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What do foreigners find most annoying about Americans?
As Abby Nix says: Our arrogance; our presumptuousness.Our volume. Everywhere I've been in the world, there is an assumption that Americans are loud, brash, galoots. And though it varies by region and by person, I believe that we are, relatively speaking. See also Kelly Erickson's answer to What are some cultural faux pas in Toronto?Our seeming unwillingness (or inability) to try to make out how the locals are living, and blend in just a bit. A little deference to local cultures would go a long, long way when we are traveling outside our borders.Our ignorance. There's self-centered, and then there's "Whaddya mean I should know something about any place but my place?" Assuming folks everywhere else will ignore *and accommodate* our ignorance is very grating to people in other parts of the world.
Will President Trump end the use of Spanish as an additional language on Federal documents?
“Will President Trump end the use of Spanish as an additional language on Federal documents?”Is really a different question from:“Will Trump restore the status of English as the unifying language of USA?”The former literally just inconveniences people. There is no logical reason to make forms only in English unless only English-speakers are likely to need them, or unless you want to inconvenience people who do not speak English very well, and it inconveniences the US government as well.I mean• for example, at airports we have US customs forms in dozens of languages.https://www.cbp.gov/sites/defaul...Here is the German oneHow does it help anyone to force them to fill out a customs form in English? Sure, most Germans speak English fluently, but a lot of them are very rusty at it and might not know all of the jargon present on a customs declaration form.Is a German who is kind of rusty at English more likely to declare “agricultural and wildlife products” or “Landwirtschaftliche und Wildtierprodukte”? Do you really want to increase the likelihood entering into the US without understanding or admitting to exactly what they need to declare?All this type of thing does is inconvenience people.As for the second, English is the de facto language of the USA. It obviously is not the official language, but over 90% of the population speaks it fluently.I do not think anyone needs to “restore” its status.
If, while traveling in Europe, you find 2 million dollars, how do you bring the money back legally to the USA?
The adage, ‘Finders keepers• doesn't apply to most countries• legal system.Do not try to find ways to bring 2 million dollars into the U.S. from Europe; the Europeans have 2 million ways of charging you with a severe criminal offence.
How does entering the USA as a tourist, with a visa waiver, work?
You will absolutely need your passport; if you have more than one passport, you must use a passport of a country that participates in the VWP.While you must have an ESTA (applied for using the passport you intend to travel with), you will generally not need paper proof of the ESTA to enter the United States. Customs will use your machine-readable passport to find your ESTA. (You can’t get an ESTA unless you have a machine-readable passport.) You may, however, need proof of your ESTA in order to board, especially if the name on your passport does not precisely match that on your ticket (which may cause the airline to be unable to validate your claim to have an ESTA).You will be required to give the immigration officer a declaration for customs and immigration (Form 6059B Customs Declaration - English (Fillable)), which you may either fill out in advance and bring the completed form with you, fill it out during the flight (aircrew will generally provide this form to anyone who needs it), or try to fill it out while waiting in line (this last approach is not recommended).Do not use your phone while waiting in line at Immigration.
What is your craziest US immigration experience?
As many of you know, the process of acquiring a student visa (F-1 visa) to the United States is nerve-racking for Indian families. Having gone through four years of college, graduating with a good GPA along with multiple summer research stints/internships, then applying to several US universities at considerable expense, and finally being rewarded with an acceptance letter from a respected school, Indian students are sometimes rejected from entering the US at the final hurdle—the visa interview at the US embassy.I recall the buildup to my interview four years ago. Many of my friends had theirs scheduled before mine, and they scared the bejeezus out of me recounting their horror show interviews involving scores of questions from grim interviewers with piercing glares boring into their souls trying to catch out any hesitation in their answers, any possible untruths.My parents did what any self-respecting Indian family does before their kid heads to an interview—they took me to a temple. And not just any temple—they took me about 1000 kilometers north of home to the searingly hot city of Baroda, Gujarat, to visit one particular Hanumanji temple (apparently this was our family God in our family temple, goodness knows why, we’re Tamils from Chennai—and I’m an atheist!)So after much prayer and puja, blessings from family members and well-wishes from friends, I stood outside the US embassy on a cloudy, muggy, summer day, shitting my pants under the narrow canopy that automatically opened over the street when it rained (a nice touch there, ‘Murica).My stomach churned as the line slowly moved forward. My heart leaped into my mouth as I passed through the gates, only to be confronted by armed security guards who proceeded to take away anything I had in my pockets—pens, coins, paper, etc.Please don’t take my clothes too, please don’t take my clothes too, I prayed silently.The guard gestured at my jeans. Resigned to my fate, I started to unzip them.“What are you doing?” he asked, amazed. “Just take off your belt and pass through the scanner.”….Finally through the gates, I was taken aback at how simple the next room looked. Then I understood why—it was just a queue room. A room for this damn queue.Half an hour later we passed into the Interview Room. People lined up in front of about a dozen booths, each with a White Man or White Lady inside (must be the Americans, I thought fearfully, please let them understand my accent).The room was air-conditioned. I was sweating.It was large and airy. I gasped for breath.Now I was in front of one of the White Men. He beckoned me forward.He smiled at me evil• no, pleasantly • it was a pleasant smile!“Hi there, how’s your day going?”He greeted me • what do I do? Is this part of the interview? Oh no, I don’t have an answer. Smile. Smiling is good. He won’t hate you if you smile.I smiled. He waited.Oh shit, he asked you a question. Answer it, jackass!“OH IT IS—you’re too loud, dolt—going well”, I whispered.He didn’t hear that last bit, but he nodded as if he did.“May I have your I-20?”“Here it is,” I breathed.He stared down at it for a minute. Then—“So, you’re going to Purdue?”Say yes, don’t say yup. And don’t shout.“YUP!” I shouted.“Ok then, you’re good to go” he said, stamping my passport.“What?” I yelped, staring at him in disbelief.“You’re good to go, sir, your application has been accepted.”You mean after all that stress you didn’t ask me a single question? Not one? Why?? Are you crazy, man? I even lied about my day, it was shitty as hell, you should quiz me on it! Make me grovel for that visa, like the bastards I know you interviewers are!“Good luck with your PhD, Mr.Raman, and enjoy your stay in the United States of America.”“Thank you,” I replied, my throat catching.I was going to America courtesy this senile interviewer. Thank you Hanumanji!
Why do some in the UK want a No Deal Brexit?
I guess I would be classed as one of the people in the UK that wants a no-deal Brexit. Not strictly true as I’d prefer a Free Trade Agreement. But no deal is a good second best.Why? Positives and non-negatives.Let’s start with the non-negatives.No deal is not much worse vis-a-vis the EU than what we already have. People who talk about it as if it’s some kind of disaster don’t know how the international trading system works.A properly functioning customs border would add an average of 39 seconds to border crossings. That’s 2% of crossings checked for 1200 seconds = 24 seconds, plus 15 seconds to fill out a customs declaration form.You often hear there’s something very different and special about the EU. But there is no evidence for that at all. People often talk about it as if it’s self-evident. That’s why “Remain” often comes across as a faith-based position, while the logic, reason and factual analysis tends to lead one to favour Leave.The UK would lose the EU’s trade agreements but a) these trade agreements aren’t very good; b) they cover only 12% of our trade, which is 1.44% of our GDP. And it’s reasonable to believe some of them could be grandfathered or re-established relatively quickly.Now the positives. A no-deal Brexit would allow all the below to be achieved.The economic benefits of Brexit are the ability to reform regulation and develop an independent trade policy.Reforming regulation to a system compatible with common-law principles would result in a substantial lessening of business burdens, greater incentives to invest and greater market competition. It would be able to achieve this without reducing standards. Sounds like magic? No. It’s just getting rid of the EU way of regulating markets, which doesn’t work even in the EU, but is worse still in the UK.Rich multinationals like EU regulation because it keeps the little guy out. That helps their bottom line but makes you and me poorer. Only 5% of the UK’s companies trade with the EU. Why should the 95% that don’t be bound down by its silly rules?An independent trade policy allows the UK to cut tariffs on imported food, clothes and shoes, which are kept high to protect EU producers at the expense of British consumers. Reforming tariffs in the UK’s interests would cut the price of imported necessities, resulting in higher disposable incomes, particularly for the poor.An independent trade policy also allows the UK to negotiate trade deals based on its own strengths, particularly services. The UK is the world’s second largest service exporter. But the EU has done virtually nothing for services.The UK trades more with the non-EU world than the EU, so why tie ourselves to the EU? It’s the world’s worst-performing economic bloc. We will do better by concentrating on the bigger and faster growing part of the pie, which is non-EU trade.Oh and we earn a surplus on non-EU trade. That’s partly because the EU’s customs rules (particularly tariffs) are rigged in favour of its founder members. But it’s also partly because we’re just plain better at trading outside the EU than with it.For further reading, you can take a look at this piece, which argues that with the right policies, a no-deal Brexit could lead to an £80 billion per year boost to the economy: A WTO-based Brexit could yield the UK £80 billion per year
Why do I have to fill out so much information for taxes when the government already knows everything about me?
I know exactly how you feel…Dear Government,I'm in the process of renewing my passport, and still cannot believe this. How is it that DirectTV has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a satellite dish from them back in 1997, and yet, the Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date?For goodness sake, do you guys do this by hand? My birth date you have on my social security card, and it is on all the tax forms I've filed for the past 30 years. It is on my driver's license, my military ID, my car insurance, and on the last six damn passports I've had. It’s on all those stupid customs declaration forms I've had to fill out before being allowed off the plane over the last 30 years.Would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother's name is Elizabeth, my father's name is George and I'd be absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and when I die!I've had enough of this crap! You send the application to my house, then you ask me for my frigging address?What is going on? Do you have a gang of Neanderthal idiots working there? Look at my damn picture. Do I look like a terrorist? I don't want to go to a training camp, for christsakes, I just want to park my butt on a sunny beach somewhere.And would someone please tell me, why would you give a crap whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days? If I ever got the urge to do something weird to a goat, believe you me, you'd be the last people I'd want to tell!Well, I have to go now, 'cause I have to go to the other end of the city to get yet another copy of my birth certificate, to the tune of $50. Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day?Nooooooo, that'd be too damn easy and maybe make some sense. You'd rather have us running all over the place like chickens with our heads cut off. Oh, and then I have to get someone 'important' to verify who I am • you know, someone like my doctor, who was born and raised in Pakistan!Sincerely,You already know who, damn it!
How do I mail to China from the U.S.?
Depends on what you're sending and how fast you want it to get there. There's four different services:First Class International for letters and parcels up to four pounds. Time frame, our computers simply say “varies by destination”. Doesn't come with any insurance or tracking unless you're sending it to Canada. It's the least expensive way to send internationally.Priority Mail International for all parcels weighing over 4 pounds. Usually arrives in 6–10 business days. To some countries (not all) it comes with $200.00 worth of insurance at no additional cost.Express Mail International for parcels and letters you need to get there faster. For some countries it will come with a guaranteed arrival time. For others it's usually 3–5 business days. You can track it. And it comes with $100.00 worth of insurance add no additional charge. We can also request a signature on this service.Global Express Guaranteed is the fastest and most expensive option. It's actually a FedEx service. So they provide a door to door delivery. Most countries run 1–3 business days. You must have the recipients phone number to ship this way. And you'll be asked to provide an invoice, even if it's just documents. That allows FedEx to bypass Customs and that allows them to get it there so quickly. The downside is the cost.That's it. Our 4 options for international mailing. Hope that helps!
How is the custom in USA if I am buying from China bulks of products that cost around 10$ each? Any difference between when I ship products to when I travel with them in my suitcase?
Huh? I'm reeeeally curious about what you bought. Kung Pao chicken?Let's suppose it's something legal. Please promise me it's something legal!Are you US citizens or visitors? All I wrote here probably only apply to foreign visitors.As a foreigner, all I have to do is filling out the customs declaration formon airplane (and I-94 form, but that's irrelevant), handing it to custom staff, then they just let me pass. I believe as long as the whole value of all goods is under $5'000 (or $10'000? I'm not sure about it), there shouldn't be any problem.Here is a sample custom declaration form.http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trave...Update: If you put them in checked luggage, you probably need to ask the airline what and how much you can. Just go check their official website.(I don't know if American custom will check your luggage again.They probably will.)If you put them in your carry-on luggage, you need pass the airport security with them.
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