Arriving at the Miami, Florida airport can be intimidating for those who arrive with plans to stay for a specific or indefinite time. So many emotions make us very sensitive to the stern look of the immigration officer on duty.
On seeing my passport the immigration officer closed his eyes and said, "Oh no, a student!" And frowned over my documents.
I remember traveling in first class, thanks to an over-sold flight. I flew comfortably without having to fight for the blanket. What a good omen, I thought.
The immigration officer took out a magnifying glass to examine my passport. "Any problem?" I said as a red light flashed over our heads. I was led to a room full of people who waited with anguished face. The good omen ended quickly.
Finally I heard my name: "Welcome to the United States," said another Immigration Officer handing me my passport. I left quickly, confused by this experience.
Now I understand what happened. United States immigration law assumes that every person who arrives is an immigrant, that is, he comes to stay unless proven otherwise. No matter what visa you have, the officer can continue to question us about our stay plans and must determine if we fall into any of the assumptions (economic, health, or security) that prohibit us from admitting. This is the so-called First Inspection.
At the discretion of the officer, the traveler will be taken to a Second Inspection if he needs more information or to examine documents. Apparently, the officer saw something strange and requested the second inspection of my passport. When everything was in order I was admitted without problem.
If at any entrance to the country you are taken to a Second Inspection, do not be nervous. Answer the questions, submit the requested documents and never give inaccurate information.
No matter if it comes first or economy class, the important thing is what happens next, with work and commitment, starting from scratch.
NOTE: For more information consult our immigration lawyers in Miami, FL (786) -347-6474; Or Charlotte, NC (704) -469-6746.