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?

  • What type of Visa is she travelling on?
    – DTRT
    Sep 25, 2017 at 15:24

1 Answer 1


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, 2018 at 20:26

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .