This web site was copied prior to January 20, 2005. It is now a Federal record managed by the National Archives and Records Administration. External links, forms, and search boxes may not function within this collection. Learn more.   [hide]
Skip Links
U.S. Department of State
Home Contact Us FOIA Privacy Notice Archive
U.S. Department of State
About the State Dept. Press and Public Affairs Travel and Living Abroad Countries and Regions International Issues History, Education and Culture Business Center Other Services Employment
Find your advising center! Predeparture Planning

Logo: educationUSA: Your Guide to U.S. Higher Education

Quick Links

Planning Your Journey


Correct Time in the U.S.

Review of Immigration Documents

U.S. Customs

Travel to the University

Overnight Accommodations

Arriving at the University

Related Links

Predeparture Information
U.S. Customs

After passing through the immigration area, you will collect your baggage and then, with your baggage, pass through customs. A customs inspector will ask you to declare what you have brought into the country, inspect your bags, and review the customs form you filled out on the airplane. Penalties for concealing declarable items can be very severe, so be honest and make a full declaration.

Items for your personal use may be brought into the United States without paying duty. As a nonresident, you are also allowed to bring in gifts with a total value up to $100 duty free. If the total value of such items exceeds $100, you will need to pay duty.

You must declare the amount of money you have with you, but you do not have to pay duty on it. Money in any amount may be brought into and taken out of the United States, but anyone bringing more than $10,000 into the country must file a report with the customs official.

Certain articles are forbidden or restricted. These include plants, fruits, meats, vegetables, clothing made from the skins of endangered animals, ivory, lottery tickets, obscene articles or publications, and switchblade knives. Drugs without a doctor's prescription or narcotics, such as barbiturates, amphetamines, and marijuana, are strictly prohibited.

Back to the top