I'll be embarking on a business trip with two colleagues, and we're seeking some guidance regarding passport control. Two of us have an ESTA, while the third holds a B2 visa. The challenge is that my colleagues aren't fluent in English.

We're unsure about the appropriate procedure at the passport control queue. Can we go through together, or is it necessary for each of us to undergo the process separately?

Any insight or advice would be greatly appreciated.


2 Answers 2


Passengers with B1/B2 Visas or with ESTA (Visa Waiver Program or VWP) use the same line and can be processed together (I have done this numerous times).

Going through together should be fine. As you approach just tell the CBP officer that you're traveling in a group and your colleagues aren't fluent in English (much the same as you've explained here).

  • 1
    There's (sometimes) a separate line for returning ESTA holders (that is, people who have already entered the US before on ESTA). A B1/B2 visa holder cannot use that line, but a returning ESTA holder can always use the main line regardless. Dec 20, 2023 at 18:09

The officers can always process travellers together.

AFAIK, ESTA queues only concern the use of automated kiosks. There is no issue for ESTA holders to be in the same queue as visitor visa holders, and is normally the case anyway if the ESTA holders have not visited the U.S. since 2008.

  • Yes, the officers have lots of leeway. My American partner, our binational son and I have been processed by the same officer on occasion. Dec 20, 2023 at 13:11

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