I am an Indian living in Belgium. I am travelling to Seattle via New York JFK airport from Brussels. I am travelling with Delta for both the legs. I have 4 hours(3hr 54min) of stopover time at JFK. My question is can I do my immigration at seattle international airport instead of JFK. I have heard stories of very long queues at JFK for immigration from my colleagues and I am afraid that I will miss my connecting to Seattle if I have to do my immigration at JFK. One more thing, as per my preliminary itinerary my BRU->JFK flight will arrive at terminal 4 and my JFK->SEA flight will depart from terminal 2 of JFK, how can I transfer quickly from terminal 4 to terminal 2. Thanks in advance.


1 Answer 1


No. USA immigration and customs is always at your first stop in the USA, except if you are departing from an airport with pre-clearance. Brussels is not one of those.

The JFK terminals are connected by a train.

  • 4
    In addition I don't believe you can even transit through the US without going through US immigration and customs.
    – Peter M
    May 15, 2016 at 17:00
  • 1
    Doing some more Google, there may be an airside shuttle bus between Terminals 2 and 4, and that would be much better than exiting past security and taking the Airtrain. May 15, 2016 at 17:57
  • 1
    @AndrewLazarus but he will have to go through security again anyway because of the requirement to clear immigration and customs in terminal 4.
    – phoog
    May 15, 2016 at 20:13
  • @phoog Why? At least at some USA terminals, after immigrations and customs there are transfers to domestic flights without going out of the secure zone. May 15, 2016 at 20:24
  • 1
    @MarcinJuraszek: I'm surprised to read about that, because it contradicts what the Seattle airport's site says: "International flights arrive at the South Satellite. Passengers first clear Passport Control and then pick up their checked luggage and proceed to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Passengers then can recheck their bags and either proceed through security screening for connecting flights, or transport via subway to the Main Terminal Baggage Claim to collect their bags." (bolded mine). May 16, 2016 at 0:45

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