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JFK T4 arrival first time ESTA, returning ESTA

JFK T4 arrival first time ESTA, returning ESTA

Old Jan 16, 19, 4:19 pm
  #1  
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JFK T4 arrival first time ESTA, returning ESTA

Hi!
Sorry, the question might have been previously asked, but didn't find it.

I have an ESTA, with which I have travelled to the US many times. This Saturday I'll arrive to JFK T4 with my little sister. She is under 18, can't speak english that good, and it will be her first time ever in the US, also with an ESTA.

In JFK T4 (when I was there last time in December), there is a separate line for first time ESTA visitors and returning ESTA visitors, with them going to the same line as US citizens, while first time ESTAs are going to the line with other travelers, who travel with Visa.
In other airports (like ORD, LAX, BOS, SFO, EWR) there is no separate line for those who are entering first time with an ESTA.

My question is, can I bring my sister with myself to the returning ESTA line, or we shall go separately? Would there be an error message, if she just went straight to those kiosks? (in T4 for the first time ESTA visitors don't get to use the kiosks, just go straight to see an agent).

Thanks.
e30st is offline  
Old Jun 25, 19, 1:19 am
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I have the same situation coming up soon - I'll be returning ESTA with my wife travelling on a new ESTA.
@e30st : did you find out ? Or if anyone can shed some light Thanks a lot!
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Old Jun 25, 19, 6:15 am
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@offvoice

Yes, I did find out.

In my situation, it was my sister's first ever US trip. So she had to stand in the new ESTA line, and I had to stand there with her. Because they had to get all her fingerprints. When you return with an ESTA, you can just go to the kiosks, where they only check 1 set of your fingers, to match it with your first entry.
If your wife has a new ESTA, but she actually had an ESTA before, she can go to the returning ESTA line. Because her fingerprints are already stored.

Have a safe trip.
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Old Jun 25, 19, 6:18 am
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Great thanks! Didn’t even know that of you had an old ESTA your fingerprints were stored. I went to the new ESTA line with mine (though I did have one from 7 years ago) and they collected my fingerprints nonetheless. Perhaps because new passport. But she’ll be going with the same passport as her previous ESTA so we’ll give the Returning ESTA queue a go.

Thanks again for your feedback!
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