Questions tagged [customs-and-immigration]

Customs and immigration covers a range of border control procedures (referred to as 'immigration' in most countries) and import of goods. Prefer a more specific tag where appropriate, some examples of which are listed under `tag info`.

236
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8answers
69k views

How to intentionally get denied entry to the US, without getting into trouble?

I have a multiple entry visitors visa for five years. I went to USA last year and lived there for one year with my husband (6 months entry and other 6 months of extension). I left USA legally. Now my ...
148
votes
4answers
20k views

Immigration officer that stopped me at the airport is texting me. What do I do?

Yesterday my cousin arrived to Chicago from Mexico, she is visiting family there to spend the holidays, this is not the first time she visits. She was stopped by immigration, because they thought it ...
107
votes
19answers
111k views

Why would you wrap your luggage in plastic?

At many airports you can wrap your luggage with sheets of sticky plastic. Why on earth would you do that? I only see disadvantages. I can imagine the mess when customs ask you to open your luggage. So ...
86
votes
6answers
14k views

What happens if you are refused entry between two countries?

Last month, I was travelling on a backpacking trip across Russia and the Baltic states (Schengen zone). I'm an Indian by nationality. So I had to get the respective single entry visa for Russia and ...
85
votes
5answers
211k views

I have two passports/nationalities. How do I use them when I travel?

I am a citizen of two different countries, and have two passports. How should I use my passports when traveling?
80
votes
10answers
44k views

What can I do to prevent passport stamps being put on blank pages?

I'm running low on blank passport pages which are sometimes needed for full page visas such as those issued by Armenia, India, and Vietnam. When I crossed the border into Turkey the other day I got ...
79
votes
9answers
22k views

Should I say hello to the passport control officers, or just quietly give them my passport?

What is the etiquette? What do the passport control officers expect? I’m asking from the point of politeness and efficiency.
74
votes
1answer
17k views

No Facebook account, will I be able to visit the US?

I heard that the US immigration is asking people for their Facebook or any other social media logins, or at least are planning to do so. I value my privacy so I don't even have a Facebook account and ...
73
votes
4answers
20k views

Why would a visitor destroy their travel document?

While doing some research about freedom of movement and the history of passports, I came across an image on Wikipedia depicting a warning sign next to a toilet door at London Stansted Airport: Close-...
66
votes
3answers
19k views

Why were holes drilled into my luggage when I entered the US?

Around a month ago, I entered the US for the first time. A couple of days back, I was reorganizing stuff, and happened to notice three holes: punched into the side of the bag I had used while ...
64
votes
10answers
12k views

In what language should I address foreign customs and immigration?

I'm an American traveling to Central America for the first time this summer. I'll be entering Costa Rica and Panama. My Spanish is pretty good, but not native, and I wouldn't mind using it, but as a ...
64
votes
2answers
9k views

What happens if you have a medical emergency after deplaning but before passing passport control?

Let's say you are a visa national flying into a UK airport with a valid entry clearance. Between exiting the airplane and passing through passport control you have a medical emergency that requires ...
63
votes
7answers
18k views

I was allowed to enter the airport terminal by showing a boarding pass for a future flight. Should I be concerned about “security”?

I take the same flight with the same company between two European neighboring countries once a month. My boarding passes are on my smartphone, but as I book my flights months in advance, I often ...
63
votes
3answers
21k views

What happens if you declare more than $10,000 at the US border?

Let's say I need to bring over $10,000 into the US and decide to use cash to save on transfer fees. What would happen at the border when I declare all that cash? Would CBP briefly question me on the ...
61
votes
1answer
39k views

UK visa refusal on V 4.2 a + c (and sometimes 'e')

Many of the UK visa refusals we see here share a common pattern and the prevailing reasons refer to V 4.2 (a) and (c). I do understand that, while the applicants may describe very different ...
60
votes
5answers
14k views

Can Customs make me go back to return my electronic equipment or is it a scam?

My fiance just returned home from Nigeria and he has been detained 4 days at Reagan International airport because he returned with electronic sonar hardware he used for his job. Customs has detained ...
59
votes
8answers
76k views

Can growing a beard cause problems in crossing borders?

I just recently renewed my passport with a picture taken just after I shaved. I haven't shaved since (>3 weeks) and I kind of like it. I am even looking into how to maintain a beard, but that is a ...
57
votes
1answer
6k views

How to correct a passport stamp in the UK?

My daughter is visiting the UK from the US for a semester study-abroad program. Because it is less than 6 months, she doesn't need a Tier 4 visa. She arrived a few weeks before the program started in ...
56
votes
5answers
13k views

Is it possible to enter Russia by train 1-1.5 hours before the visa validity period starts?

A friend of mine is taking the Train from Finland to Russia. She has now paid and sent the Tourist visa application, with the requested validity being from 3 to 16 August. Now she's considering ...
56
votes
10answers
11k views

How much cash can I safely carry into the USA and avoid civil forfeiture?

I'm planning a trip to the USA soon (from Germany). I'd like to know how much cash I can bring in without problems. Just to clarify, I am not talking about the $10000-or-file-a-form limit. I'm ...
55
votes
6answers
9k views

If I've visited Crimea, what country do I list on my customs declaration form?

On returning to the U.S. I must fill out a customs declaration form, which includes listing the countries that I have visited prior to arrival in the U.S. If I was in Russia and visited Crimea after ...
54
votes
6answers
14k views

Moscow (DME) airport arrival 23:55. My Russian visa becomes valid at midnight

I am flying from Munich to Moscow on Lufthansa and the scheduled arrival time for my flight is at 23:55 on August 7th. However, the entry date on my Russian visa is August 8th. So I have a 5 minute ...
53
votes
6answers
26k views

Does a US immigration officer really have the power to deny entry to the country at personal will?

Quite some comments exist that in the end it is the individual immigration officer that has the final call to let you enter the US or not and that there is no way of objecting that decision. Given ...
52
votes
4answers
14k views

What rights do you have in China to appeal stuff being taken off you in transit?

I debated this, but I think it's askable. I just flew transit through Beijing. Did NOT enter the country. You still have to go through security though, but whatever, it just takes time. Until I got ...
50
votes
8answers
41k views

Is it a good idea to mention to the USA immigration officer that I'm visiting my girlfriend?

I spent 5 months in the USA, and everything went without a problem. Now I'm spending my second month back in my country (the Czech Republic). In a week or two I want to go back to the USA for another ...
50
votes
6answers
22k views

TSA broke a lock for which they have a master key. How can I claim compensation?

My suitcase got stuck in Singapore and arrived a day later which is no issue. The cling foil I had it wrapped in was removed which I found surprising but no real issue either. What did surprise me was ...
50
votes
3answers
8k views

Warned by CBP about traveling to the US using the wrong visa, but need to go again soon

I travel mostly on behalf of my organization. And have been traveling to SE Asia, Europe & recently to the US. I travelled to the US(NY) for the first time on a B1/B2 visa in the 1st week of May ...
50
votes
1answer
16k views

I just entered the USA without passport control at Atlanta airport

I'm a Canadian NEXUS holder, and I landed at Atlanta airport earlier this morning on a Delta flight. Exiting from the plane, the security (or an airport worker) guided me to an exit through the hall. ...
49
votes
4answers
17k views

Can I board if my flight arrives 1.5 hours before my UK visa becomes valid?

My visa to UK is valid starting from June 25 but my flight to LGW is June 24 10:30 PM (edit: this is landing time not departure based on VCE-LGW flight times presented by easyjet.com). I still have 1....
48
votes
5answers
19k views

Can I travel back to my homeland after being granted German refugee status?

I was recently granted German refugee status with a travel document and, in my interview, I told them I would never go back to my home country, Iraq. Now, someone I loved died in my country. Is it ...
47
votes
5answers
13k views

Canadian overstayed in the US for 14 years. Can I leave to Canada and return back to the US? [closed]

I have overstayed my visa for 14 years. I am from Canada and stayed in the USA for the last 14 years illegally. My mom is terribly sick and I must return to Canada. I have been living with John for 13 ...
47
votes
3answers
6k views

Luggage was stopped by customs (we learned about it after our flight)

We have returned from Russia 4 days ago (Moscow-St.Petersburg-Prague). After we've arrived to Prague, we learned that our luggage didn't come in our airplane and was lost. Today we've received ...
46
votes
7answers
12k views

Do I need to pass customs if I enter by swimming over a body of water?

Suppose I'm a long distance swimmer and swim across a large body of water to another country, like from France to England, or from England to the USA. Do I need to pass customs? Do I need the same ...
45
votes
3answers
6k views

Canadian living in Dubai - visiting US to see ill parent. Visa Off has put a 3 mnth ban from entering. Can I appeal? Should I apply for a visa

I am a Canadian citizen (Pakistani origin) and I currently live in Dubai. My father was diagnosed with cancer in October and has been undergoing treatment in the USA since then. So, I have been ...
45
votes
4answers
40k views

Is there any list of countries I should not visit if I want to go to the US?

I have heard that if I have been to some countries I might be refused entry to the US. I'm planning to travel (vacation) a bit in the Middle East; that will include Iran, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman and ...
45
votes
4answers
265k views

How much electronics and other valuables can I bring duty-free when going to India?

I am planning to travel to India (COK airport, Kerala) from United States. I want to take my laptop as well as my tablet (iPad). Am I allowed to take both in my backpack with my documents related my ...
44
votes
4answers
19k views

Wrongfully held at Italian passport control for over an hour (EU citizen): can I get financial compensation?

Background for anyone who may not know: I, an EU citizen, have the right to enter any EU or Schengen state (in this case Italy) using either a passport or national ID card. It doesn't matter whether I ...
44
votes
7answers
58k views

How do I get an engagement ring past security/customs in an airport without alerting my significant other?

A related post, made me wonder how you can hide a ring from a "special one" traveling with you to a place where you will propose and yet get it legally through security or customs? You don't want the ...
44
votes
1answer
26k views

What is a Seaman's book, and can it really replace a passport?

What is a "Seaman's book", and can it really replace a passport for some or all immigration purposes? Even Wikipedia the all-knowing does not seem to know, although it contains many tantalizing ...
43
votes
13answers
11k views

Can I enter and exit a country immediately?

Is there a minimum amount of time I must spend in a country ? Is this country dependent? Or I can just enter a country and then exit immediately in 15 minutes or so?
43
votes
2answers
24k views

Any way to find out what US Customs & Border Protection has in their database on me?

I travel from the US to Canada occasionally (about once per year on average) with my family. We are all US citizens and travel with US passports. Every time we re-enter the United States, I am given ...
42
votes
6answers
15k views

How to pass a Green Card through immigration to someone arriving to the US from abroad?

My wife is travelling back to the US, but forgot to bring the green card with her during travel. So, it is still sitting at home in the US. Would there be a way for someone to bring her the green card ...
42
votes
7answers
18k views

Would I be allowed to get on a plane from the UK and fly to America with tea?

Today I was doing some research on food and drinks and realised that tea is not a very big thing in The U.S. and that all the "good" brands of tea are extremely overpriced or quite "unattractive". So ...
42
votes
5answers
6k views

Is it possible to join someone to help them with the border security process at the airport?

As a Turkish citizen, I have lived in Ireland for over a year now. My wife is planning to visit me before the end of the year. She will board a plane from Turkey, and I will pick her up from the ...
42
votes
2answers
4k views

What is meant by “personal impact and articulation skills” in the context of border entry?

Within dozens of highly-rated responses regarding both UK and Schengen entry, I see the phrase "personal impact and articulation skills." There is no further explanation of what these mean and, in ...
42
votes
1answer
12k views

How can I ensure my exit from the US by land is recorded?

Seeing as the US does not perform border control on exit (save for occasional spot checks, usually when traffic is moving slowly at the border), how do I make sure my exit by land is recorded so that ...
41
votes
5answers
15k views

What happens on the immigration gate if a passenger lost their fingerprints?

This is not about me but my science teacher back in my junior high school. After performing scientific experiments for most of his lifetime, he lost all his fingerprints and bragged about it. However,...
41
votes
2answers
12k views

Refuse to answer questions at border control

When returning from a long holiday, rather than the usual cursory glance at the passport and wave through, the person behind the passport control desk started asking a whole load of rather intrusive ...
39
votes
9answers
9k views

Is flying from an airport from a different country than where you live considered as suspicious?

I am an Indian citizen who holds a student residence permit in Germany alongside with a US tourist visa and I intend to fly to the US for my vacations. Apparently, the flight I booked departs from the ...
39
votes
4answers
11k views

Should I declare chocolate as “food” when entering the US?

It is being customary we bring a few authentic Russian chocolate bars/sweets to the US but we are always struggling whether we should check that "food" checkbox in the "Customs Declaration" form? It ...