Port of Entry Member Review #16793

Detroit Entry Date: 2019-01-16

Duane & Haney

Review Topic: Port of Entry Review

Pertains to DTW / Detroit Metro Airport.

There were many opinions on "which line" to take with regards to the POE, in the case of Detroit there have been some recent changes, and as far as I could tell, most all passports are being now processed electronically, via automatic kiosks. On the plane from Tokyo (layover) to the USA, I did not see that any immigration / customs forms were handed out.
Either way, according to multiple sources Haney (beneficiary) should either go with me to the USA line, or I with her to the immigration line. In the case of Detroit I was asked to go to the "special" all passport line, which appeared to be a line for special cases, as I could observe and hear students being interviewed, CR-1's, K-1's like us, etc.. When Haney came through last time on her tourist visa, she just went to a kiosk, so it truly appears to be a "special" line in Detroit.
We waited quite a while, at first there were not so many officers or booths opened, then they opened more, but each case seemed to take a long time.
When our turn came, we presented our packet, I went with Haney, both our passports were checked. The whole process did not run very well, from fingerprinting which seemed to take forever and had to be repeated multiple times, to the K-1 visa which presented difficulties to the officer attending to us. He was honest, and said he was having trouble, called a supervisor over for help, but couldn't seem to get Haney's information to "record" in the system, something didn't match up.
After about 20 minutes standing there, we were finally sent to secondary. Our officer told his colleague in secondary that when he entered the visa information the system did not allow him to select K-1, then mentioned the visa was dated 2016. I know Haney has two similar looking visas in her passport (tourist and K-1) and I honestly believe the officer was typing in the info from her tourist visa and mentioned that to him. Either way, after about another 15 minutes in secondary, Haney came out, reported that the process was very quick, and the officer in secondary apologized for the wait. I assume her realized they made a mistake after I pointed out the tourist visa, either way, it was over.

summary: Detroit has a "special line" which we were directed to for the K-1 visa, all the rest go through the kiosks. In our case, the officer made a mistake and typed in the information from Haney's tourist visa, which caused an issue. Beyond that, the fingerprinting was not working very well. The process could have been worse, though. Time from the plane landing until leaving the airport was in total 1.5 hours.

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