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Hopefully a quick question - I am a US citizen currently residing in the UK on a visa. I am traveling to the US with my wife, who is a British citizen. We do not yet share a last name (due to just not filing the paperwork yet and just being married recently).

I've read online that since we are a family we should join the same line together when coming into the US border at the airport. However, because we don't share a last name, would this still apply? Should we just use our own appropriate lines? Would there be any issues with using our own lines?

marked as duplicate by user13044, phoog, Ali Awan, David Richerby, Michael Sep 26 '17 at 13:34

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  • What type of Visa is she travelling on? – Johns-305 Sep 25 '17 at 15:24

You should join the same line. Some things, like the $10,000 cash reporting requirement, apply to the family/group as a whole so they'll want to see you together. The family names don't matter: some people don't change their name when they marry and some countries/cultures have no tradition of doing that, but they are still a family.

  • It's worth noting that people residing apart aren't supposed to share a customs declaration form even if they're related (although a passport inspector once discarded the separate form my girlfriend handed him even though we didn't reside in the same country, so this is obviously not a strict requirement). At help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/441/~/… one may read that the definition of "family" explicitly includes people in an unofficial relationship, so it surely includes spouses with different names. – phoog Jul 25 '18 at 20:26

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