I will be traveling to the United States with my wife and four children (aged 8-14). I am a US citizen but my wife and children are not.

Can they come in the US citizen immigration line with me or should I join then in the non-citizen line?

As far as I know we will all be filling out a joint CBP form.

  • 2
    It is rather unusual for a US citizen to have children who.are.not.US.citizens. Are you certain that they are not?
    – phoog
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 10:54
  • 2
    To further explain phoog's comment, in many cases the children of a US citizen automatically become US citizens at birth. If that applies, they will be citizens no matter whether they have been issued US passports or not. Commented May 15, 2018 at 11:20
  • The children may be the children of the OP’s spouse
    – Traveller
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 12:45
  • they are my childern but are not citizens - citizenship is only transferred automatically if the citizen parent has lived in the US for five years, two of them after the agre of 14 - so if an american born person has moved abroad before the age 16, his kids will not be citizens.
    – hnt
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 11:07

2 Answers 2


Since you are traveling as a family unit, you should all stay together, weather it be through the automated lines or seeing an officer.

The Citizen/Non-Citizen distinction is simply for crowd management. All CBP Officers can process all entries. They can follow you through the Citizen lane if you need to see an Officer.

However, if they qualify, certainly use the Mobile Passport Kiosk.


The US line, and at most airports this involves an APC kiosk which makes you exempt from having to fill out the CBP form at all (instead, the kiosk receipt is stamped by immigration and then collected by customs)

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