I am coming from another country. What should I know about traveling to the United States?

Please understand that, following the events of September 11, 2001, the transportation system in the United States is very sensitive to foreign visitors. This does not mean that foreign visitors are unwelcome, but that there are extra hoops they must jump through. Please follow all guidelines and instructions to the letter. Be prepared with at least three forms of current identification and full details about your travel plans including how you plan to get to your location and full contact information.

Under no circumstances are you to joke, AT ALL, with security or anyone else in a security zone or checkpoint area. Certain words, such as bomb, gun, fire, or other related words, will set off alarm bells with security people. Finish the humor before you get to the security area. If you listen carefully to what a security person tells you and do exactly as you are told, you should have no problems.

The United States has visa agreements with certain countries in addition to our neighboring countries of Canada and Mexico. Please check the State Department’s Visa Wizard page for more information.

Remember that all international visitors must get an ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) before traveling to the United States. Visit the Department of Homeland Security for more information.

Be sure to check out our International Visitors page!