All arriving travelers are subject to inspection by a CBP officer prior to entering the United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is responsible for conducting immigration inspections at America’s 329 Ports of Entry with the goal of excluding those that are not eligible for entry, while ensuring the entry of lawful travelers. With the recent terrorist attacks and the increased focus on maintaining security during immigration screening, there are more concerns than ever about making sure that only eligible nonimmigrants enter the U.S. As a result, it is particularly important for travelers to know what to do at the airport when they arrive and speak with CBP personnel.
A frequent issue for people visiting the U.S. with a visa is how long they can remain in the country lawfully. A visa is a travel document that allows a foreign traveler to request admission to the U.S. at a U.S. border or port of entry. Typically, a visa will allow travel to the U.S. over an extended period. For example, B-1 and B-2 visas for business travelers are usually valid for 10 years. That permits these visitors to make regular trips to the U.S. over the 10-year period without having to apply for a visa for each individual trip. However, they cannot stay in the U.S. continuously for 10 years. This rule applies for any nonimmigrant visa although the overall length of the visa varies based on country and visa type.