135

Was it my fault that I put that money there? Yes, passports are not meant to be used as wallets. The agent most likely thought you were offering a bribe, it is a common practice in some countries to offer money to officials but not in most. I guess he felt offended. Did I block off something important? Perhaps the thin case made the passport harder to ...


88

None - that is an entirely reasonable amount of cash to have on you. You don't need to declare that you have it, declarations are only required above £10,000 https://www.gov.uk/bringing-cash-into-uk You must declare cash of £10,000 or more to UK customs authorities if you carry it between Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) and another country.


69

Immigration and Customs officials are generally on the lookout for anything that could be an indicator that a traveler is either carrying something illegal, or is bringing something in that may be used in the commission of a crime whilst in the country. Having 16 bank/credit cards is obviously not illegal - presuming that they are actually legitimate cards, ...


67

I use a very similar passport case, and like you I keep one or two cards in the back of it - although not money (in my case these cards are only cards that I may need at immigration, such as my US Green Card or my APEC Business Travel Card). Passport cases, even thin plastic ones, often interfere with the readers that immigration staff use to scan the ...


57

WARNING: You are at risk of losing your money! You actually have to declare it TWICE: You have to declare cash (or equivalent) over 10k both when entering and leaving the country. See https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-195?language=en_US#:~:text=International%20travelers%20entering%20the%20United,file%20a%20FinCEN%20Form%20105. Most people don't know ...


54

If anything, you're going to be questioned as to why you have only 25 pounds. Unless you look extremely suspicious, nobody's going to ask about the money's origin until you get well into the thousands.


43

The airline not only can, but legally is required to, confirm you have the correct documents required in order to enter the US. This would normally include things like visa/immigration documentation, but also currently includes COVID-19 documentation (specifically for the US, proof of a negative test within the previous 3 days). The question regarding your ...


32

Historically everyone entering the US - even US citizens - was processed by an immigration officer. This officer is able to ask any number of questions about you, your visit to the US, etc, in an attempt to confirm that you are a bona fide visitor to the US. Several years ago the US started using automated machines to process visitors on arrival, which ...


32

Yes, you must declare the cash. The US doesn't have sterile airside transit: all passengers on every international flight arriving in the US (except those flights departing from a non-US airport with a US Preclearance Facility) must pass US Immigration and US Customs when physically arriving in the US, and enter the US. There are no US Preclearance ...


23

I am not sure, as I am not a border official, but I suspect they assumed you had either stolen cards or fake cards. Most people travel with one or two credit cards next to one or two bank cards and a handful of cards in the same size which have nothing to do with money. Having so many more is likely something rare and as I have heard many stories of people ...


17

There are lots of good answers here, but just to add - I would strongly advise against keeping money in your passport. You actually were lucky this time. In some countries, in particular, in Eastern Europe, where the situation with corruption is pretty bad still, the border control office might charge you with an attempt to give a bribe. They even have ...


13

Your visa has to be valid when you reach a country that requires it. Starting your trip before the start date of the visa is not unusual. As long as you do not plan to arrive before the start date you will be fine, and will be able to board your flight.


13

Countries that set their exchange rates away from the market rate generally require that you only trade with official sources and that you don't take currency in/out of the country. However, countries that do not mess with the exchange rates have no such restrictions, nobody cares about currency being carried across borders until it reaches quantities that ...


12

Flights to the US have been subjected to additional checks for quite a few years now. Can't quite remember if that started after the shoe-bomber attempt or after the liquid bomb scare. In many cases: There can be separate check-in areas for flights to the US, with additional questioning/verification before getting access to the check-in area; There is very ...


12

You've got it right. Everyone can travel to Sweden from an EEA country or Switzerland, but from outside the Nordics you need the EU Covid certificate (or other approved certificates). The ban for travel from third countries is based on recommendations from the European council. There is also a desire to keep travel within EU possible. The European council ...


10

If it's your first time visiting the US, regardless of ESTA/visa, you should definitely expect the CBP officer who processes you to spend longer questioning you about your circumstances, trip, etc., and for there to be a greater chance that you'll be pulled aside for secondary screening (though that's still unlikely overall). It isn't a matter of a separate &...


7

In addition to the other answers, I wanted to point out the main questions you're likely to be asked, which are: What is your purpose of visiting? (Be straightforward: "Visiting a friend", "Visiting Chicago as a tourist") Where are you staying? (Have an address ready.) Sometimes you get asked questions which they can't possibly verify, ...


7

Gibraltar is an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom and has its own immigration laws. For short term visits, nothing has changed for EU citizens. Do I need a visa to enter Gibraltar? Passports are required by all visitors to Gibraltar, except EU nationals who are in possession of a valid national identity card. All other nationals require a passport ...


7

Usually banks are reluctant to issue similar cards to the same person, so that would imply active relationships with many different financial institutions, something that is quite unusual, and therefore suspicious. Personally, I have an unusually large number because I have business and personal and some offer kickbacks and some have advantages on foreign ...


6

I think the other answers are good, but there's also a possibility that the border agent was being brusque with you to see how you would respond, i.e., s/he was doing behavioral profiling. For instance, if an authority figure asks a pointed question to an innocent person, that might just provoke confusion. But if s/he asks the question of a guilty person, ...


6

The short answer is that it has become routine. It's been some times that I haven't seen a flight to the US without extra screening (systematic questioning in the waiting line before check-in and random additional hand luggage screening at the gate) above and beyond the regular document check and luggage screening you can expect for international travel ...


6

I picked up my friend on foot crossing peace arch border today, there is visitor parking adjacent to the staff parking. You will see you when you drive on left lane before the duty free shop. Don’t use the duty free shop parking as it will force you to go to the US custom. When in doubt just call Canada border office - they are very helpful +1 204-983-3500 ...


6

My latest I-94 was obtained prior to 9pm so it’s hard to confirm but I believe your answer is that the I-94 dates are stored in the backend in UTC time while the web portal is set to show everything in Eastern Time by default. So any entry past 9pm in LAX will show up as the next day if looked up online. Overall I’d try to be cautious and make sure I follow ...


5

You commented that this was entering the US via land port-of-entry via the SENTRI/Global Entry vehicle lanes, and I think it's possible your experience was directly related to this fact. The CBP are VERY strict on travelers who use these lanes coming in from Mexico. I know people who have had their cards withheld for what seem (to us) like very minor ...


4

I think the answer is simply: because they feel like it. US CBP (Customer and Border Patrol) officers have an unusual amount of leeway and there is little oversight, so the experience tends to be very inconsistent and unpredictable. The "why" is often a moot question since the answer is simply "because that's what the officer wants to do"....


4

Note: the airline isn't (really) legally a Delegate of the far-end country requiring documentation and vaccines; when you land, the entry Immigration/Customs of the country still do those processes again themselves. for example, the airline cannot jail you if they detect fraud; those are rights/duties of Countries, not corporations. They will REFER you to ...


4

Yes you can use your mother-in-law as a sponsor. But you will still have to provide your own bank statements, and not being able to do so for all the required months is a problem. Read the linked answer for more information. You would be wise to consider waiting until you have stable finances and the bank statements to prove it.


3

Would that be enough time to get my luggage, clear customs and board the other plane? I would give it an 90%+ chance of making it. I came into Houston from Peru about 2 weeks ago. International flights are still pretty empty (as compared to domestics ones, which are often stuffed to the last seat). Since I have Global Entry and no checked luggage it took me ...


3

2 hours should be plenty of time to make this connection, presuming that your inbound flight isn't excessively late. Although you will need to collect your bags at Houston and carry them through customs, they will have been tagged at check-in all the way through to your final destination which means that you will simply need to drop them at the bag drop ...


3

Apparently the experience can vary greatly, depending on airport and possibly from were you are from. I suppose the passport scan (if you are a potential risk-category passenger) triggers a flag to the officer that causes him/her to ask more questions. And I wouldn't be surprised if the immigration officers have a great deal of leeway to ask more questions ...


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