Doubt about crossing the immigration checkpoint

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1. Posted by danibp (Budding Member 6 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Hi i have an amazing friend who is whiling to pay for my whole trip to vegas to have a 1 week vacation.
Im a 29y male from Spain currently unemployed.

My question is if i will have any kind of problem crossing the immigration checkpoint control.
I will have both airplane tickets the one to go and the return one, the hotel will be also reserved/paid.
My concern is having around 300-500 dollars only in my bank account at that moment. Is that going to be a problem?
My friend is going to take care of all my expenses on the trip but i dont know if thats enough for them to let me get in.

As additional info:
· I never had any kind of problem with the justice before.
· My friend is a US citizen.

[ Edit: Edited on 12 Aug 2022, 19:48 GMT by danibp ]

2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 4642 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

>My concern is having around 300-500 dollars only in my bank account at that moment. Is that going to be a problem?

You won't go through any 'immigration checkpoint'. You'll go through US Customs (similar to Border Control in European countries) with passport check, taking all 10 of your fingerprints and a photograph and you being asked questions about your visit.

Whether you are travelling on an ESTA or a tourist visa, the two standard questions asked by US Customs officials are why you're visiting the US and how long you're staying. The Customs officer usually asks other questions such as e.g. what you're planning to do on your visit, where you'll be staying, if you've got any food in your bags etc.

In my experience US Customs officers don't normally ask about how much money you've got or want to see proof of a return flight during the standard entry procedure but they can do so if they wish. They can also (and do) take people for 'secondary questioning', sometimes because they have concerns (e.g. if someone looks very nervous or suspicious) and sometimes just at random. Secondary questioning goes into more detail and may include questions about e.g. how much money you've got, who's paying for the hotel, how do you know your friend etc etc.

No-one can predict in advance whether someone will be taken for secondary questioning.

Answer all questions honestly. Don't panic and don't be tempted to lie.

I'd advise you to make sure you have all your friend's contact details (full name, cell phone, address etc etc) with you so officers can, if they wish, contact him/her to check that he/she will be paying all your expenses whilst you're in the US.

The chances are you'll have no problems at all.

I hope you have a super trip!

3. Posted by danibp (Budding Member 6 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Thank you so so much for the quick answer and how helpful it was!

4. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 4642 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

You're welcome. :-)

5. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 299 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Sounds like you're all set, danibp, but just in case... Are you a citizen of Spain, and if so do you understand the ESTA requirement? Are you a citizen of a different country?

6. Posted by danibp (Budding Member 6 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Quoting goodfish

Sounds like you're all set, danibp, but just in case... Are you a citizen of Spain, and if so do you understand the ESTA requirement? Are you a citizen of a different country?

Yeah im a citizen from Spain and im aware that i need to get the ESTA at least 72h before the flight.

7. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 299 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Great! Have a nice trip!!

8. Posted by danibp (Budding Member 6 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Quoting goodfish

Great! Have a nice trip!!

Thank you so much!

9. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 4642 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

I'd advise you to get your ESTA as soon as you can. Don't leave it till 72h before your flight.

Estas used to be approved quickly (within max a few hours) but they're slower now. Mine took 24 hours to be approved and it's my fourth....yours is your first. All tech things can go wrong so apply now on the official site below (don't use any other site) and, if you can, print off your Esta when it's granted. When it comes to documents, hard copy is always best.

https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/

Estas last for 2 years so there's no issue with getting one early.

Also make sure you've got hard copy official proof of your Covid vaccination (minimum 2 doses). Don't just rely on your phone: phones can go wrong/run out of charge.

I should also have said that you may well be asked questions about e.g. why you're travelling to the US while you're in the queue for check-in (or at check-in). That's perfectly normal. When I flew to the US in May the 'queue' security person checked my vaccination document as well as asking me the usual questions.

[ Edit: Edited on 13 Aug 2022, 17:07 GMT by leics2 ]

10. Posted by danibp (Budding Member 6 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

My plan is to get the ESTA 2 months before the trip.
Ill have physical copies of ESTA, plane tickets and vaccination. I want to have them just in case my phone dies or whatever.
I will have only a carry on suitcase so it should be relatively quick from the security check to the gate.
It will be my first flight alone and it will be an international one 😅

My English is way better writing than speaking i hope they dont ask me too many questions lol

[ Edit: Edited on 13 Aug 2022, 20:08 GMT by danibp ]