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JFK Immigration

Stroud...
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JFK Immigration

We are traveling to NYC in just over a weeks time, can anyone tell me a little about the immigration system in JFK. How long does it take to get through, what to expect and any tips for first timers through American Immigration.

Many thanks from a very excited individual. Also is the weather good at the moment. Here in the UK is very wet, windy expected to get worse before getting any better!

Thanks alot

San

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Durham
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1. Re: JFK Immigration

Hmmmm JFK immigration.....depending on how many flights arrive at the same time depends on how big the queue is - expect about 45 mins. Once you get called to the booth a very serious person (I have yet to find one with a sense of humour - but then their job is important I guess) will take your passports and check them. You will then be required to give a finger print using a computerised pad and then they take an eye scan using what looks like a web cam - all painless and all over in a couple of minutes. That's it really.

Check www.wunderground.com for weather =)

Durham
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2. Re: JFK Immigration

oh and one more thing - I don't know how you are intending to get to the city but don't be tempted by the guys in the arrivals lounge offering car services - just say no or ignore and go out to the taxi rank or to the transportation desk :)

waterlooville uk
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3. Re: JFK Immigration

Don't want this to sound like I'm stating the obvious, but make sure all your paperwork is in order before you reach the booth. They don't like it if you get it wrong!

If you are travelling on the visa waiver program each family member must complete an I94-W (these are available at check in or on the aircraft). As you are first timers it's worth spending a bit of time to get it right and I would suggest as early in the flight as possible before you get too tired. You will need your passports to complete these so make sure they are accessible during the flight - or do what I do and make a note of the passport numbers, date and place of issue, perhaps in the back of a diary or whatever; saves all that fumbling.

There is also a white customs form which has to be completed, but this is just one per family.

Have the I94Ws ready with your passports as you approach the booth. Oh and keep behind the line until you are called forward. The immigration official will staple part of the form into each passport and retain the rest. The customs form will be collected a little later.

It all sounds horrendous but it isn't really.

When you leave the US you have to surrender the portion of the I94W which is in your passport - it is your responsibility to make sure you hand it in, as my husband found out when he inadvertently came home with his!. He's been 'cleared' now though.

Hope you have a wonderful time.

England
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4. Re: JFK Immigration

LOL Rgd the comment about the authority guys having no sense of humor, when me and my friend came for new years 05 we had a really nice guy who said I had very nice fingerprints and told my friend he "liked her eyeball". LOL They are scary just try not to get too nervous and stressed.

Stroud...
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5. Re: JFK Immigration

thanks for all your replies, I will make a note as suggested before we fly and I assume I can collect these forms from Heathrow before we leave - is this correct?

thanks again :-)

Durham
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6. Re: JFK Immigration

you'll be given them on the plane :)

Stroud...
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7. Re: JFK Immigration

thank you.

Leicester UK
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8. Re: JFK Immigration

I don't want to scare you but I had a pretty horrible time. It will take too long to write about it but if you search for my trip report - family with young children part one - you should find it.

New York City, New...
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9. Re: JFK Immigration

I agree with the others on it depends on how many flights are arriving at the same time as yours.

Although I am a US Citizen, the non US line is right next to ours. I usually arrive back in the states around 9 pm (21:00) and it takes me a good 30 minutes with us being the only flight.

When you arrive and go through your terminal the que is usually to the right. That is the passport control, and remember there is no cell phone usage or cameras allowed, you will get yelled at if you pull out your cell phone.

After you go through the passport section, where they stamp you and collect the form you filled out on the plane, it is the baggage check. You would have already collected your checked luggage at this point, so after this step, you're done!

They are very nice, so just smile and don't make any jokes about bringing stuff into the country (my dad, who is a US citizen but born in Greece with a very thick accent) once made the mistake of joking that his cigars were Cuban, they weren't, but the Dpt of Homeland Security employee did not find it funny.

Just be patient and take some deep breaths - you'll be in the city in no time!

Stroud...
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10. Re: JFK Immigration

thank you all and I will check your report out Snow white