. Because this is the largest airport in the Sunshine State and there always want to enter especially many tourists. There are still the entry counters, but all international passengers, for example from Europe, come to a special area where there are only entry machines that you have to operate yourself.

This means that you have to scan your passport and take a photo. Further one must make still some data. If this is all done then a piece of paper is printed out with which one must go then to the entry official. This then gives the entry permit and thus one is faster in the country. However, there are sometimes problems with the operation of the machines. These do not work properly and therefore this can take longer.

Welcome to USA
Welcome to USA
A visa for the USA
A visa for the USA

Fill out US customs declaration

Before landing in the USA, the flight attendants still distribute the forms for the US customs declaration. This must also still be filled out and then handed in to the immigration officer. If you are a family then it is sufficient if the father does this. There you have to give the address in the USA where you are staying. It is best to enter the hotel, for example, in Miami. Furthermore you have to fill in how much cash you have with you and what is the reason for your trip.

APIS Form

The airline where you booked the flight to the USA is obliged to transmit some data of the passengers to the Department of Homeland Security before the trip. Therefore, you usually have to enter them online at the airline where you can manage the booking. There, for example, the number of the passport and the address are requested. If you don’t fill this in beforehand, the staff at the airport will ask for it at the latest when you check in.

What is TSA Pre and SSSS on the boarding pass

If you have already been to the USA several times and there were no problems with the USA entry then you get the status TSA Pre. Thus one has acquired there a confidence where one has then shorter waiting times with the safety controls. This information is then always on the boarding pass. It can also be that on the boarding pass the information SSSS is printed. This means Secondary Security Screening Selection and you have to undergo a thorough check. If there have been problems in the past with the entry then this is possible.

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