jhooper
Posts: 5560
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How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Wed Dec 31, 2003 10:49 am

I'm picking up a friend at IAH airport on Jan. 15 around 7:30pm. He has an Australia passport w/ U.S. Resident Alien status (green card), and he's traveling from Sri Lanka. About how much time will it take him to clear U.S. immigration and customs?
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ConcordeBoy
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Wed Dec 31, 2003 10:55 am

Since no flights from Australia nor Sri Lanka arrive in Houston nonstop... where's he coming from?

If arriving at any other point in the country than IAH, then you have no need to worry. If coming from LGW/CDG or some place like that, then it could vary (depending on other arriving traffic, his documentation being in order, etc)
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LH423
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Wed Dec 31, 2003 11:08 am

If he has a green card it shouldn't take him too long depending on several factors such as how busy the terminal is at the time and where he's seated on the plane. INS tends to process Americans and permenent residents faster and won't open up all lanes to foreigners until all US citizens and permenent residents are processed.

LH423
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jhooper
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Wed Dec 31, 2003 1:36 pm

where's he coming from?

He's coming by way of Germany.
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N670UW
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Wed Dec 31, 2003 2:05 pm

I had to pass through immigration at IAH coming in from MTY last summer. It was during the afternoon when all the European arrivals were coming in. The immigration hall had masses of people, but they had several stations open and I didn't have to wait more than 15 or 20 minutes. They had lines for U.S. citizens and lines for non-U.S. citizens.


670
 
Continental
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Wed Dec 31, 2003 2:08 pm

I passed through ORD off of LH flights. We ALWAYS get stuck with the LOT Polish flight, they only make the lines longer! So depending on how many intl' flights are coming in at that time, there could be long lines!

co
 
jhooper
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Wed Dec 31, 2003 2:13 pm

I personally haven't been out of the country since 9/11, but I remember it took almost no time to clear U.S. Immigration and Customs at IAH. Obviously, it's a totally different ballgame now.
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Lt-AWACS
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Wed Dec 31, 2003 2:15 pm

I've found Houston to be one of the fastest Customs around (granted this is as a US citizen).

Chicago has always been good for me, Miami-not so much.....

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A330Fan1
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Wed Dec 31, 2003 6:45 pm

Hey, happy holidays & happy NEW YEARS EVE!!!

I can't say anything for IAH, but I can for LAX. Customs at LAX is usually not too bad in my experience, even if there are a lot of people. At most, normally I was out about 1.5 hours after the flight landed - including customs/immigration, baggage, the whole deal...when I had some complications, once or twice, it took about 2-2.5 hours...otherwise, about 1.5 hours...not too long, but not as short as I'd like to be either, hehe  Smile

-A330Fan1
 
artsyman
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Wed Dec 31, 2003 6:52 pm

If he is coming in at 7.30 at night, he isn't coming via Germany. The latest transatlantic to arrive into IAH at night is the CO flight from AMS. The LH flight from Germany arrives in early afternoon usually around 1.30-2pm. If he is arriving when you say he is, then he will have made a US stop along the way, and with that will have cleared customs at that point.

For the sake of discussion, if he was arriving around 2pm or 4-5pm which are the busiest times to arrive from an International standpoint, then customs takes between 5min and 25 min to clear depending on the traffic.
Jeremy
 
COAB767
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Wed Dec 31, 2003 6:52 pm

Jhooper,
If your friend is coming from Germany, I'm pretty sure he'll be flying Lufthansa and I believe that have a non-stop flight. So yeah he would have to clear custom's and immigration at IAH.
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artsyman
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Thu Jan 01, 2004 10:09 am

If your friend is coming from Germany, I'm pretty sure he'll be flying Lufthansa and I believe that have a non-stop flight. So yeah he would have to clear custom's and immigration at IAH.
*****

Not if he is arriving at 7.30 at night he wont be.

j
 
nonrvsmdmf
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Thu Jan 01, 2004 10:16 am

I live in Houston. IAH customs is great. Last time through 15 minutes.
I did not forget...I just misplaced the thought...
 
jhooper
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Thu Jan 01, 2004 6:01 pm

Actually, after doing a little further research, his flight from Germany (same flight number) stopson the east coast before continuing onto IAH. So I guess he'd clear immigration before the flight continued on. So I guess it's really not a issue and I'll just be there when the flight lands. Thanks anyway.
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dutchjet
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Thu Jan 01, 2004 6:15 pm

As mentioned, pax arriving in the US clear customs at the first port of entry, Thus, its important to find out where his flight into IAH originates.

With code Orange being in effect, an Australian with US residency coming from Sri Lanka may get a little special attention, so an extra few minutes may be required......that could screw up a connection, be aware of that. Also, something unexpected could happen......a BA flight into IAD got held up for about 4 hours last night due to some undiclosed special circumstances. Hope for the best and prepare for some inconvenience due to the world situation.
 
TexAussie
Posts: 142
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Thu Jan 01, 2004 6:27 pm

Arriving into IAH in the international terminal in the evening should be fine (after the big flurry of afternoon trans-Atlantic activity). Of course, sounds like your friend will have already cleared customs at the point of entry and will not be held up in Texas.

I think IAH Intl arrivals is a mess. I have come in on AF when KLM, BA and several COs all blocked in at the same time. It took forever. And if you have to park far away and ride that ridiculous train built for one person at a time, then your friend will spend more time getting to your car than flying from Germany.
 
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RayChuang
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RE: How Long To Clear U.S. Immigration

Thu Jan 01, 2004 11:11 pm

Fortunately, SFO's new International Terminal isn't an issue when it comes to clearing Federal Inspection Service facilities for Customs and Immigration. After all, you are talking two concourses where most of the planes parked there are 747's and (from 2006 on) A380-800's! That's why the capacity of the FIS facilities are quite large there.  Smile

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