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I work as a programmer for a research institute in Germany, which itself is a subsidiary of a larger French corporation. I am also not a German citizen, I am originally from Canada. We are finishing up a large delivery for an important client based in Russia and my company has asked if I could travel to Moscow with some co-workers assist with the final deployment on their servers, as well as some time to see the sights in the city as a sort of project closing celebration. The software itself is rather benign, it's just an engine for simulating energy demand & other urban planning processes for city planners.

Perhaps I am just needlessly paranoid, but I always become very nerve-racked when entering the United States because of what feels like extremely tough and scrutinous border check procedures. My brother lives in the United States and wants me to visit for Christmas, but I am concerned that I will be considered a suspicious person given that my history and work is spanning several countries (Canadian living in Germany working (indirectly) for a French corporation, travelling to a client in Russia), one of which has a somewhat tense relationship with the United States.

The last time I entered the United States I was pulled aside for additional screening several times during the journey and although I was cleared, I felt very nerve-racked even though I knew I had done nothing wrong. I guess I am just asking if my circumstances would be likely raise suspicion by the US border control and if I should expect to be additionally questioned because of this business travel. Because if so it may make me rather skip this trip out because of the anxiety it would cause me while traveling to the US later.

  • I would not expect Russia to raise any particular suspicion nowadays. I wonder if your name is close to one on a list of some sort. – Andrew Lazarus Mar 26 at 20:16
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The last time I entered the United States I was pulled aside for additional screening several times during the journey and although I was cleared, I felt very nerve-racked even though I knew I had done nothing wrong.

Do not feel nerve racked. I got my NEXUS card (with a Hungarian passport, as a Canadian resident) a few months after being pulled into secondary. A secondary apparently doesn't leave a permanent stain on your record so much so you can get into a Trusted Traveller program shortly after.

Try to take a more resigned approach. It is our lot. We software developers travel a lot, immigration legislation most of the time is laughably behind compared to what we do (although Canada got up somewhat recently). Our travel patterns thus make us suspects. I have been strip searched twice in Israel in 2007, I guess I should be delighted they "only" unpacked and investigated everything of mine in 2018. This is what it is. I read this question, I personally found it helpful. (Since late 2017 I keep a keychain charm sized stuffed animal in my pocket/hand when going through all this. Definitely helps.)

  • Isn't it possible to obtain a second Canadian passport and thus obfuscate one's travel history altogether? – JonathanReez Mar 27 at 2:14
  • I did in 2016 and said 2018 Israel security experience happened using that. We are still suspicious. We will always be. It's what it is. – chx Mar 27 at 2:17

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