Free Online Assessment

US visits to become easier for different types of families

Posted on January  07 , 2014

It will soon be easier for different types of families travelling together to clear customs in the USA.

The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced a change to customs declarations, which will save travellers to the USA time.

The change, due to come into effect on 17 January 2014, will modify the definition of  “members of a family residing in one household”   for customs declarations with a broad definition of “domestic relationship”, to include long-term couples (de facto), civil union couples, same-sex couples,  foster children, stepchildren, half-siblings, legal wards, other dependents, and individuals with an ‘in loco parentis’ or guardianship relationship, among other domestic relationships. It will  also continue to include family members related by blood, marriage and adoption.

This means “family” groups who live together visiting the USA will be able to sign a joint family customs declaration, which should make customs processing faster and more efficient. The person signing the declaration will be responsible and accountable for the validity of the declaration.

International  visitors to the USA are allowed certain customs exemptions (gifts, tobacco, personal effects, etc), and they will be able to file a single family declaration, but will  not have the same personal duty exemption of $800 (individual) and $1,600 (members of a family) allowed to returning U.S. residents.

To find out more about travelling to the USA, whether as a family or not, for visit or other purpose,  contact us at The Visa Centre.