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Questions tagged [officials]

Dealing with bureaucrats, guards, officers, and other official employees you will meet in your travels.

179
votes
11answers
17k views

Tactics to avoid getting harassed by corrupt police?

In Uzbekistan I was stopped, searched and questioned six times in one day. At the border with Tajikistan, one official tried hiding my paperwork to elicit something from me. In Kyrgyzstan, I was ...
146
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 ...
77
votes
9answers
21k 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.
52
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 ...
50
votes
1answer
5k views

Is it possible to insist on having your ID checked at the police station, not in the street in Austria?

I am a non-EU citizen and I understand that I could be stopped in Austria and asked for my passport (and visa). Moreover, as far as I know, there are police officers in Austria dressed in civilian ...
45
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 ...
36
votes
3answers
8k views

How to deal with the fake police scam in Spain?

I have read so many internet articles about safety in Spain, and the fake police scam is one of the most mentioned problems. Most of those reported cases are that the victims are surrounded by group ...
30
votes
4answers
10k views

Why do UK border officers question EEA nationals entering?

I am aware EU citizens can stay in the UK unconditionally for up to 3 months, and permanently if they study, have a job or otherwise can support themselves. That makes me wonder why UK Border Force ...
29
votes
3answers
10k views

What should you do if you get arrested in a foreign country?

If a traveller - for whatever reason, is arrested on charges (valid or otherwise), what steps should he/she take to ensure their safety, local and home legal aid and security? How can one make sure ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

Passport requirements on entering Ireland as a citizen

Basic premise of this question is what are usual requirements for entering Ireland through Airport Immigration - and does this change based on where you departed from? Basically - I'm a citizen and ...
21
votes
5answers
35k views

Does my government know in which country I am at when I travel?

I guess this is the type of question I should start with "a friend of mine wants to know..." but I was wondering if in general governments keep a record that gets updated each time you go through ...
20
votes
3answers
721 views

Are there plain clothes police patrols in Warsaw, or was I a victim of a scam?

I was walking along the river in Warsaw in the afternoon and was approached by two men who claimed to be police. They showed me ID, but I have no idea what Polish policja ID is supposed to look like, ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the function of UK Border Force agents at UK airports between departures security and the shops?

Ran into a desk of Border Force officers at Stansted after clearing security. I then started thinking the exit border checks imposed at non-air borders had been extended to airports, but as I was ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Police ride along in London

In a lot of US cities citizens can do police ride alongs. You can do so in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, TX, etc. What about in London? If I was going to be visiting London for, say, a ...
15
votes
5answers
14k views

How to pay german traffic ticket while being in the USA?

Yesterday, 2 pieces of paper have appeared in my mailbox in the USA. From what I understand, it is a traffic ticket, from Germany from Summer trip, which found its way to my address in the USA. I do ...
15
votes
1answer
1k views

No-pictures buildings in Japan (shooting from street forbidden by law)

I often take pictures of buildings. Usually without knowing what the building is. QUESTION: Are there buildings in Japan that it is forbidden by law to take pictures of? If yes, which ones? Bonus ...
15
votes
1answer
885 views

Why doesn't the Serbian border police let you re-enter Serbia at Belgrade airport and then re-exit?

I recently flew from Belgrade to Stockholm, arriving at Belgrade airport at 2 AM, with a flight leaving at 6 AM. I had to change Serbian dinars to euros, and the only open bureau de change was ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

Are there any laws which prohibit officials from taking a passport out-of-reach of the passport holder?

Normally when you cross a border, the border guards check your passport in your view (i.e. the passport never becomes out-of-sight for the passport-holder). But sometimes a guard comes, and takes the ...
14
votes
2answers
5k views

Cards, dices, poker chips, board games, etc. in Thailand

I've read that cards have actually been outlawed a while ago in Thailand to crack down gambling. I know that it's illegal to own poker chips as that's classified as gambling paraphernalia, but what ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

When travelling overland in Russia I hear you must register with the police in each new place, but does this cost money?

When travelling overland in Russia (i.e. not on the Trans-Siberian) I hear you must register with the police in each new place, but does this cost money? I know there are some gotchas with ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Are foreigners allowed to take a police ride-along in the US?

I recently found out about the police ride-along thing, at first I thought it is some fiction in movies. Anyway, are tourists on B1/B2 visas allowed to take that dream ride?
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Can the police in Northern Cyprus take my passport away from me, an American citizen?

Is it legal for the authorities in the Republic of Northern Cyprus to keep my passport? I’m in Northern Cyprus and the police have taken my passport from me because of a personal dispute with a friend ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Indian Passport not stamped, arriving from Canada via Amtrak

I was travelling back on the Amtrak train to New York from Montreal after a 3 day stay. On the way back, the CBP officer didn't even check my passport. Neither did he check the passport of the person ...
12
votes
5answers
9k views

Why police didn't even block me once at the airport arrivals?

First of all, I'm not a terrorist or a drug courier. Starting in June 2012, I began flying from Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) to Falcone–Borsellino Airport (PMO) for personal reasons. ...
11
votes
3answers
340 views

I have multiple citizenships, and somehow landed in legal trouble while travelling abroad. Which embassy should I contact for consular services?

Consider the scenario where you are travelling overseas, outside of the jurisdiction of any of the countries to which you have citizenship. You somehow end up in legal trouble, and are arrested. By ...
11
votes
1answer
312 views

Opened closed cities in Murmansk Oblast

This summer I am traveling with a friend by car to Murmansk, and we are both very interested in military history. Wikipedia have a list Closed cities in Murmansk Oblast, of which most are related to ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

What would happen if you're caught in Beijing with a 144-hour visa exemption for the Shanghai area?

If you fly into Shanghai (and plan to fly out from there as well) and enter on a 144-hour visa exemption, and then take the Train to Beijing to spend the time there, what would the consequences be if ...
10
votes
1answer
25k views

UK Immigration officers arrivals interview questions

When interviewing arrivals seeking entry, what questions do UK Immigration offices ask? Also, what will be asked on the landing card?
9
votes
2answers
15k views

What happens if police stops me when driving a rental car and I'm not the authorized driver?

I rented a car, but didn't want to pay a second driver fee. My spouse is driving the car but I want to know if I'll be in trouble if police stops me when I'm driving. I know that insurance won't pay ...
9
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it legal for officials to hold my foreign driver's license as a guarantee for a traffic fine?

I was pulled over again today in Mexico, for an illegal left turn. The officer wanted to hold my driver's license until I paid the fine--as is common practice in Mexico for foreigners. However, I've ...
9
votes
1answer
367 views

If I visit Moldova on an ID card, how can the police see I'm legally in the country?

As a Swedish national, I'm allowed to visit Moldova without a residence permit for 3 months in a 6-month period. When going there I use my ID Card (accepted since September 2014), which cannot be ...
9
votes
3answers
542 views

Why are German border checks alternately performed by border police and customs?

When entering Germany by bus from Switzerland, border checks are occasionally performed. However, the checks are not always performed by the border police (Bundespolizei, officially responsible for ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Documents required at US Border patrol checkpoint?

Someone I know (Finnish national) was robbed of her passport in San Diego this evening and needs to go by bus to Los Angeles tomorrow (i.e. today in Europe). She is in WT status, and holds an ...
9
votes
1answer
487 views

Why was my residence permit card bounced against the desk at immigration?

This may sound like a very bizarre question, but today while entering Turkey at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, I was using my UK Residence Permit as an entry requirement (since Indian passport holders need ...
8
votes
2answers
398 views

When travelling to China, does the Hijab have to be removed?

As most of the people know, the Hijab is a headscarf which Muslim women are ordered to wear in Islam. Hearing the recent news, it appears China has banned the Hijab and other types of Islamic clothing....
8
votes
2answers
495 views

Carrying confidential corporate data into US on laptop/Drive/device - how to prevent data theft?

If I travel to the US and had privacy concerns (for instance may be I was afraid that a rogue customs official may steal said data) what is the current recommended best practice to avoid this?
8
votes
3answers
636 views

Do the Macedonian police issue visitors a registration card?

In Serbia and Macedonia, you have to register with the police if staying in those countries overnight. I know that in Serbia, you're issued a white registration card that needs to be shown when ...
8
votes
2answers
372 views

What are police procedures in France when the victim is a traveler?

I have a friend who went to France a few days ago. Now I have received the following message from a friend of hers: "Hello, I'm Amanda's friend (fictional name) and I received a call from where she ...
8
votes
1answer
227 views

Paying an unreceived traffic fine in Paris

So I was given a ticket for riding a bike (Vélib) in a one way street which i wasn't aware it was by that time. However, I left France after a month of that incident and haven't received the well ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Proofs required and what to expect with Immigration officer interview, visiting UK for Job interview

I will be visiting London, UK for an onsite Job interview next week. For the purpose of this visit, I applied and got a standard visitor visa. I have booked return ticket, hotel, pickup and drop ...
7
votes
2answers
417 views

Why did someone at the airport ask for my passport and write my info in a book?

I’m 18 this year and I’m going to Korea for the third time. Once last year, twice this year. This time, I got a stamp on my flight ticket: it was stamped when I transferred from a domestic flight to ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Are EEA nationals allowed to use the non-EEA queue at UK airports?

I just (half an hour ago) entered the UK at Stansted airport, and the EEA queue at immigration was absolutely packed (it would have taken at least an hour to get through), whereas the non-EEA queue ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What does a genuine TSA badge look like?

While reading a news article on newly observed TSA practices a commenter mentioned "How many people know what a TSA badge is really supposed to look like?" It's a great question IMHO. If some ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I legally display my foreign license if pulled over in the USA if I already have USA license?

Am I required by law to have my USA license on me if I drive in the USA, or can I also have my foreign license? If pulled over, must I tell the police that I have a valid USA license or can I just ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Bribing Indonesian police for missing motorbike license

I really hate to do this, but it seems like I most likely will have to bribe the police at some point because I do not have a motorbike license and I'm driving a scooter in Indonesia for several weeks....
5
votes
3answers
776 views

Does an (almost) full passport increase the time you spend at immigration?

I have been in front of immigration officers who thoroughly inspect every stamp in my passport. Is it a proper inference that it is more efficient to travel on an "empty" passport then a fully stamped ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

Photographing federal buildings in Australia?

There are some amazing federal buildings in Australia, with their own unique designs. However, a friend was saying he had no idea what he was photographing in Sydney and took a photo of the Federal ...
5
votes
2answers
398 views

Is it normal to be stopped by authorities and asked for ID in Paris? [closed]

On Boulevard Haussmann Paris, is it normal to be stopped for no apparent good reason and asked where you are from? I was giving directions to another tourist. My appearance is clean-cut, unremarkable ...
5
votes
2answers
542 views

Carrying a copy of my passport in Romania

From what I gather from the following review "Miscellaneous" Bucharest Warnings Or Dangers Tip by Romanian_Bat the police might stop me and ask for my passport randomly. I'm a bit worried about ...
5
votes
1answer
143 views

Is it true that Uzbek visas are regularly checked in the Tashkent Metro?

I've read that local Police regularly checks foreigners' Uzbek visas in the Tashkent Metro. Is this true? And what would happen if you didn't have you passport with you? Would you simply be refused ...