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Bob holds a French passport, a US green card, and is visiting India on an e-Visa (formerly known as tourist visa). He flew to India directly from the US. When flying back from India to the US, does Bob have to take any action immigration-wise?

I'm asking as Bob was told when checking in his flight back that he was supposed to have asked for some kind of clearance at any US embassy in India.


Answering the comments:

  • Bob was allowed to check-in, after the airline employee called the embassy and waited 30 minutes for clearance. Bob was outside the US for three weeks. None of the travel documents had expired.
  • The airline was Air India. Bob did indeed mention to the employees (4 employees got involved) that the green card should be enough to enter the US. Bob was told several times by the employees that he should have called the US embassy before taking the flight. No clear explanation was given to him despite repeatedly asking for clarification
  • Was Bob allowed to check in? Has his green card expired or has he been out of the US for an extended period of time? – Zach Lipton Sep 18 '18 at 17:12
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    Weird. It sounds like the airline (or its employee) doesn't know what a green card represents. – phoog Sep 18 '18 at 17:31
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    @phoog it was Air India. Bob did indeed mention to the employees (4 employees got involved) that the green card should be enough to enter the US. Bob was told several times by the employees that he should have called the US embassy before taking the flight. No clear explanation was given to him despite repeatedly asking for clarification. – Franck Dernoncourt Sep 18 '18 at 17:34
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    Perhaps they are under a delusion that someone with an ESTA-eligible passport needs some kind of explicit authorization to fly to the US without ESTA even if they have a visa or green card. Or maybe the airline did submit the passport information to the US advance passenger information system, perhaps without including the green card in the record, and received a "do not board" message. – phoog Sep 18 '18 at 18:42
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    @phoog They only use TIMATIC, but there's something called TIMATIC AutoCheck, which, when the travel document is swiped, generates an OK/not OK result based on the TIMATIC info. IATA is careful to program it correctly for this purpose. As such, "your" check-in guy must've been using AutoCheck (not all airports have it, even in the EU), but the staff in India likely didn't in "Bob's" case and/or are simply plain amateurs (far from uncommon) – Crazydre Sep 18 '18 at 20:29
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The check-in staff were amateurs, period.

Yes, you need to supply SecureFlight data through the airline (this is done online when checking in at the latest), but no other clearance, not even a passport, is needed, only a valid Green card (or expired for that matter, if it's a 10-year card).

  • Thanks. "you need to supply SecureFlight data through the airline" -> Just to clarify: the passenger has nothing to do and the airline employees take care of everything related to SecureFlight? – Franck Dernoncourt Sep 19 '18 at 7:16
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    @FranckDernoncourt You provide it, normally at the time of booking (it's your name, date of birth and sex) – Crazydre Sep 19 '18 at 11:24

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