Friday, July 1, 2011

London to San Francisco via Newark: where do I go through 'passport control'

London to San Francisco via Newark: where do I go through 'passport control'?
I'm flying from London to San Francisco via Newark with less than 2 hours between flights in Newark: will I have to go through passport control in Newark?
Packing & Preparation - 5 Answers
Random Answers, Critics, Comments, Opinions :
1 :
Yes, you go through immigration, (that is passport control) and customs at the first airport you meet in the USA, so in your case Newark. Two hours is tight but not impossible. Make sure you fill out your forms before you land, down to all details like your first hotel, so you can walk right through to the desks. When you leave the plane walk faster than average so you are in the first part of the group of people to walk into the area and follow the instructions to the letter. If not, you will be send to the end of the line to try again. Again with going through customs, do not do anything to upset the staff, but likely they will just check the passengers at random. Hand in the paperwork you have filled out, if needed, and be polite. You can mention going to an other flight, but asking for them to hurry so you can catch it will often result in a longer wait.
2 :
Yes you need to go thru immigration and customs at the place you enter the country.
3 :
You not only go through passport control, but also through customs in Newark. You'll go through the passport control line and then go into the customs where you have to pick up your luggage, carry it through the customs checkpoint where you turn in your customs declaration form and then drop it off to be forwarded on to your next flight. The baggage will already be checked to your final detination, so you don't need to do that again. Then you will go through a security screening area before getting to the area where the gates are. When I flew into the US last week, the whole process took less than 30 minutes even though there were several flights arriving at the same time. However, it can take significantly longer depending on how many agents are processing visitors and how many people have arrived. Two hours generally shouldn't be a problem if your flight is on time.
4 :
You should post your question in New York, not San Francisco. I assume you mean Customs when you refer to passport control. You would pass through Immigration if you are a foreign national.
5 :
Yes, you will need to go through immigration (passport control) and customs at the first Port of Entry of the U.S., in this case is Newark. Newark is not a big airport, but very busy. Fill out your forms in advance, you will need two forms, 1) I-94 Green form for British citizens (and most European Union citizens) Visa waiver form. If you need a Visa, then it will be a I-94 but White form. the 2nd. form is the Customs declaration, which is a blue/white form. Normally they will provide these forms before landing, but you can ask for these forms when you check in at the airport with the airline. Once you land, you will go through immigration first, and depending on the activity in the airport, lines might be long, so make sure you walk fast and go ahead of the line. All foreign citizens get finger printed and photographed by the immigration officer. Then you will get your luggage, go through customs where you surrender your custom declaration form, and you will give you luggage back to the airline at the "connecting flights" area, and then you will need to run to the gate where your next flight is leaving out of. Hope this would help you !

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