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.

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: