Personal Entry Requirements Part 1

Personal Entry Requirements Part 1

Welcome to our “Customs With Katy!” blog feature, where we focus on customs-related topics, brought to you by none other than Phillips’ very own Move Coordinator, Katy Duncan! In the first part of this three-part ‘Personal Entry Requirements’ blog series, we’ll help you familiarize yourself with which of the two classifications you identify as when crossing the US border.


For the purpose of Customs and Immigration, there are two classes of people entering the USA:

  • Returning Residents
  • Non-Residents


Returning Residents:

A citizen is defined as a person who has acquired United States Citizenship by virtue of birth or naturalization.

A resident alien is a non-citizen or national of another country that has acquired legal permanent residence within the United States, and is returning from a temporary stay outside the US.

If you are trying to distinguish which category you reside in, to make it easy, residents hold United States passports.



An immigrant is a person who has acquired a visa allowing them to live permanently within the United Sates and who is coming to the US for initial admission for permanent residence.

A non-immigrant is a national of another country other than the United States who is preceding to the US temporarily on business, or to study and who has another country which he/she ultimately intends to return.


To review: Ensure that you understand your classification before embarking to cross the border. To delve deeper into the topics covered in this blog series, you may be interested in reading through:


Part 2: Documentation Requirements by US Customs, or;

Part 3: Personal Documentation Requirements when Crossing the Border


For additional customs tips, we also recommend that you routinely check our bi-weekly news updates.

As always, until next time, stay safe and stay customs compliant!


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