We are traveling back to the USA in a few weeks. My parents are traveling with us. We don't know which line to pick during immigration.

My parents have tourist visas. We have permanent resident cards. As far as I know, there are separate lines for permanent residents and visa holders. My parents needs assistance during immigration, because they do not understand English very well.

Do we need to queue with our parents in the line for visa holders, or can our parents come with us in the line for permanent residents, even though they are visa holders?

I would really like to avoid the scenario where they stand in a separate line.

Thank you.

2 Answers 2


CBP prefers to process families together. As green card holders, you can choose the line for permanent residents. Bring your parents with you.

  • 10
    Do you have a reference for that?
    – Mawg
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 12:48
  • 7
    I have had different experience. My wife and I do get separated occasionally because I have global entry and she doesn't. They didn't want me in the same line as her.
    – Hilmar
    Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 13:23
  • 1
    You can also choose the line for non-residents and stay together (as a family). In some airports (DTW for instance), the non-resident line is very often much shorter. Reference: I have heard line control officers announce that families should stay together and choose either line. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 15:09
  • 1
    @Mawg: Unfortunately I don't, other than personal experience (my wife is a US citizen and I'm not). Searching for things like "us immigration family together" today gives a great many results relating to current news events regarding illegal immigrants. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 22:02
  • 1
    @Hilmar: Interesting about Global Entry. Neither my wife nor I have that, but we have been told in no uncertain terms to present ourselves together in the US citizen line at immigration. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 22:03

Here is my update after a recent travel out of the country and back to the U.S.

Our port of entry was Los Angeles Airport. We travelled in a group of four; me and my wife with green card and parents with the B1/B2 visa.

The CBP officer directed us to complete the immigration process together. We even filed only one customs declaration form.

  • WHich line did you go in?
    – Crazydre
    Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 5:01
  • 2
    we went on the list for permanent residents but I think it really doesn't matter. Just pick any line that is the shortest.
    – elixir
    Commented Oct 23, 2018 at 5:32

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