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hopeful 4 XMas

Thinking ahead about POE and Immigration hours of operation

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Sooner or later we must all get to the point where we are trying to schedule airline flights.

I figure now while we are waiting is a good time to look ahead and know what i have to work around when the time comes.

So I ask, do we or does my fiancee take a red eye and arrive at a U.S. airport at 5:30 am or 1:00pm or 7:00pm and if so what about their connector flight. Will we or my fiancee miss her connector or get stuck in the airport all night waiting for the immigrations office to open??

Question being what are the hours operation for immigration offices at the airports?

I searched and saw many discussions about the POE but did not find anywhere where there were any links to show what the hours of operations are for the airports immigrations. Surely they have certain hours where the immigrant and non-immgrant visa proceesing. One would think this not a 24hr a day operation like normal entry. Has anyone read where or found where such hours are posted.

I searched CBP site and Immigration and did not see any cpear answers.

The airport we are looking in particular if JFK. And are looking at coming in on a red eye arriving at 5:30am we would then have to switch over to Laguardia and leave out at either 8:45 am, 10:45am or mid afternoon.

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Lainie is correct, Immigration will always be there. Even if the flight gets delayed, they will be there. Book the flights that suits you, do not worry about immigration.


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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I am not sure about JFK, but when flying into LAX from Australia, we had to wait until 8 am local time to de-plane for immigration.


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Well i have flown internationally many times myself and never to wait to de-plane or anything to through immigration. I have arrived as early as 4:30am and as late as 11:30pm.

But just so everyone is clear. I am not asking about normal immigration where you use your passport and they ask a few questions.

My question is about the part where the fiancee has to give them the mystery packet and go through the brief interview and such at the POE. Are there specific hours of operation, that if you arrive outside of those hours you have to sit and wait until the arrive, say at 7:00am to get that part processed??

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Aruadha - I have flown into LAX many times, arriving around 6am, and never had to wait for immigration to "open". It's usually been jam-packed, with many big international flights arriving at the same time. Sometimes it takes an hour or two of waiting in line. Perhaps it was so busy that they made you wait for it to clear, or maybe there was something going on at that time, but I can say for certain they do not wait to open at 8am.

Hopeful 4xmas - I understand your question. But there is no difference between your fiancee arriving in the US on the K-1 and every other US citizen/visitor/green card holder/other arrival arriving at the POE. There are different lines for different types of arrivals. Your fiancee will go through immigration inspection just like everyone else. They will most likely take her packet right there, at the entry point where they ask questions and take fingerprints/photos of all arrivals who are not US citizens. Most people on the K-1 are processed within a few minutes. A few are sent to secondary, but it's my impression that's uncommon. There may be a separate line for new immigrants, but it's all in the same inspection area.

However, it is a very good idea to make sure there is enough time to get through immigration and get to the connecting flight, because if it is busy, or she does get pulled into secondary, it can take some time. Allow 2-3 hours, perhaps more depending on the airport.

Edited by Lainie B

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Lainie -Thanks, as I stated above while I was reading on VJ I saw there were some delays in immigration for those arriving during the busy hours. and when I went to the immigration website I could not determine if there were special hours or not for the unique cases like K1.

So I started to wander, having traveled extensively at times, I too never had a problem with immigration being open, there were and have been backups, but I have found that there is usually a little wait where ever you go for immigration.

Just as a side note, in my research I noted that when the U.S. citizen went over and flew back with the beneficiary fiancée immigration seemed rubber stamp it and it went faster. The others seemed to take a little longer and more questions were asked.

Also a friend who went through this ten years ago said his fiancée was detained for an hour and asked many questions, she missed her connector flight but immigration helped her get on the next one to her destination.

now my next question is for those U.S. citizens who flew over to come back with their fiancee, did you go through the same immigration line as your fiancée did or did you go through the normal line for returning U.S. citizens somehow skirt over and join your fiancée or how is that done.

once again just thinking ahead, I know it will be a few more months, but I like to know as much as I can way ahead of time on things it is the way my mind works. I do not like to wait until the last minute to start trying to figure things out.

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Just as a side note, in my research I noted that when the U.S. citizen went over and flew back with the beneficiary fiancée immigration seemed rubber stamp it and it went faster. The others seemed to take a little longer and more questions were asked.

Flip of the coin; no guarantee it's faster. My husband POE'd at SFO on his own. We left hours for him to safely get through for his connecting flight, based on what we'd read. It was his fastest go through immigration ever - less than 10 minutes.

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You would go through the "US Citizens" line and your fiancée will go through the "Non-Citizens" line. You should arrange to meet after she goes through immigration processing, maybe at luggage claim/recheck (if you have a connecting flight you'll have to claim your luggage and then re-check it to go on through the system to your end destination.) I would allow at least 2 hours on the connecting flight time, just to make sure you've got enough time to make your connection. If it goes fast, you can wander around. If it seems like you'll miss your flight because of immigration processing, you can always go to the airline counter and alert them that you'll need to re-book.


"Wherever you go, you take yourself with you." --Neil Gaiman

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I flew into LAX around 7pm in July 2014 for POE. When I asked about secondary processing, the CBP guy who looked through my paperwork said that secondary processing would only be necessary if there were queries arising from my file.

I echo the previous comments, book the flight most convenient for you and don't worry about "opening hours" for "immigration."

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Yeah we got trough all the paperwork and finger printing )with ink! not those modern scanners!) before our lugage was even on the belt.


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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Yeah we got trough all the paperwork and finger printing )with ink! not those modern scanners!) before our lugage was even on the belt.

good to know, but did the sponsor go through the same immigration line as the beneficiary.

I read where people do that to help alleviate any questioning and delays caused by immigration asking lots of questions.

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Yes- me (beneficiary), husband (sponsor) and 8 months old twins, who were sleeping in slings at the time.


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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