I am from India and travelling to LAX from New Delhi. I have a layover in JFK, Terminal 4, New York. I have connecting flight to LAX from Terminal 4 only. Will I go through Immigration and customs/border control at JFK or LAX? If I do go through at JFK, Do I have to do that again at LAX?


Immigration into the US is always at the first US airport you land at, same as almost every country in the world.

Think about it: The flight from New York to Los Angeles is domestic, mainly carrying domestic passengers who don't have to be immigration screened as they disembark in LA. There's be no secure way for authorities to pull the few international travelers arriving on a domestic flight aside for an immigration check.

Specific to the US, customs also happens at the first airport you land at, so you need to pick up your bags, carry them through customs, and then hand them back to the airline for further transportation. (This is in contrast to how it happens for arrivals into the EU, for example, where customs clearance is usually done at your final destination).

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  • The US also performs some border checks at foreign airports before boarding (preclearence) but none in India. – neo May 28 '16 at 15:58
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    In addition, there are small town airports you could connect to that have no customs, no immigration, or not even anything; I have seen places where the 'tower' is handled by the local taxi central, and no buildings or personnel is on the landing strip at all – Aganju May 28 '16 at 20:24

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