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As a US lawful permanent resident, I wonder which countries/flights the US authorities are aware that I've visited/taken. Assume that the US authorities has no special interest in me: I'm just curious to know what they know "by default", without any extra work on their side (e.g., perusing my passports to list my stamps or analyzing my phone/bank statements). Let's only consider US authorities directly pertaining to travel and immigration, i.e. the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

I'm aware of the following:

  1. Entries+Exits to the US via air travel are recorded. (source)
  2. Entries to the US via land travel are recorded. (source)
  3. The passenger name record (PNR) for passengers taking flights to, from, or through the United States are recorded. (source)
  4. Flights to/from the partner countries of Five Eyes agreement (viz., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.). (source)

What else?

Note that I don't submit the paper version of US customs form (CBP Declaration Form 6059B) when entering the US via air travel, as I have Global Entry, which means I don't declare which countries I visited prior to entering the US by air travel (unless of course if a CPB officer asked me this question specifically, which hasn't happened yet). Also, I have no idea how entries/exits by sea are recorded.


This question was inspired by Without passport stamps, can [the Israeli] authorities still know what countries I've visited?

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  • 2
    While you are asking about "short term travel", etc, because you asking this AS an LPR, perhaps this might be better handled at Expatriates?
    – CGCampbell
    Jan 14, 2022 at 12:39
  • @CGCampbell thanks, no preference on my side, both Expat and Travel SE are a good match I think, I'm ok to migrate if other people think Expat is better Jan 14, 2022 at 12:47
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    Exits by land to Canada are recorded. Each country transmits its entry records to the other to serve as exit records there. Initially, US and Canadian citizens were excluded, but I believe that's no longer the case. I believe sea travel by common carrier is similar to air travel; a passenger manifest is submitted electronically. I don't know how it works for a private vessel.
    – phoog
    Jan 14, 2022 at 13:33
  • I would assume that if they wanted to, the US would know about every country you have visited. Your travel itinerary can be constructed from other than travel records - such as spending, internet and phone usage. Sure you could attempt to mask all of that, but IMHO that would make the US even more interested in what you are doing. But we don't and can't know at what level this sort of analysis kicks in.
    – Peter M
    Jan 14, 2022 at 14:32
  • @PeterM Thanks, assume that the US authorities has no special interest in me: I'm just curious to know what they know "by default", without any extra work on their side (e.g., perusing my passports to list my stamps or analyzing my phone/bank statements). Jan 14, 2022 at 14:39

1 Answer 1

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I'll summarize the answer that this question received in the comment section:

  • Exits by land to Canada are recorded.
  • Sea travel by common carrier (= not a private vessel) is similar to air travel [to be confirmed].

  • Exits by land to Canada are recorded. Each country transmits its entry records to the other to serve as exit records there. Initially, US and Canadian citizens were excluded, but I believe that's no longer the case. I believe sea travel by common carrier is similar to air travel; a passenger manifest is submitted electronically. I don't know how it works for a private vessel phoog Jan 14 at 13:33.

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