I'd like to know what airport this is.

enter image description here In the image there seem to be three lines (besides the two clearly visible ones, the far left one says it's for US citizens, with some other text, and for Canadians)

What's the difference between the US/Canadian and Perm. Resident/returning ESTA/B visa lines (since I assume both lead to the APC kiosks)?

  • A reverse Google Image Search says the image comes from [this Japanese blog post][1]. Google Translate is quite unclear though as it seems to mention a connection in Los Angeles, either on this trip or a previous trip. However, I think we can nail it down to either the TBIT terminal at LAX, one of the JFK terminals, or EWR. Jul 7, 2016 at 6:41
  • Not LAX TBIT, because I was there in January and it Looks very different (no directional signs until you're in the actual hall). JFK possibly - the image gives me a déjà vu Feeling from June 2015, when I was at JFK T4, but the signage was slightly different (there were only two categories: US/Canada/Perm. Resident/Returning ESTA vs. visa-holders/first-time ESTA)
    – Crazydre
    Jul 7, 2016 at 6:53
  • 1
    @Crazydre they have been expanding the categories of people eligible to use the kiosks, so different signage after 12 or 13 months wouldn't be surprising.
    – phoog
    Jul 7, 2016 at 7:03
  • @ZachLipton The blog post you point to, talks about this being in LAX with no similar scheme in place for New York. Jul 7, 2016 at 9:18
  • @TheWanderingCoder I think the blog post talks about it being in New York (because that's where it is), but is saying that the author of the post previously visited Los Angeles and used a kiosk there and that's why he/she was able to use the returning ESTA line in New York. Jul 7, 2016 at 9:21

1 Answer 1


I searched for the screens showing wait times and found this article with the screens in at JFK T4. Also an image of the same corridor:

Permanent resident, returning ESTA and B1/B2 holders can use the kiosks.
All other visa holders and first time ESTA visitors cannot.

I believe there might be separate APC queues for US/Canadian citizens and visitors. That could be the left most sign.

  • 1
    I just used the kiosk at JFK T4 a couple of weeks ago. Can confirm that they had at least very similar signs and three lines to different end points.
    – mike3996
    Jul 7, 2016 at 10:20
  • Great example of terrible signage. "Returning ESTA" means returning on an ESTA you've used before, or returning when you've ever used an ESTA before? In this situation I have a high change of using the wrong queue and getting unfairly scolded by the rude and denigrating USA border officials. Jul 7, 2016 at 12:19
  • 1
    Using the non-APC line ("First time ESTA") is always fine.
    – neo
    Jul 7, 2016 at 13:12
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    @Crazydre Although it works I don't think you are supposed to do that.
    – neo
    Jul 7, 2016 at 15:19
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    @progo What was the difference between the US/Canadian and Perm. Resident/Returning ESTA/B visa Queues? Did they lead to a different set of kiosks?
    – Crazydre
    Jul 10, 2016 at 4:17

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