I am an Afghan citizen and I have a flight from Sao pula to Dominica via Puerto Rico.
I have a 23h stay.
Do I need a transit visa?

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    @pnuts Puerto Rico is a territory of the USA. – David Richerby Aug 21 '16 at 13:38
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    @aparente001 Nope. it's the passenger's responsiblity to find out. And the US does not have exit border checks, so the departure gate area is not an interantional transit zone - thus, he'll Need to enter the US and will Need a C1 visa to do this – Crazydre Aug 21 '16 at 14:30
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    Not all US territories have identical customs and immigration policies, i.e. travel between them is not borderless. Guam has its own set of additional visa waiver countries. In PR and the USVI you are subject to CBP inspection before boarding a plane to the US mainland (though I think that is more about customs than immigration). – Dennis Aug 21 '16 at 14:48
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    @DavidRicherby If you know for a fact that all US territories have the same rules as the rest of the USA on this, then that knowledge answers the question, and should be put as an answer, like Zach Lipton has done. It doesn't help anyone if people just hit "close" because they know something the asker doesn't, leaving the asker and others guessing. – user56reinstatemonica8 Aug 21 '16 at 18:56
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    @pnuts Which part of "Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States" (from the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry you linked) causes you to believe that Puerto Rico "is a distinct country". – David Richerby Aug 21 '16 at 21:10

Puerto Rico is a United States territory and the same rules for immigration purposes apply as in any US state (this is not true of every US territory, but it is the case for Puerto Rico). Just as transits at mainland US airports require you to go through immigration, all transits at San Juan require you to go through US immigration. You will need a US visa.

Furthermore, according to sleepininairports.net, you cannot sleep overnight airside at San Juan Airport and there are mixed reports as to whether sleeping overnight in the airport is allowed at all.

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  • @pnuts I don't feel that strongly about it really, but since it's US immigration law and a US visa that applies, I thought it fits. Feel free to remove if you disagree. – Zach Lipton Aug 21 '16 at 1:28
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    @pnuts Puerto Rico has been part of the United States since 1898. If you arrive there on an international flight, it will certainly be US immigration you deal with. – Michael Hampton Aug 21 '16 at 1:39
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    Note that Puerto Rico being a US territory does not imply that the same rules for immigration apply to it. American Samoa is a US territory and regular US immigration law does not apply to it, and it has its own rules. – user102008 Aug 23 '16 at 18:19
  • @user102008 I added a note to clarify that some territories may be different. – Zach Lipton Aug 23 '16 at 18:21

Yes, you Need a C1 (transit) visa because the US has no exit border controls, so everyone arriving there needs to enter the country, collect luggage, drop it off and go back through security

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