I'm currently considering visiting the US to visit a couple of online friends.

I'm not worried about safety--I've hung out with one of them in Portugal and everything was perfectly fine and I've videod with the other one a lot and we have each other's social media stuff and a lot of personal details, so everything is good on that point.

The current plan is to stay at their houses most of the time and a few days in the city itself to be close to all tourist-y things.

A bit of personal info: I'm Portuguese, white, female, late twenties, full-time job, I'll using the Visa Waiver Program, flying for tourism (about two weeks) and with an already purchased return ticket. No criminal record, never been to the USA so I've never overstayed my stay, everything is good to go on that. We're all girls, if it matters. However, I've learned that border control asks a lot of questions and I'm afraid that me being a female travelling alone to meet online friends will raise a few flags. Should I be worried about anything and potentially being denied entry? It takes a bit more than just some change to cross the ocean and I like my privacy too much to be comfortable with getting my phone searched.

Another potential problem is that I traveled to Morocco in the past year (just for about two weeks, solely for tourist purposes), which is a Muslim country. It's not on one of the banned list, but should I still be worried?

Thank you in advance!

  • 2
    Travel to Morocco would not be seen as unusual or otherwise disqualifying. Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 6:10

1 Answer 1


Most people go through immigration with a minimum of questions. At some airports, you'll use an electronic kiosk first, then just speak briefly to an officer unless they want to know more. Just be prepared to explain the purpose of your visit, where you're going, where you're staying, etc... If you're asked questions, just tell the truth; you appear to have good ties to your home (and you'd want to be prepared to show adequate financial resources for your trip if asked), and visiting friends is a perfectly acceptable reason to come to the US.

Searches of electronic devices are possible, and increasingly more common, but still quite rare: about 2,500 most months, out of 20+ million arriving travelers. The American Civil Liberties Union has some information and recommendations about such searches, and if you're concerned, minimizing the amount of data you carry is a good suggestion.

A past vacation to Morocco doesn't seem likely to pose an issue either. The US and Morocco are on good terms, and it's a common enough vacation destination that happens to be convenient to Portugal. If you're asked why you were there, you have a simple and easy explanation.

  • The asker won't be able to use the entry kiosks because it's her first trip to the US and she doesn't have a visa. (Which means they don't have her fingerprints on file.) Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 1:55
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    @DavidRicherby Every airport seems to have slightly different criteria for who can use the kiosks. I've seen some that only allow returning visitors, and others that don't seem to have that restriction. I have no idea why this is the case. I guess it doesn't matter a whole lot really, since there's still a potential for questions no matter what. Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 2:25
  • Oh, OK. I've only been through MSP and DTW since the kiosks were introduced and they were both as I described. Commented Feb 23, 2018 at 8:46

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