Just to clarify the meaning of the terms (which, I find, helps me keep straight which is going to occur where): Immigration is concerned with the movement of people entering and leaving a country. The US does not have immigration control on departure, but almost all (if not all) other countries do. And every country has this on arrival. Customs is concerned with the movement of goods entering and leaving a country. As said, every country has this, but in many places, you can just walk through a "Green Channel-Nothing To " lane, and never deal with a live customs agent. And I haven't filled out a customs form on arrival in Europe in many years. In the US, everyone goes through one line, and you have to fill out a form and hand it to an agent, whether you have something to or not. Until recently, for all flights arriving from abroad (except Canada and a few Caribbean islands), you had to go through customs and immigration at your first US airport, regardless of your final destination. However, just to confuse us, the US is starting to perform customs and immigration checks in some foreign airports, before departure, so your arrival in the US is like a domestic arrival. This has existed for many years in Canadian airports, but was recently expanded to Ireland, and will be in more airports in the next few years (per a recent New York Times article). And, the one that confuses my mother: Security is concerned with safety, which may involve people or goods. Security screening takes place on departure. When she bought spices in Turkey, her question was "will this be a problem with security?" I explained that unless they thought the spices were actually explosives, they wouldn't care about them, but that customs would be involved. Since spices are not people, immigration wouldn't be involved at all.