Here are some tips and special information you would want to know before entering Mexico.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Brief
Upon arriving in the United States, all non-United States citizens will receive form I-4 (white), Arrivak/Departure Record, or Form I-94W (green), Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Form to complete. The forms ask for basic identification information and the address where you will be staying in the United States.
If you are a foreign visitor, the officer must determine why you are coming to the United States, what documents you may require, if you have those documents, and how long you should be allowed to initially stay in the United States. These determinations usually take less than one minute to make. If you are allowed to proceed, the officer will stamp your passport and issue a completed form i-94 to you. A completed form will show what immigration classification you were given and how long you are allowed to stay.
If traveling from outside of the Western Hemisphere (North, Central, and South America) a U.S. citizen must present a passport. If traveling from inside the western Hemisphere, any proof of U.S. citizenship that clearly establishes identifies and nationally is permitted such as a birth certificate or baptismal record.
A non-U.S. citizen who is a lawful permanent resident of the United States must present a permanent resident card, a.k.a. “green card” (INS form i-551), a reentry permit, or a returning resident visa.
Generally, a foreign visitor must present a passport and a valid visa issued by a U.S. Consular official.
If staying for no more than 90 days, under the visa Waiver Program, nationals of participating countries do not require a visa to apply to enter the United States as a visitor for business or pleasure.
Canadians do not generally require a visa unless entering the United States as a Treaty Trader, Classification E.
Mailing gifts and Purchases from Abroad
Gifts mailed from abroad to people in the United States can be received by them free of duty if the value of the gift does not exceed $100. Gifts for more than one person can be consolidated into one package. To be eligible for this waiver, each recipient’s name must be clearly marked on the package. Non-gift purchases mailed to the United States will pass duty-free if their value does not exceed $200. The outer wrapping must be marked with the fair retail value of the contents; a description of the contents (e.g., shirts, belts, watch, figurines, etc.); and whether the package is a gift ($100 exemption) on for personal use ($200 exemption).
NOTE: duty owed on a mailed package must paid after it arrive in the United States. Despite what a shop owner abroad may tell you, you cannot prepay duty. Mailed goods are not eligible for the duty-free exemption for the U.S. residents.
Play it Safe
This is only a brief overview of U.S. Customs and border Protection requirements. To request additional information please contact your local U.S. Customs and Border Protection office. You will find listing for ports of entry on our Web site at www.cbp.gov. you may also call U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Washington, D.C. at 1.877.CUSTOMS or 202.354.1000. We will be happy to send you a copy of our brochure know before you go which describes in detail everything that you should…know before you go.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Washington, D.C. 20229
Please visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Web site at: www.cbp.gov
CBP Publication No. 0000-0506
Revised December 2004
US Customs and Border Protection
Returning to the United States
Preparing to Return to the United States
Documents You Will Need to Enter the United States
Prohibited and Restricted Items