Note: The information provided here is basic, general information about the requirements for entering the U.S. as a “nonimmigrant” and the Constitutional rights of people in the United States. For specific information and legal advice, consult a qualified immigration attorney. The American Immigration Lawyers Association provides a lawyer referral service for people seeking counsel of an immigration lawyer: www.ailalawyer.org
U. S. Department of State web site visa information
Explains visas and offers a “Do you need a visa” link (click “business” for information about the Visitor visa, the visa that most people will need to enter the U.S. for a conference)
U. S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) web site “Know before You Visit” information
Explains some of the requirements for entering the U.S. and addresses the necessary documents, as well as traveling with food, pets, or medication.
CBP “Inspection of Devices Flyer”
This flyer may be given to those entering the U.S. whose baggage or electronic devices are searched by a CBP officer. It includes a brief description of CBP’s legal authority to conduct searches and what travelers may expect in such a search and provides contact information for those who may have questions or encounter problems.
CBP “Privacy Impact Assessment for the Border Searches of Electronic Devices”
This is a much more detailed description of the Department of Homeland Security’s guiding principles in conducting searches of electronic devices at the border, including its efforts to balance security needs and individual privacy rights.
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) “Know Your Rights: What to do When Encountering Law Enforcement at Airports and Other Ports of Entry into the U.S.” flyer
Provides extensive information about law enforcement officials’ authority to question individuals entering the U.S., the right (and lack of right) to legal counsel, and searches of laptops and phones, among other topics.
For information about travel restrictions recently imposed in early 2017 by President Trump, see the NAFSA "Travel Advisory for Nationals of Certain Countries Pursuant to Executive Orders."
AILA “Know Your Rights if ICE Stops You” flyers
Describes the civil rights of people in the U.S., including undocumented aliens, who encounter immigration enforcement officers in their home, in public or in the work place.
ACLU “Know your Rights: Stopped by Police Immigration Agents, or FBI” flyer
Describes the civil rights of people in the U.S. who encounter immigration enforcement officers and suggests appropriate responses.
ACLU “Know Your Rights: Anti-Muslim Discrimination” flyer
Addresses certain civil rights of people in the U.S., specifically rights to practice a religion.
ACLU resources “Know Your Rights: Discrimination Against Immigrants and Muslims”
Includes videos and printed flyers on this topic in a variety of languages.
ACLU “Know Your Rights: What to do if Your Rights are Violated at a Demonstration”
Describes the civil rights of people in the U.S. to peacefully assemble and protest and suggests appropriate responses for those who encounter law enforcement officials while protesting.