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I went to USA as a tourist in 1988 and overstayed my visa until 1997. Was never caught, nor deported. Went back to my home country in 1997, and never left the country since.

I’m not a security threat, and have no criminal record.

If I go from my home country to another country like Portugal or Svalbard, what are the chances of being detained at the airport and deported. What is the most likely scenario?

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    Your question may get closed because essentially it invites opinion-based answers, however to try to help we need to know your citizenship.
    – Traveller
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 18:08
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    I consider an airport detention extremely unlikely, unless they have something in their files you're not aware of. The challenge may be getting a visa in the first place, if your citizenship requires one. Tell the whole truth on the visa application, and you will likely be allowed in with that visa.
    – o.m.
    Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 18:18
  • Traveller, I have Israeli citizenship. Commented Jun 30, 2023 at 14:48
  • I would guess that it would be highly unlikely that there would be any transfer of knowledge of what happened in the 80's-90's through till now. Even if the records were computerized at the time (unlikely) and transferred, we're talking over a quarter century ago...
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Jul 6, 2023 at 16:25

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In a comment you state you have Israeli citizenship. According to Passport Index that is a pretty powerful passport which gives you visa-free access to 101 countries, including Portugal and Svalbard (Norway) for up to 90 days. On that basis, and as @o.m. commented, an airport detention seems extremely unlikely, unless they have something in their files you're not aware of.

Even if you want to visit a country for which you need a visa, an immigration offence from 25+ years ago is probably not going to count against you hugely (the US excepted, of course) providing the rest of your application stacks up. Tell the whole truth on the visa application, and you will likely be allowed in with that visa.

You can check out entry requirements for your proposed trip by inputting your full details and itinerary on IATA

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  • You would need to come clean if applying for a US visa, but I see no point in voluntarily confessing to an overstay of almost ten years if applying anywhere else. Commented Jul 1, 2023 at 7:31

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