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Port of Entry (POE) Review: San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

By Erika Presson
Last Updated: October 13, 2014


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I flew Philippine Airlines (PAL) direct from MNL to SFO on August 8th, 2013 at 10:30pm (PH) to August 8th, 2013 8pm (SFO). Usual PAL, always late. It was more than 12.5 hours of travel.

On board, they gave us an I-94 Arrival Card and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Declaration forms that we needed to fill up. Already knew that I-94 is automated and could be retrieved from here but still filled up the form anyways.

Lined up at the Immigration Line for Visitors since technically, I’m still not a US resident. Almost all CBP Officers were cheerful, it was refreshing to see.

I gave the CBP Officer my passport, I-94 and CBP Declaration forms along with my K1 Visa Packet. He asked if it was my first time in the US, I said it was my third time. He asked me what type of Visa I was on, and said a Tourist Visa. Asked me what type of Visa I am on now. I said I’m on a K1 Visa. He asked me if I already knew the conditions and processes after being admitted on a K1 Visa and recited to him that I have 90 days to get married to my petitioner and to file my AOS, EAD and AP. Then I’d get my 2-year Conditional Green Card. Also, told him that when my Green Card is about to expire, I’d need to file for ROC. He said he was pleased that I was on top of everything and did my homework. :P

As for the misspelled City and Zip Annotation on my Visa, it wasn’t a big deal. He just noted it. He accepted my Visa Packet but asked if I really wanted to include all the other stuff in the plastic (but outside the yellow envelope; There were loose sheets and lots of photos that came in with my Visa Packet but didn’t bother to take it out, just my Passport). I said, “Well, it came in with the Visa Packet.” He said, “True, Ok.” Then took everything with him. He let me go and gave me back to CBP form to give to a CBP Officer on my way out.

Took about less 10 minutes all in all. Quite happy with SFO as POE.


I-94 Arrival Record

I-94 Arrival Records are now electronic. At the Immigration Area, the CBP Officer will type up the details and confirm it with you at POE. Take note of what he’s typing and make sure EVERYTHING is typed correctly. It will save you a lot of headaches when you need to get your SSN / Driver’s License / State ID and applying for AOS.

For more information, please read: | How to get your I-94 CBP Arrival / Admission Record Online

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(Please click on "Show Replies" to read other comments/replies)

  1. Annie Law says:

    Hi do I need to declare the following? As part of food/fruits.

    Dried mangoes
    Processed fish in jars

    And ano po yung mga dinala nyo na pasalubong during your trip na hindi naman big deal sa customs?

    My flight is on June 9,2016 na kasi
    Kinda worried with the CBP Declaration..


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