I live in San Diego and I will be traveling to New Jersey next week. I'm not a U.S. Citizen or legal resident. I came here with a tourist visa 3 years ago and haven't gone back to Mexico. I've heard that to travel inside the U.S. you only need a photo ID, but I'm still worried they won't let me board my plane if they see my tourist visa . I don't know if immigration is involved in this process or is it just the people from the airline? Also, in case you only need a photo ID, what other IDs can I show them instead of my passport/visa? I have a college student ID, and a Mexican drivers license.
According to some recent articles on domestic flight identification, it seems that the move is toward TSA-approved identification: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/acceptable-ids
"Foreign government-issued passport" is one of them; like Michael stated, they likely won't check your visa page. However, it looks like a college ID won't be valid for the TSA -- maybe as supportive documentation, but not the main ID to use.
Here's a related question: Can I fly domestically in the US using my university ID?
Hope that helps.
I am a dual citizen of the US and another country. I have been using my other passport to identify myself to the TSA for the last few months (2 flights so far). The passport contains no visa, of course, nor entry stamp. They've never shown any indication of being interested in my immigration status. I hand it to them open to the picture/data page, and they never look at any other page.
I must add that I have never encountered the US Border Patrol at a TSA security check, but they do screen domestic passengers in some airports, including McAllen, TX. For example, see http://www.mercurynews.com/immigration/ci_26165754/what-does-border-patrol-do-at-airports-other.
Since the San Diego airport is less than 100 miles from the Mexican border, the Border Patrol is also able to screen domestic passengers there. A passenger flying in a domestic flight from San Diego ought to look into whether they actually do so.
It is true that the TSA does not deal with immigration, though it's possible that you will run into some hotshot officer will take it upon himself to give people a hard time about expired visas. Technically, a U.S. visa is only for entry to the U.S.; it has nothing to do with stay in the U.S., so an expired visa or lack of visa does not mean you're illegal, but most people don't know that.
University ID is not an acceptable ID for TSA. Foreign passport is the only acceptable ID you can use. You live in California, so you can get those AB60 driver's licenses that don't require legal presence documents, but I believe that they are not valid for federal identification purposes.
However, CBP can set up checkpoints in areas less than 100 miles from the border, and they do sometimes do checks in airports and on buses and trains, in addition to having checkpoints on highways. San Diego is less than 100 miles from the Mexican border, so it's possible that CBP could catch you there.
protected by JoErNanO♦ Feb 16 '16 at 11:17
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