Customs and immigration covers a range of border control procedures (referred to as 'immigration' in most countries other than US) and import of goods.

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How to intentionally get denied entry to the US, without getting into trouble?

I have a multiple entry visitors visa for five years. I went to USA last year and lived there for one year with my husband (6 months entry and other 6 months of extension). I left USA legally. Now my ...
61
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14answers
35k views

Why would you wrap your luggage in plastic?

At many airports you can wrap your luggage with sheets of sticky plastic. Why on earth would you do that? I only see disadvantages. I can imagine the mess when customs ask you to open your luggage. So ...
41
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7answers
7k views

Do I need to pass customs if I enter by swimming over a body of water?

Suppose I'm a long distance swimmer and swim across a large body of water to another country, like from France to England, or from England to the USA. Do I need to pass customs? Do I need the same ...
38
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7answers
8k views

Can growing a beard cause problems in crossing borders?

I just recently renewed my passport with a picture taken just after I shaved. I haven't shaved since (>3 weeks) and I kind of like it. I am even looking into how to maintain a beard, but that is a ...
37
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8answers
8k views

What can I do to prevent passport stamps being put on blank pages?

I'm running low on blank passport pages which are sometimes needed for full page visas such as those issued by Armenia, India, and Vietnam. When I crossed the border into Turkey the other day I got ...
37
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5answers
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Does a US immigration officer really have the power to deny entry to the country at personal will?

Quite some comments exist that in the end it is the individual immigration officer that has the final call to let you enter the US or not and that there is no way of objecting that decision. Given ...
33
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4answers
1k views

Your address at destination: What if you don't know any address?

Often, when entering a country, you must fill a form that asks, in particular, where you will stay. What if you don't know yet? Even worse, what if you don't have your guidebook in hand luggage, and ...
32
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3answers
14k views

Is there any list of countries I should not visit if I want to go to the US?

I have heard that if I have been to some countries I might be refused entry to the US. I'm planning to travel (vacation) a bit in the Middle East; that will include Iran, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman and ...
25
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2answers
2k views

Any way to find out what US Customs & Border Protection has in their database?

I travel from the US to Canada occasionally (about once per year on average) with my family. We are all US citizens and travel with US passports. Every time we re-enter the United States, I am given ...
24
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2answers
1k views

Can I bring an anti-religious book into Saudi Arabia?

Could I bring books like The God Delusion from Richard Dawkins to Saudi Arabia? What will happen if they saw this book in my hand during the check-in or somewhere else in Saudi Arabia? What about ...
23
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7answers
4k views

Carrying medicines internationally for a friend

A friend of mine has asked to carry medicines from India to UK. She is also going to provide me the prescription for those medicines. However, I am a bit reluctant because the prescription that she ...
22
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4answers
2k views

Laptop Searches by Customs - UK and US

I'll be traveling to the UK (London) on a study abroad in the spring and will be bring my laptop for school and intern purposes. I was just curious what/if any rights UK customs has to search laptops ...
21
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6answers
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I was told my signature was ripped out of my passport. Should I be worried?

My Mother just returned from a two week trip to New Zealand today. When she arrived back home in the States it was pointed out that the page with her signature in her passport was ripped out making it ...
20
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2answers
3k views

Did not declare jewelry from Aruba

I bought a set of rings in Aruba. I traded my wedding rings in on the set. They told me not to declare them they were going to send the paper work to me in the mail. I got a receipt, and we got back ...
19
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4answers
2k views

Will one be refused entry on a full passport?

My question was triggered by How do I decide whether to be worried about having enough blank pages in my passport? The question is pretty simple. What happens at a border when you need an additional ...
19
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5answers
14k views

What is the minimum time to consider with a connecting flight in the USA?

Given the extensive time taken for immigration formalities in the US, what is the shortest time to consider between connecting flights in the US, when coming from abroad? Until now I have always ...
19
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1answer
1k views

Why was there no immigration control flying from Dublin (DUB) to London Southend (SEN)?

So I recently made a return journey from London Southend (SEN) to Dublin (DUB), flying out of SEN and into DUB on Saturday on Aer Lingus, and back to SEN on Sunday via a similar Aer Lingus flight. In ...
19
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1answer
2k views

How can I travel to Germany with my dog?

I will be traveling to Germany (from the USA) in a few months and hope to bring my dog, a 10 lb Chihuahua-mix. I would like to do this with a minimum of difficulty, so I am hoping to hear the ...
17
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2answers
1k views

What's the value of the “genocide” and similar questions on the US customs form I-94?

It's been a while since I’ve been to the United States, so I’m not sure whether it’s still being used, but I remember having to always fill out form I-94 which asked some odd questions: such as ...
17
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1answer
2k views

Is it really forbidden to cross the Indian border with Indian rupee?

Last week I tried to exchange some Swiss Francs into Indian rupees. For that I visited a big bank and they told me that they have rupees but I'm not allowed to import any into India. Is this really ...
17
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2answers
8k views

What happens if you lose your passport at an airport / during transit?

Once, when flying from India to the UK, I left my passport on the plane's seat-back pocket and forgot that I left it there until I reached the passport control desks. Fortunately in this case, I ...
17
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3answers
1k views

Declaring illegal substances at customs - what would happen?

I've always wondered this. Occasionally I declare medicines, or wood carvings or whatever when going through customs. The point of asking you to declare these things is so that they can inspect and ...
17
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1answer
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What happens if you arrive in Malaysia with a one-way ticket but are asked for proof of onward travel?

As we know, most countries require that visitors have a return or onward ticket as a condition of entry. But often, depending on where you're from and which country you're visiting, you won't be ...
16
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9answers
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What happens if you are caught (accidentally) not declaring something at customs?

So, you get into the "nothing to declare" line, but you get selected for a random bag check anyway... and the customs officer finds something you were supposed to declare. It's something small, like ...
16
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3answers
6k views

Do I have to enter the UK on my UK passport?

I'm a British National (Overseas), which basically means that while I don't have the right of abode in the UK, I am permitted to visit the UK without a visa. However, my passport has expired, and ...
16
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3answers
1k views

How do customs and immigration work in a sailboat?

So, I have this crazy dream. I'd love to purchase a little sailboat, make my way down the East Coast, across the Carribean, down South America, and end up in the Falklands, maybe Tierra Del Fuego, ...
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3answers
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Peacock feather a prohibited item?

I'm spending the summer in London and recently took a trip to Kew to visit the botanical gardens. While there I found a beautiful peacock feather that a friend of mine back in the US would love. ...
16
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2answers
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What happens if you miss a connecting flight?

What happens if you book tickets through an airline or travel agent, but on the travel date miss a connecting flight (either because the first flight was delayed, or because immigration/security took ...
16
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2answers
917 views

What rights do you have in China to appeal stuff being taken off you in transit?

I debated this, but I think it's askable. I just flew transit through Beijing. Did NOT enter the country. You still have to go through security though, but whatever, it just takes time. Until I got ...
15
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4answers
2k views

What questions should I be able to answer when entering USA?

Last time I entered USA, the border officer asked me a lot of questions. Some of them were quite personal and others were about my destination in the USA. For example, he asked me where I would stay. ...
15
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3answers
2k views

TrueCrypt Volumes: Will it cause any trouble?

From various sources (mainly friends and dubious internet sites) I heard that you can get in trouble if you have encrypted volumes/files on your laptop while entering USA. Apparently they assume that ...
15
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5answers
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Why does US Customs & Immigration ask the purpose of my trip when I'm returning home?

As a US citizen, when I re-enter the US, I am often asked where I was, how long I was there, and the reason for my visit. Why am I asked these things? Am I required to answer? Don't I have a legal ...
15
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1answer
842 views

Couldn't return papers to border officials last time. Should I be afraid when going back to USA?

Three years ago I was on holidays in Canada and visited the Niagara Falls. I also went to the American side of the falls and got something like a "short-term visa". I also got a green paper with all ...
15
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2answers
8k views

Can I take chocolate to Australia?

Australia is well known for having very strict rules on what food and plant-based materials can be brought into the country, to try to keep the country free of diseases. Some food/animal/plant things ...
15
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1answer
1k views

Is bringing tea from coca leaves to Europe illegal?

When travelling in Chile, tea from coca leaves was something you could buy at regular places. It is even sold as a preventive to altitude sickness in places like San Pedro de Atacama. After feeling ...
15
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1answer
718 views

Do I really have to register with the police when staying with a friend in Croatia?

Situation: I'm a German in the UK. I'll be traveling from London to Zagreb next week and staying at a friends house. The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office says: Unless staying at a hotel or ...
14
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5answers
3k views

Dual nationality, EU and Australian. Does it matter which passport is “travelled on”

I plan to visit Australia from the UK, I am an Australian national with dual nationality - I also hold a Greek passport. I have all the correct documentation and everything is fine. However, if I ...
14
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3answers
370 views

How to enter East Jerusalem and who controls the separation with the western part

Can non-Muslim people from non-Muslim countries (EU) enter the part of Jerusalem where the famous mosque with yellow top is located? Are the police (or guards) at the entrance Israeli or Palestinian? ...
14
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3answers
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How long does it take for a Global Entry application to be approved?

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection runs a program called Global Entry, allowing low-risk travelers to complete an application, submit to a background check and interview, and eventually be ...
14
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3answers
2k views

Issues with US immigration after alleged overstay - how to handle?

I arrived in Miami International Airport (Feb 2013) and was taken aside by immigration who stated I had overstayed in the US in 1995 by a few days. It was claimed that I had not left the US and they ...
14
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2answers
1k views

What to expect at Chinese customs when bringing in items for friends who live there?

I am taking a trip to Shanghai next week to see some friends. They have requested that I bring a few items with me to give to them that are difficult (or expensive) for them to obtain where they ...
14
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1answer
391 views

Can you eat food refused by quarantine by Australian border control?

If some food you're bringing in is refused by quarantine, are they sometimes willing to let you eat it? Assume there isn't a massive queue behind you and the officer is in a good mood. Background: I ...
14
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1answer
2k views

Will a UAE stamp in my passport cause problems entering Israel?

I will be traveling to Israel soon and am concerned because some colleagues have suggested that the visa stamps in my passport from the United Arab Emirates (eg Dubai) might cause me difficulties on ...
13
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5answers
2k views

Arrivals forms or customs agents may ask if you packed your own bags. Must I pack them myself or is it OK to answer in the negative to this question?

When arriving in some countries you must fill out an arrival form at customs and immigration. You may also be asked some questions by customs agents. In some countries one question is whether or not ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Can I import honey to Norway?

My mother has a few beehives and she is producing honey for home use. I am traveling to Norway in a few days and I'd like to bring one jar (1 kg) of honey to my friend there. I am a resident of Bosnia ...
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Biometric passport: How can I know if the chip is still working? Does it matter?

My biometric passport inadvertently spent some time under the rain. It's not badly damaged but some sheets are a bit deformed and there are tiny brown spots on the side. I am wondering if there is an ...
13
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3answers
687 views

Is there an international language at sea?

When the Russian pilot of an Aeroflot jet is approaching Moscow's airport staffed by Russian Air Traffic controllers, convention still holds that everybody is speaking English. Even if that English ...
13
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3answers
6k views

Can you travel to Canada by road with an expired US passport?

Is it possible to leave and re-enter the US through the land border with Canada with an expired (US) passport? My passport expired in December and I didn't realize that until now. In addition to the ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Bringing a camping knife to Japan

And before you ask, YES, it is for camping. I have travelled to Japan a couple times and enjoyed it. I know Japan law allows knifes of a certain size (under 6cm the last time I checked, but I'll look ...
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Proving onward travel on a South America tour

My question is related to / inspired by Does Colombia require proof of onward travel? but isn't quite the same. I'm thinking of a trip around South America (from Europe) such that: I would not ...