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I was granted a single-entry visa to the US, to attend a conference in Chicago. My company is sponsoring the trip, and they bought my plane tickets. We're going from my country to an airport in Houston TX, and then to O'Hare in Chicago.

Since my visa is one entry only, and I'd pass through 2 airports, would I be allowed in at Chicago? This is my first time flying and I don't know how it would work.

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    Entry means how many times you can enter the US on that visa. After you are in the US, you may take as many domestic flights as you wish. – Michael Hampton Feb 16 '18 at 16:47
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You are entering the US only once, in Houston, where you will go through passport control and customs checks. After that, the flight between Houston and Chicago is domestic, there’s no check whatsoever on arrival in Chicago.

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You will be fine as you will only be entering the US once -- at the initial American airport you arrived at on the flight from your country. Once you have passed through customs and immigration in Houston you will transfer to the domestic side of the airport for your flight to Chicago where you will land at a domestic terminal. Note: You will need to keep your passport out for photo ID when boarding the second flight.

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When you land in Houston

You will be directed/routed onto only one possible path: to customs and immigration. There, you will tell them your story, declare anything you are bringing in... if they deem necessary they will pull you aside for further inquiry and bag inspection, just like you see in the border patrol TV shows on Youtube. This also involves you picking up your luggage. That is necessary in case they want to inspect it.

Most likely, when you are finished with Immigration and have your luggage, you will exit to the street side of the airport.

You must re-enter the system

Now you must go re-check your luggage and re-enter through the TSA security line.

You are now traveling domestically.

TSA and gate agent will check your passport only for ID. When you exit the plane at Chicago you will not be stopped by anyone.

Note: there are a few locations where TSA does preclearance at the foreign airport. In that case you will clear US customs & immigration inside the foreign country, and the airplane will gate at a domestic terminal in the airside area. You can remain airside and just walk to the gate of your Chicago flight.

  • @ZachLipton fixed hopefully, and I added some new stuff that might be wrong lol. Also up north they call that a gongshow. – Harper Feb 17 '18 at 1:28
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Yes. One entry means entry into the country. Seeing as you arrive in Houston, and do no leave to get to Chicago, you are fine. Any domestic flights while in the country (As long as you do not overstay your Esta/Visa etc) are permitted too.

You would find issues if you for some reason flew to, say, NY, then to Canada, and then back in, as you'd be leaving the U.S.

Same for if you decide to leave the U.S Earlier than your visa expires. Even if you have time on the visa, you are only allowed one entry.

  • Actually there's no law that forbids visa overstayers from flying domestically. – phoog Feb 17 '18 at 23:26

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