International Travel

International Processing
5 mins
Processing Avg. Wait Min. Wait Max. Wait  
Immigration & Customs
International Processing

International passengers who arrive at the airport will proceed through Customs & Immigration.

* Does not include secondary processing by CBP.


Non-U.S. citizens need a visa to enter the United States to visit, work, live and connect (international transit).

For more information on entry and visa requirements, please visit the U.S. Department of State.

Immigration Procedures


Passengers traveling into HOU on most international flights will arrive at international arrival gates on the west concourse. They will disembark and make their way through secure corridors into the adjoining Federal Inspection Services (FIS). Here they will clear Immigration in one of the following ways:

Simplified Arrivals – all passengers

Global Entry Trusted Traveler Network Program kiosk (members only)

Mobile Passport Control (MPC) - US and Canadian passport holders

Next, they will proceed to collect checked baggage. However, all flights arriving from Aruba are pre-cleared at their departing airport and will arrive as a domestic flight.

After passengers collect their checked baggage, they will proceed to Customs exit control, where they will exit the facility.

Prohibited agricultural and food items must be declared during Immigration processing. There is a CBP Agriculture Specialist available to examine food, plants or other perishables for travelers carrying these items. Passengers who have duty to pay may do so in the secondary screening area. Click here for CBP “Know Before You Go” information.

Passengers ending their journey in Houston will continue straight after exiting the doors of the customs area and into the international arrivals lobby. Ground transportation is accessible through a hallway and exit door to the east.

Mobile Passport Control


Mobile Passport Control (MPC) is the first authorized app to expedite a traveler’s entry process into the United States*. The app streamlines the traveler inspection process and enables CBP officers to focus more on the inspection and less on administrative functions. Eligible travelers with a smartphone or tablet can download the Mobile Passport Control app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

MPC makes the entry process as simple as four steps:

  1. Download the Free App from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store
  2. Answer a few questions
  3. Submit a form to U.S. Customs and Border Protection via the app
  4. Skip the line and save time

​​For more information on MPC, visit
View the MPC Flyer
Download the MPC brochure

*Available for U.S. citizens with a valid U.S. passport and Canadian citizens with both a valid Canadian passport and B1 or B2 visa status.


International Transit Passengers

International in-transit passengers will exit and proceed forward down the recheck hallway to recheck their luggage.  If a passenger exits secondary screening, then they will turn right and proceed down the hallway to the recheck counter.

All international in-transit passengers are subject to screening at the TSA security checkpoint before proceeding into the secure area of their departing concourse.

For additional information, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) site.

Contacts for More Information

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (US Customs and Border Protection, referred to as CBP)

General Counseling Hotline: +1 877-227-5511

US Customs and Immigration Services: +1 281-230-4600 (main number)

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE): +1 281-449-1481 or +1 281-985-8400

Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Houston: +1 713-520-1462, or website:


Global Entry Trusted Traveler Network


Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.

Program members present their machine-readable passport or U.S. permanent resident card, place their fingerprints on the scanner for fingerprint verification and complete a customs declaration. The kiosk issues the traveler a transaction receipt and directs the traveler to baggage claim and the exit.

Global Entry membership includes the TSA Pre✓ benefit.

For more information about eligibility and how to apply, please visit


Houston Enrollment Centers

  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Terminal E Arrivals level (public access area)
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Terminal E secure area (next to Ruby’s Diner)