FAQ

What tips would you give someone who is going to the US for the first time?
It depends on where you are coming from.Let's say you are coming from Asia or more specifically from India.Here is what you need to know:Don't assume anything like we do back home in our country. I used to do that a lot and had to pay for it later here.Be on time wherever you have an appointment. Be it at Doctor’s, Dentist, or any other place.There is a concept of space in the west including America. Don't keep hugging, touching, crossing by close from people and touching others while crossing them.Don't break the queue. It is deemed disrespectful and unlike in many other countries including India, you will be called out by any individual there standing in the queue. Everybody is same in America and it feels that way too.If you are a first time student then your task is cut out. You need to care for a lot of things. It's completely different from India. Lectures happen on time. Submissions of assignments can't go beyond a prescribed date or hour of the day. No personal favors from the Professors because of your gender, caste, color, religion, personality etc.If you are visiting for the first time, make sure that you don't throw garbage wherever you like. Somebody will definitely check you in public and somebody can also report that to the police. Littering fines are really high in some places.No free perks in this country. You earn and you eat. Simple as that. Unlike in India where if you are a top government official or a politician, you don't have to carry your wallet with you anywhere because you seldom have to pay for anything.When you pass by anybody, most people will smile and say ‘Hi’ or ‘How are you?’. Don't be surprised. This is how everybody greets each other here. What a great thing to do.People will open the door for you or keep it open even if they are ahead of you. That's just how people like to help each other. It is not seen in many countries at least not in India.You go over the limit while driving, chances are that you will be caught and fined. Stay in the speed limit or just a few miles above it is also acceptable. Drink and drive has huge fines, never try that. Don't overtake too many times, the police is trained to catch such people.If you get into an accident on the road, don't keep beating the hell out of that person whether it's their fault or yours. In India, it is very common that whether it is your fault or not, you have the moral right to beat the crap out of the other person. Just like that. Here in US, you will not just be put in Jail, you could lose a teeth or two as most people are not that submissive.Keep walking on the road while crossing. Here in US, pedestrian has the right of way before anybody to cross the road. Don't try that on a freeway. No right of way there for pedestrians.Thanks for the A2A!
Is it legal for the CBP officer in the US port of entry location to go through my cell phone content?
With the belief that a Customs and Border Inspector is this nation's first line of defense against foreign threats, Congress has given them as well as Consular officers overseas very broad powers in their decisions as to who they will confer the privilege of entering the United States. And so, a CBP officer can conduct a full scale search of your person and belongings before allowing you to enter. Secondly, while a US airport may be within the geographical confines of United States, that same port of entry may well be thousands of miles away from the US where you have no rights including prohibition against search and seizure, or to an attorney. Also, the visa you got from a US embassy does not guarantee you will in fact be allowed to enter. It is only an application for permission to enter wish can be denied as is done for thousands of foreigners whose visas are revoked each day a US airports and then sent right back from where they came.  Of course, if you do not want your cell phone to be searched, you can withdraw your application for admission in which case you will be sent back . This is not to say you cannot lodge a complaint where a CBP officer has been particularly rude. But you will find that is very unlikely to get him fired. You may ask your own country's embassy to complain to the State Dept.
Does the CBP officer have the right to confiscate my LPR though I am out of the U.S. for less than a year?
You should retain an immigration law attorney immediately. USCIS may revoke LPR status from a resident who has, in their determination, abandoned their US residence. If they've concluded that you have abandoned your US residence, but you disagree with that conclusion, you will need to challenge that decision. For this, you will want an attorney, as your right to return to and remain in the United States is at stake.
How much do CBP officers make?
My son in law is presently an officer with 15 years and he makes approx $140000 a year including occasional overtime. After a couple of years from start you will make a very good living especially if you are flexible to working shift work and occasional overtime. Opportunities come occasionally when you are asked to do a special assignment in other areas which require you to be away from your home base.
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