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US immigration: when did they end separate lines for US citizens/green card holders?

US immigration: when did they end separate lines for US citizens/green card holders?

Old Jun 25, 18, 7:59 am
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US immigration: when did they end separate lines for US citizens/green card holders?

I remember in the past US airports had a separate faster line for US citizens and permanent residents. Does anyone remember when they stopped this practice and why?
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Old Jun 26, 18, 2:37 pm
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I haven't been in a U.S. airport that doesn't have a separate line for U.S. citizens. The change I've noticed is that neither permanent residents nor family members of U.S. citizens are allowed to use the citizen line anymore - sending our entire family through the non-citizen line, because my wife is "only" a permanent resident.
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Old Jun 26, 18, 4:16 pm
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Hmm, well I stand corrected if that's the case, I thought I saw mixed lines in the airports I've been in.
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Old Jun 26, 18, 4:20 pm
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IME, it's a crap shot. As an LPR I've been through any and all of the lines before. Once in ATL, they had the whole plane line up in the (up to then) empty non-citizen cueing, and then had the next plane all go through the citizen line, in front of our aircraft. When the machine gave me the X, but nothing to my citizen hubby, a TSO directed us to the same (citizen) line (my husband asked her nicely and very respectfully to stay with me, not sure if that changed the outcome). Total time through immigration and customs: 2h20m! Recently in SLC, our plane was the only one in the immigration area, citizen & LPR's used the same line, which was a 30 second wait, while the non-citizen line was maybe 1.5 minutes, so much better than ATL. Maybe it was just the luck of lack of other int'l flights landing, but the smaller airport, more efficient layout and lack of ATL craziness, made SLC so much easier as a port of entry.
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Old Jun 26, 18, 4:40 pm
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I think each situation varies by airport. It might be helpful to mention which airports you've been through. At Seattle-Tacoma, the last time I went through, they had separate lines labeled as "US Citizens and Permanent Resident" and "All Others, including Visa Waiver Program." The first line went to rows of kiosks and then, for LPRs, to a smaller collection of agents in booths for the reentry interview and biometrics collection. (US citizens could take the kiosk receipt and show it to leave.) The second line went only to a larger collection of agents in booths, no kiosks. There was also a third bypass line for NEXUS, Global Entry, and SENTRI holders that went to a different set of kiosks.
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Old Jun 26, 18, 4:48 pm
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Originally Posted by altabello View Post
IME, it's a crap shot.
I agree, as an ex-pat US citizen who enters with my family of visiting foreign nationals, it seems to differ by airport and change over time.

(Luckily, we all have Global Entry now, making the issue moot for us.)
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Old Jun 27, 18, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by wesmills View Post
It might be helpful to mention which airports you've been through.
Ah, good idea. EWR, ORD and IAD. All three had only mixed lines that I saw.

It was curious to me because separate lines can be quite a lot faster. US citizens and green card holders have guaranteed entry and are processed differently and more quickly than everyone else. Separate lines make a lot of sense.

Except if a different motive were in play. Not having a separate line for US citizens might make sense if you were trying to incentivize people to enroll in Global Entry.

On a side note, I never use those kiosks, I just walk right by them and go straight to an immigration officer with my passport and a paper customs form. I haven't looked at the law, but I'm assuming the kiosks are not found in law, so, at least for a citizen, there is no legal requirement to interact with the kiosks for entry, so they're optional. Based on my observations, they are slower to use than the paper form.
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Old Jun 27, 18, 10:51 am
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ORD definitely has a separate line for US citizens, in the form of the line for the kiosks. That's the only method of clearing immigration and customs at ORD that I've used recently. There may also be a separate line for US citizens who opt not to use the kiosks, but I can't say for certain, because I haven't looked for it.
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Old Jun 27, 18, 3:11 pm
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If you have Mobile Passport. You still go through US Citizen & permanent resident lines. You scan it and go. They asked you a question and off to customs. You have scan it again and go.
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Old Jun 27, 18, 11:31 pm
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U.S. citizen line at DFW is citizens *only*. Our family of 3 citizens plus my LPR wife gets sent to the non-citizen line every time.
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Old Jun 28, 18, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by PlatinumScum View Post
U.S. citizen line at DFW is citizens *only*. Our family of 3 citizens plus my LPR wife gets sent to the non-citizen line every time.
"Who" sends you off to the non-citizen line? Some civilian airport worker tending the entry to the corral? Or an officer seated at a desk?
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Old Jun 28, 18, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by PlatinumScum View Post
U.S. citizen line at DFW is citizens *only*. Our family of 3 citizens plus my LPR wife gets sent to the non-citizen line every time.
I find this bizarre when most airports send Canadians through the US Citizen line but don't send their own LPRS through it. I'm guessing its to do with fingerprinting though (As Both US Citizens and Canadians don't need to provide prints, where as LPRS do.)
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Old Jun 28, 18, 6:16 pm
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Originally Posted by TribalistMeathead View Post
ORD definitely has a separate line for US citizens, in the form of the line for the kiosks. That's the only method of clearing immigration and customs at ORD that I've used recently. There may also be a separate line for US citizens who opt not to use the kiosks, but I can't say for certain, because I haven't looked for it.
Same for IAD. Citizens go right for the APC kiosks, Global Entry goes farther right for their line, non-citizens go left to go through traditional lines. At least at the main terminal, I haven't a clue what the setup is at the midfield Immigration and Customs facility

What the OP is reporting doesn't seem to be factually accurate, unless he's somehow mistakenly going through the non-citizen line, or refusing to use the kiosks.
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Old Jun 28, 18, 6:22 pm
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Originally Posted by YadiMolina View Post
"Who" sends you off to the non-citizen line? Some civilian airport worker tending the entry to the corral? Or an officer seated at a desk?
The person who directs people to lines, in order to talk to an officer at a desk. I'm sure it's a contractor, but it hardly matters, as there's no way to escalate without making a scene.
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Old Jun 29, 18, 10:05 am
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JFK T1 last weekend the APC kiosks were for USC, CAC, LPRs and non-first time ESTA visitors. Not sure if the conventional lines were segregated any more.
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