My Arrival in the US Port of Entry or POE
On November 12th of 2011 (5 days before my K1 visa expired), I left for the US via EVA Airlines. I flew from Davao to Manila, Manila to Taiwan, then Taiwan to New York.
The flight was smooth although I was left by the plane from Davao to Manila! I didn’t have the time to argue with the Cebu Pacific airlines staff because I was running out of time and my only choice was to get to another plane. It was an about 18 long hour flight but it’s all worth it. Seeing the love of my life took off all my exhaustion. But before I get corny here, I want to share my experience during my travel to the USA.
What are the documents to bring?
- Valid Passport with your US Fiance Visa and Commission on Filipinos Overseas sticker
- Unopened Visa Packet
- Plane Ticket
- Vaccination worksheet and x-ray cd from St. Luke’s
- Other documents like birth certificate, employment and school records (Although these were not initially asked during the POE, you may need that later on when you apply for work or school)
How much money do I need to bring?
In my case, I really didn’t bring a lot because I knew the food was included with the plane ticket my fiance bought for me and usually, that is the case. I just made sure that I have something to pay for Travel Tax and Terminal Fee. The Travel Tax that I paid was 1,620 pesos but if you’re going to be a first class passenger, the travel tax amount is 2,700 pesos. The Terminal Fee that I paid was 750 pesos (update: it is now 550 pesos effective February 01, 2012)
How about the baggage allowance?
I think it depends with your airline. You can check it through your airline’s website or better yet call them. But in general, you are allowed 1 hand carry that can weigh up to 7 kg and 2 check-in baggage that can weigh up to 23 kg each. Anyway, you don’t really need to bring a lot. Just bring a few clothes because US weather is different from the Philippines. When I got here, it was winter and so the clothes I brought weren’t that useful, lol!
What happens once you reach your port of entry?
You need to fill-out an I-94 form once you reach the airport in the US. I’m not sure about the other airlines, but with EVA, a stewardess gave me the form. Although I had to get another one at the airport because I made some errors, lol. Don’t hesitate to ask questions too if you don’t know how to fill it out because there are officers there that can help you. Below is the I-94 form which the custom officer stapled on my passport.
After I finished filling out the form, I went to the custom officer and presented my Visa Packet and passport. I was also asked some few questions like:
Officer: Where did you meet your Fiance?
Me: I met him online 4 years ago.
Officer: You met online and he gave you a visa?
Me: It wasn’t really like that. He visited me in the Philippines 7 times before I was granted a visa.
And he nodded. I know, it was a bit intimidating but I think they’re just doing their job! He told me to get into a room which I forgot what it was called but I presented my documents there too. I got my baggage and voila! I borrowed someone’s phone to call my fiance because I arrived too early, lol. So yeah, I’m not ashamed at all. I hope my arrival in the US Port of Entry or POE guide helped you guys somehow!