A port of entry (POE) is any designated place where persons or goods may lawfully enter the United States and can be located at land borders, airports, and seaports.
Having a visa or other entry authorization does not mean you may enter the U.S. at any airport or seaport in the U.S. or any point along its border. Rather, a POE must be "designated" to handle certain entry requirements and to process specific forms and categories of travelers. For example, only certain designated ports can process Form I-192, Form I-212, and Form I-824 entrants. The CBP also has a web application where you can view POEs by geographic location.
Upon arrival at a POE, CBP officers will inspect travelers to verify the legality and intent of their visits. The officers may ask them various questions to ascertain their intentions in entering the country, such as where they are staying, how long they are staying for, their employment status, etc.
Travelers will also have to present visas, forms, and documents, some of which may be mandatory, and others, while not strictly required, can be greatly beneficial to substantiate the nature and purposes for the traveler’s entry to the U.S. Core documentation may include:
Documentation that may not be strictly required but could be beneficial in corroborating the nature and intent of your visit includes:
When being questioned at a POE, it is critical to answer all questions honestly and consistently. When an initial inspection raises concerns regarding a traveler's eligibility or admissibility, the CBP has broad discretion to conduct secondary inspections, which are typically carried out in a separate area away from the main inspection area, and involve more thorough examinations, further questioning, document verification, and having your personal belongings searched.