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So you're a new immigrant.... and your luggage?

So you're a new immigrant.... and your luggage?

Old Jul 20th 2013, 4:17 pm
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Default So you're a new immigrant.... and your luggage?

Random question...

I know that people have been held up in secondary when entering on their Immigrant Visa, sometimes up to 3 hours.

For those that were held up for a long time, did your luggage go around on the carousel for that entire time? Or were you escorted to collect it?

Would be a little concerned if (essentially) all my worldly possessions were left unattended for that long, especially at a very busy airport like ATL..

Thoughts?
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Old Jul 20th 2013, 4:47 pm
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Default Re: So you're a new immigrant.... and your luggage?

When I first arrived on a K1 I was sent to secondary - I was worried about my luggage as my wedding dress was in one of my cases
When I got out of secondary my luggage was lined up near the carousel - everyone else was long gone - it was all fine

If cases are going around and around after all other cases have gone I think that the baggage people check the names on the luggage and match them up with the peops in secondary so leave them ready for collection - my theory anyway!
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Old Jul 20th 2013, 5:01 pm
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Default Re: So you're a new immigrant.... and your luggage?

Don't worry. Its an organized and well oiled process.

I recall arriving 13 years ago, X-ray and immigrant package in hand. I was not concerned about the bags, just the process ahead.

The process started off serious (its a serious business), then after 4 minutes, it was really nice and then the perceived scary immigration guy, was really sweet and wished me very sincere good luck.

Don't worry. It will be fine. Relax, be very polite (use sir or m'am a lot, even if counter intuitive) and answer the questions asked fully but briefly. I think it took me no longer than 15 minutes.

I don't recall any, issue with collecting the bags. If you get delayed just ask the immigration person nicely what the procedure is. They aren't horrible on the inside, if you respect their authority and realize they have all the power. I think that is the key to making it go fast and smooth.

As per other posters, bags will be taken off the carousel and left in secure area, if there is a delay.

Last edited by Caruthers; Jul 20th 2013 at 5:15 pm.
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Old Jul 20th 2013, 5:01 pm
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Default Re: So you're a new immigrant.... and your luggage?

After a while luggage is taken off the carousel and taken to an area near the luggage office to await collection. At least that is what happens at my local international airport, and I would assume something similar happens at other airports.
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Old Jul 20th 2013, 5:25 pm
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Default Re: So you're a new immigrant.... and your luggage?

For what it's worth, I had an incredibly quick experience at ATL ten months ago. I took a leisurely walk to Immigration behind everyone as I was expecting to be there for a while. Asked a member of staff which queue to join, flashed the magic envelope, and was escorted to the front ahead of all the other passengers. My paperwork was processed right there at the desk and I was among the first to collect my bags.

Felt slightly sheepish when the official told the other passengers to stop moaning as my paperwork was more important than theirs

Obviously YMMV...
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Old Jul 20th 2013, 5:40 pm
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Default Re: So you're a new immigrant.... and your luggage?



I enjoyed the story though HM
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Old Jul 20th 2013, 5:55 pm
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Default Re: So you're a new immigrant.... and your luggage?

There really is no need to worry about this.

If it takes a long time for you to be processed (and it probably won't) then you can expect to find your bags either beside the carousel or (if it has been a really long time) at the airline's baggage office which will be somewhere in the arrivals hall.

Nobody is going to be stupid enough to deliberately steal your bags and then go through customs not knowing what might be in them.

There is always a slight risk that someone might accidentally pick up the wrong bag by mistake and not notice until they were out of the airport. You can minimize that risk by making sure that your bags are clearly and distinctively labeled (which also makes it easier for you to find them).
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Old Jul 20th 2013, 6:06 pm
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Default Re: So you're a new immigrant.... and your luggage?

Thats a good point md, they could have anything in them.

I'm not worried, just not entirely happy with the idea. Still, hopefully my experience will be similar to halfmoons going through ATL and it wont be a problem.

They've always been well marked
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Old Jul 20th 2013, 6:44 pm
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Default Re: So you're a new immigrant.... and your luggage?

I got hauled away for maybe an hour because my finger prints wouldn't scan (too many years doing dishes I suppose) Hubby and son got through, our luggage was waiting downstairs by the carousel.
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Old Jul 20th 2013, 10:43 pm
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Default Re: So you're a new immigrant.... and your luggage?

I agree with everything that has been said so far.

My trip to secondary involved a B2 with CIMT waiver of ineligibility rather than an IV, but the situation was exactly the same. It took about two hours for me to alight from the plane, queue in Immigration and then be processed in secondary. When I was eventually cleared to enter the US, I found my bag sat on its own, next to an empty belt in a fairly deserted arrivals hall (this was at IAH in Houston).
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Old Jul 21st 2013, 2:17 am
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Default Re: So you're a new immigrant.... and your luggage?

Originally Posted by md95065 View Post
There really is no need to worry about this.

There is always a slight risk that someone might accidentally pick up the wrong bag by mistake and not notice until they were out of the airport. You can minimize that risk by making sure that your bags are clearly and distinctively labeled (which also makes it easier for you to find them).
Yep. That's what we did. My husband (UKC) went off to be inspected/ grilled/ and eyeballed by the agents and I went off to the luggage claims at EWR. It took about half an hour for them to finish and for him to get to the luggage carousels.

And yes, I may have gone a little bit overboard in making sure that our suitcases were noticeable....(I had cut out about 100 felt rabbit shaped peeps--in bright yellow, bright pink, teal and pruple and Uhu'd them onto the suitcases).

Sure, I got a lot of cackles and laughs--but one thing was certain---no one wanted to take them! If one of them (we had 10) had gone MIA it'd have been pretty easy to describe/ ID.

And everything was still intact and untouched
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