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US Port of Entry (POE) Abu Dhabi Experience for Parents – Key Lesson

If you have your parents traveling to US for the first time, it can be quite overwhelming for them with immigration process and layover at airports. Some things can go wrong as well. Below is one such experience that is shared by one of our readers to help everyone.  Thanks to Pattam for taking time to share the experience of his parents at Abu Dhabi Port of Entry. You can share your experiences as well here

Background : redbus2us has helped me in getting my parents their visitor visa. My parents got their visa without any issues, thanks to a thorough documentation at  Parents Visa Process USA .  Now, I want to share to the viewers about my parents bad experience at port of entry in Abu Dhabi.  The flight was through Abu Dhabi and to Dallas. Since, the port of entry process now happens in Abu Dhabi, I thought that may be a good thing. However, it turned out to be sour experience.
Return Flight Booking  : The return flight ticket for our parents was booked for 6 months. But my parents wanted to stay for 3 months and see how it goes and decide whether to continue for 6 months or return back in 3 months.  I wanted to make sure their travel is comfortable and made all the arrangements to make it smooth, Refer the checklist for details on my blog .  But eventually, no amount of planning and arrangement was sufficient to make the trip incident free.

What happened at Port of Entry in Abu Dhabi : After they landed in Abu Dhabi they proceeded for port of entry procedure. The officer asked the usual questions like where they are heading to, Who are they visiting etc. And finally asked how long were they planning to stay in the US. And my father casually replied that he plans to stay for 3 to 6 months. All hell broke loose. The officer asked for the tickets and he saw that the tickets were booked for 6 months. He immediately became hard-nosed and asked him to explain why he is saying 3-6 months when the tickets were booked for 6 months.

My Parents Response – Communication Gap : My father tried to explain that they wanted to stay for 3 months and decide whether to continue or return early. And the officer wasn’t convinced, he started behaving rude and asking questions like they could have booked for 3 months instead of 6 etc.  On top of it, my father is not fluent in English and was also not able to completely understand him. Probably, the officer also had difficulty understanding my father. That made him even more harsh and started indicating that he may not let them continue the trip etc. And someone in the line volunteered to translate on behalf of my father. Even though he agreed, that did not help either. And finally my father was fed up and decided to let it go and suddenly the officer let them go.

Phew that was a mighty scare 🙁 Eventually my parents reached the US albeit they missed a connection flight along the way and had to stay overnight in the airport (That is another story). Very unpleasant experience in the end. Other users have also reported such issues at the port of entry for parent. What I think is a benign statement turned out to be a huge issue.

What the Key Lesson : Moral of the story is keep everything consistent. Speak to what your documents say and do not deviate. My parents had to learn this in the hard way.
Hope this helps other readers.

What has been your or your parents experience at Abu Dhabi POE ? Any key points to share ? Add your thoughts.


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  1. HI,

    I am planning to bring my parents in April. their POE is Abu dabhi.
    Earlier i had someone accompanying them to help them with immigration. Now plans changed and my parents had to come alone. They are not familiar with English. Any suggestions on how could i help my parents at immigration

    • Sudha,
      This is a hard thing, I can imagine. There are some Facebook groups, websites that offer parents traveling together, so check with them or find someone at the airport, who would be traveling in the same flight and request for help.

    • Maybe your passport or any proof that conveys that you are their daughter and your proof that you are married to your spouse like marriage certificate.

  2. Hi,
    I recently got my h4 visa issued in feb 22 2017 well my husband works there..im going to fly this month through Abu Dhabi,all i need is what kind of questions will they ask me at POE @ Abu Dhabi? this is my first journey to USA!! Im lil bit Nervous and i got married in This February.
    Will they question me why did you wait for 6 months after getting ur visa!!what should I answer.
    Please any one help me out of this. TIA

  3. Hi ,

    I applied for H1B through Consultancy (US based) , they are are saying they have not received the receipt and neither rejected petition, as per him only mine out of 10 petitions is awaited and still there are chances. Should I wait

  4. Hi Admin,
    Need your advice , I got RFE to my H4 to H1 case on last week of september 2016,
    RFE was regarding couple of documents including education evaluation and Visa extension documents. My consultancy has submitted RFE docs on 28 Nov 2016. Is is still pending with USCIS
    I could see few RFE cases which was submitted later are getting approved and some cases pending more than 3-4 months . Any idea on what basis they are reviewing the cases? Upgrading my case to PP will create any issue now . As my consultancy is asking me to wait as PP may create some issues.

    • I am also in facing same issue like you, got RFE to my H4 to H1. My RFE response received by USCIS on Dec 14th but still pending with USCIS. Any update on your case now?

  5. Thank you so much for sharing the experience. Many people are not ready or do not want to spend a little time to share their experiences and help other people not to repeat the same mistake.

  6. good 1….however am surprised why didn’t you advise your parents to inform immigration officers that stay would be only 6 months…..this would have helped your parents to avoid the pain they faced……parents being new to these kindaa things and we being have some sort of awareness we too have a role to play ensuring parents have smoother experience…

    • It looked minor, didn’t expect this to cause any harm. And it wasn’t planned. After all, I would have expected that if someone says that they are going to stay more than 6 months it would cause issues but not when one says fewer months than planned. Anyways, lessons learnt


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