Airports with Unified Immigration/Customs Screening

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At least a few U.S. airports appear to have unified immigration (passport check) and customs (baggage check) for GE, MPC, APC, and and all others. Instead of a process involving a CBP check of your passport (or reviewing your GE slip) followed by collection of checked bags and then questions from a customs agent re food, other things to declare, etc., now there's a single check by a CBP agent immediately after the GE kiosk or other check (mobile passport, regular line). After that, you're free to proceed unless there's a reason for CBP to direct a secondary screening.

After claiming your luggage, all exit through one exit which is overseen by CBP, but similar to European "nothing to declare" lines, no one is stopping you (unless you are pulled aside for a secondary).

Airports with unified screening

  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Boston (BOS)
  • Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
  • Houston (IAH)
  • Miami (MIA)
  • Newark (EWR)
    • Terminal B
  • New York JFK (JFK)
    • Terminal 1
    • Terminal 4
    • Terminal 8
  • San Diego (SAN)
  • San Francisco (SFO)
  • Washington Dulles (IAD)
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Old Apr 9, 18, 11:25 am
  #1  
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Airports with Unified Immigration/Customs Screening

I think I screwed something up when re-entering the country this weekend… and want to make sure that it won’t negatively impact my Global Entry membership going forward. I am a US citizen & Global Entry holder, nothing fancy or special about my situation. I also did not have anything to declare.

I entered the country yesterday after a flight from a country that does not have US pre-clearance. When I landed, I went through Primary CBP area using the Global Entry kiosk, and visited with the immigration officer, who took my GE print out and I went on my merry way. I had checked a bag, so had to collect the bag, before going through the CBP Secondary area.

Here’s where it went off track – once I collected by bag, I was rushing to my tight (but legal) connection and did not end up going through Secondary CBP area – there was sign directing me to the terminals, which I followed (there was a few other people walking that way, as well) and was not stopped before getting on the train to the next terminal.

Once I got off that train, I realized I had screwed up (I was deposited back to the check-in area, pre-security), so ended up working with the airline to re-check the bag and make my flight, but again, was literally running to my connecting flight as they were announcing my name for last call before they shut the door. As soon as I got onto the plane, I was like, “oh, CRAP, I never hit part 2 of the entry process”. Is it worth connecting with CBP to alert them of the issue? I do not really want to point fingers at the airline / airport, but I also don’t want my account to be flagged and be put on the naughty list. I assume there is a check and balance on CBP’s end to realize I did not go through Customs, but want to get ahead of this, should it be an issue I need to rectify. I’m sure in the GE application process, I signed off on following proper protocol when entering the country, but in my defense...it was totally an oversight and the area was clearly not secured to the point where I could even make the mistake I did. Thanks!!
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Old Apr 9, 18, 1:22 pm
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You entered the country legally, immigration collected your GE slip but somehow managed not to go through customs. Sounds like CBP has an issue not you. As immigration collected your GE slip I would not worry an about anything as my experience is that immigration checks it but customs collects it. So you have given them documentation needed.

As for reporting the issue of being able to leave without going through customs - I would not. Apt to be a rabbit hole.
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Old Apr 9, 18, 1:52 pm
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That seems to be the procedure at several airports.

It has been discussed in the How does Global Entry work at your airport? thread.

Here are a few examples:
Originally Posted by Michilander View Post
Yup, just came through IAD and had to stand in a line of about 8-10 folks waiting to see an agent after leaving the kiosk. Agent asked us two or three quick questions. Whole thing did not take 10 minutes.

However, after collecting our luggage, there was no baggage check line like there used to be. Overall, we probably saved time over the last few trips through IAD.

Is this happening elsewhere, or unique to IAD?
Originally Posted by paperwastage View Post
JFK has that too (CBP agent asking questions at the kiosk exit)

but there's no check for anyone (GE or nonGE) after you get bags - you just walk out (unless you get stopped)
Originally Posted by nrr View Post
When I return to the US from overseas I normally clear CBP (via my GE) at JFK T8. Up until this past November, after you got your GE slip you would proceed to the baggage claim area collect baggage (or if c/o only) proceed to a special GE lane and hand your ticket to the agent and exit.
A month ago they changed things: after I got my GE slip an agent (stationed near the GE terminals) collected my slip and I proceeded to the baggage area; in effect all pax GE (or "others") are on equal status at this point. This certainly speeds up exiting customs, unless you are specifically stopped (for inspection) you just exit.
Is this the system at other airports?
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Old Apr 9, 18, 2:50 pm
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You entered the US legally. EOS.

Never, ever, ever (ever!) contact CBP to say you might have done something wrong. They *will* create a problem for you even if one didn't exist. It is built into their DNA and makes their numbers look good if they can point to someone that "did wrong" but that "they caught". Never give them the excuse.
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Old Apr 9, 18, 3:12 pm
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Thanks, everyone - appreciate the feedback. You’ve definitely put me at ease, and appreciate the community response. Definitely will NOT be doing anything further. Many thanks, again!
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Old Apr 14, 18, 11:46 am
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No Custom Officials?

I havent been to the states for a while. At JFK after I passed through immigration, I was worried cause the officer took my global entry paper receipt that marked as nothing for customs. After getting my luggage, I notice there are no custom officers checking and everyone just walked straight out (this includes foreign nationals). Not sure if this normal protocol but seemed a bit weird.
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Old Apr 14, 18, 12:19 pm
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Unless you stood there and watched the processing of all passengers, you can't say that they all left the Customs area without encountering a CBP Officer post-immigration.

More likely is that the standard random (and sometimes not so random) passengers are gently pulled aside and searched, sometimes quite thoroughly.

Other than the people who are targeted -- easily noted at immigration -- the percentage can be quite low.
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Old Apr 14, 18, 1:28 pm
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@YoungSoloTraveler, I've merged your post into an existing thread discussing that topic.

That seems to be the norm at several airports; I've had a few similar experiences in MIA about a year ago.

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Old Apr 16, 18, 9:43 am
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I had this experience at IAH back in November.
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Old Apr 22, 18, 3:50 pm
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It seems they've eliminated a separate check at customs, at least at JFK. After the GE kiosks, an officer looks at the GE receipt and passport, then no further checks for GE or anyone else. This eliminates a prior advantage of GE, at least for JFK.

Is the best strategy to use the mobile app, then see which line seems faster, GE or MP?

There were references to issues with MP app when you are bringing in permitted food. In that case, just use GE?

The FAQ for the MP app includes:

"It is great to use both the “Trusted Traveler” programs and the Mobile Passport app so you can choose the shortest line and breeze through Customs on your preferred program. Your results may vary depending on the airport and the time of day." https://mobilepassport.us/#question18

which seems to confirm that using the app doesn't shut you out from GE and that the answer to my question about the best strategy is "yes".

Last edited by richarddd; Apr 22, 18 at 6:27 pm
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Old Apr 23, 18, 5:05 am
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THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BEFORE IT WAS MERGED INTO AN EXISTING THREAD

Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
It seems they've eliminated a separate check at customs, at least at JFK. After the GE kiosks, an officer looks at the GE receipt and passport, then no further checks for GE or anyone else. This eliminates a prior advantage of GE, at least for JFK.
I don't understand - did something get worse for GE or easier for non-GE? You're saying they no longer check anyone after passport control?

Is the best strategy to use the mobile app, then see which line seems faster, GE or MP?

There were references to issues with MP app when you are bringing in permitted food. In that case, just use GE?

The FAQ for the MP app includes:

"It is great to use both the “Trusted Traveler” programs and the Mobile Passport app so you can choose the shortest line and breeze through Customs on your preferred program. Your results may vary depending on the airport and the time of day." https://mobilepassport.us/#question18

which seems to confirm that using the app doesn't shut you out from GE and that the answer to my question about the best strategy is "yes".
How does that work practically? Fill out the MP info and then see if the line is longer for MPC or GE, and if it's for MPC, go to the GE kiosk and just do it again?

If that's the case, what about in airports where GE has customs line bypasses but not MPC? If you've done MPC because the GE line was longer, you've lost out the customs line benefit.

Last edited by joshwex90; Apr 24, 18 at 1:14 am
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Old Apr 23, 18, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by joshwex90 View Post
I don't understand - did something get worse for GE or easier for non-GE? You're saying they no longer check anyone after passport control?
Yes - that seems to be the change CBP is making at a number of airports (or at least a few). So what that means is that regardless of what tool you use (regular line, MP, GE) once you've been processed by the CBP agent (who may spend more or less time with you based on which tool you use), you're free to collect any checked luggage and continue on your way (unless, of course, there's a secondary screening for your luggage as a result of random selection or suspicion). In other words, the added advantage of cutting the customs line with GE is gone because the customs line is now gone . . . at least at those certain airports.
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Old Apr 23, 18, 7:54 am
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List of Airports with Unified Immigration/Customs Screening (for GE and others)

Non-duplicative content moved to wiki after moderator merge.

Last edited by drewguy; Apr 23, 18 at 8:58 am
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Old Apr 23, 18, 8:38 am
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Originally Posted by drewguy View Post
At least a couple of U.S. airports appear to have unified immigration (passport check) and customs (baggage check) for GE and others. Instead of a process involving a CBP check of your passport (or reviewing your GE slip) followed by collection of checked bags and then quesitons from a customs agent re food, other things to declare, etc., now there's a single check by a CBP agent immediately after the GE kiosk or other check (mobile passport, regular line). After that, you're free to proceed unless there's a reason for CBP to direct a secondary screening.

Compiling a list of airports using this approach to help people assess the advantage of GE, MPC, or othewise.

Airports with unified screening
Washington Dulles (IAD)
New York JFK (JFK)
@drewguy,

I've merged your post into an existing thread discussing this topic.

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Old May 23, 18, 12:22 pm
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I traveled through JFK in April and some of them were still getting used to this unified processing thing.

After we were told to go to the baggage area, someone ran after us to collect the global entry forms (about 20 of us went through without anyone collecting our GE form).
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