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Air Travel/Exiting the US and Passport Control/Immigration


If a foreign national is leaving the US on a private jet, does he still have to clear immigration/passport control?

I understand that a flight manifest has to be filed before departure, but does a passport control agent verify it before the flight takes off?

Scenario: German Billionaire Erik comes to NY for a meeting. 2 days later he and entourage leave for Brazil. Manifest says there are 15 people on the flight.

Does a passport control agent come out to the plane to verify/stamp passports before take off? Verify that there are 15 people and that the names on the passports match those on the manifest?

Or is it a free for all and no one cares? Manifest says 15 people but you can take 30 because no one checks?

Dear Ginny,

There is a rule issued by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection which published the Advance Information on Private Aircraft Arriving and Departing the United States.

This rule requires private pilots or their designees to transmit electronically to CBP:

Traveler manifest information for each individual traveling onboard the aircraft
Notice of arrival information
Notice of departure information
This data must be received by CBP no later than 60 minutes prior to departure for flights arriving in or departing from the United States.

A public Web site, eAPIS, has been created by CBP for small commercial carriers to meet the requirements of the APIS final rule for commercial carriers. CBP has developed a component within eAPIS to assist private flyers with the requirements of the final rule for private aircraft.  The eAPIS Web site provides private pilots with all capabilities necessary to comply with the rule. Failure to comply with such rule is a federal offense.

Hope this helps.



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Roberto Gomes


General expertise and knowledge of airport procedures related to air travel. Questions concerning baggage and cargo, pets, minors, persons with disabilities, catering, security, weight and balance, airline alliances - codeshare flights and immigration requirements. Top expert on this category with more than 900 questions answered so far (send yours to be the 1,000th). Please do not send questions regarding best fares and airport parking.


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