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Forums > Social Chat > Anybody ever have trouble getting into America?

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:I probably should have made this a 'discussion' thread but thought there'd be more traffic here.



Just wondering if anyone has ever had any trouble legally getting into America to visit? More interested in personal experience rather than rumors and urban legend. I'm also more interested in coming from the UK or other Western countries.



Mostly because I expect Molly to come and visit lots. ubblove



The only trouble I've ever heard of is when people try to illegally work. Or when people commit crimes here.



Anyone actually get turned away at the border who just wanted to visit for a few months?


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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_Aime_
SILVER Member since Jan 2004

_Aime_

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hastings

Total posts: 4172
Posted:They searched all inside my shoes when I went..
But they let me in despite the smell smile


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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:My friend's not had any trouble, but he says that the visa limit is a month and they seemed a bit skeptical that he was really wanting to stay with friends for a month. But not too terribly much, because he's a white male and doesn't fit their profiling.... (honestly they gave me more trouble getting into the UK than anyone i know has had trouble getting into the US!)

I think "glass" may have a story, I forget. Maybe he'll stop by.


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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Mand
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

Mand

Keeper of the Spitfire
Location: Calgary Canada

Total posts: 2317
Posted:NYC, I found it to be real pot luck as to how much I got questioned, but I never got turned away (and I went in and out of the country a LOT).

I found it was best to just be honest with them, but just give them information as they asked for it.
A lot of the time it just seemed like they picked random questions out their head to ask me whilst they're looking over my passport and imigration card, taking my finger prints, and photos of my eyes.

All the questions were always around one subject, but that subject has been everything from 'what Kim does for a living' to 'what I do for a living' and once really bizarre questions about Canada (which I'd never visited at the time). The guy kept telling me I had to visit there.

Every time I went through I was worried that they would turn me away, but now that I've started visiting Canada instead, I've realised how lax American imigration really is (or at least at Houston- NYC might be different).

The questions asked in Canada show that they are monitoring how many times you come into the country, and how long you stay for. The last time I entered Canada (new years eve), the imigration officer looked through all the stamps in my passport, and asked how long my last visit to the country was for, how long I was staying this time, if I'd be staying in Calgary or going elsewhere, what I was planning on doing for 5 1/2 months, what I did for a job in the UK, and how I was planning on supporting myself.
I NEVER had those questions asked when I was arriving in America.

So, my guess is that Molly will be fine going in and out of the country. Just be honest with them. Oh yeah, and don't joke that you've got a bomb in your hand luggage! wink


Lets steal a spaceship and head for the sun, and shoot the stars with a lemonade ray gun.

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KaelGotRice
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

KaelGotRice

Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
Location: Angel's Landing, USA

Total posts: 1584
Posted:Ask nick *meenik

I think the only reason he got the boot was for teaching "illegal ninja poi workshops". Ugh. Stupid government.

As long as Molly doesn't work, she ought to be fine.


To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />

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heyahoney
BRONZE Member since Oct 2004

heyahoney

Redneck Woman
Location: Texas, Yeeeeehaaaaaw

Total posts: 566
Posted:i had problems getting into france....but, then again i was acting kind of stupid cause i had taken too many of my nerve pills to even get my ass on the plane

Top Three Things I've Learn While Being A Mom
1. Baby poop comes in many colors.
2. Makes sure all dirty diapers are not accessable to my dog.
3. Burp rags are not big enough.

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Asena
GOLD Member since Aug 2005

Asena

What a Bummer
Location: Shatfield, Hertfordshire

Total posts: 3224
Posted:I've never had a problem, and my cousin now lives out there with a job etc with wat i heard was pretty easily done... I just remember the lil crazy security guard in LA... *shudder*... She was shouting at us and treating us like well, badly... but no one would dare complain, she seemed crazy, and she was armed!! eek

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:Yup, got the right royal rubber gloves treatment in Detroit.

Basically, if you're not planning on staying in a hotel they're immediately suspicious. I was staying with a male friend, they wanted to know his marital staus, mine, how we met blah blah blah. They even went through my stuff to see if I had anything like a resume or something that would indicate that I was looking for work.

If Molly carries a diary then put in entries like "Job interview in London" or "big party for mum in Manchester" for a date after the expected return, that way they think they've got written proof that there is no intention of remaining.

One time they searched my paraglider and pulled my emergency parachute out, then they refused to pay for it to be professionally re-packed. Not impressed with that at all.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear

Total posts: 4693
Posted:i heard in an interview that Ewan McGregor, who played a drug addict in the movie trainspotting, had to have a cavity search when he went to the US because the silly customs guy thought he actually was an addict!

take a child with you, then they have no problems(as long as you go to disneyland) wink


"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction

Total posts: 13215
Posted:i dont know about america, but i know some countries dont let you in based on where you hve been before. Eg; Turkey wont let you in if you have been to non-turkish cyprus or Israel. If you have any middle eastern stamps then that could be a stopping point.

Also, people coming over lots and lots can be a problem because they get suspicious with working and the like. But whoever suggested the diary idea, i think that's good. in general, coming from england should be ok.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Gayle......!
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol !!!!!!

Total posts: 2444
Posted:I know you can have problems if you have any convictions in the UK like drink driving etc..Although that entails a trip to the embassy in London, which after a four hour wait they let you go. That's this side though, never heard of trouble the other side - apart from the guy in the Terminal!

Gayle.....!

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Igirisujin
SILVER Member since Jul 2005

Igirisujin

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Preston

Total posts: 2666
Posted:Oh my god all the time, that ocien is a bitch to paddle across on a flaoting door, and those high fences and snapping dogs at my feet, I mean you would think that they didnt want visitors wouldnt you!

Chief adviser to the Pharaoh, in one very snazzy mutli-coloured coat

'Time goes by so slowly for those who wait...' - Whatever Happend To Baby Madonna?

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Dr_Molly


Dr_Molly

Pooh-Bah
Location: Away from home

Total posts: 2354
Posted:Well I'm pleased that renewed my passport before I started visiting America then smile

I suppose they already ask me plenty of questions about NYC (the man that is) but he does look SO good on paper and I do the excitable girlie so well it's all gone swimmingly so far smile

I'll put 'full diary' and 'healthy bank account' on my packign list though just in case wink


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ananya


ananya

newbie
Location: Cardiff/Liverpool

Total posts: 23
Posted:This isn't exactly related as I've never been to America, but I thought it would be better to post it here rather than start a brand new topic for it...

Does anybody know how difficult it is for a non-American and non-Canadian to travel between the US and Canada? I'm considering doing Camp America this summer and after nine weeks of working in a summer camp, they let you loose to go explore the states. Now, as I've got friends in Ontario I'd like to go visit them, but apparently it's tricky to cross the America/Canada border with a British passport as you're neither Canadian nor American. I'm sure they'd let me through eventually, but I don't particularly fancy the added hassle whilst travelling alone for the first time.


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Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:I had an Aussie friend that was doing it for awhile, also some camp thing where he was a counseler blah blah and he wasn't having any troubles. But heaven only knows ... I'm not sure if crossing into canada would be easier (they've always seemed pretty lax to me, going in) or what, but since you will have to go both ways... don't declare anthing jokingly! And don't bring sleeping children, they get very upset and think you're trying to kidnap the,m... (my expirience as a nine year old, i was so scared of the customs guy!)

Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:The US/Canadian border can be strict or lax depending on the day.

I've found it to be lax but they definitely made it easier since I was a New Yorker.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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lasersurge
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

lasersurge

member
Location: no home, between homes, always...

Total posts: 100
Posted:I'm planning on travelling through turkey, iran, pakistan, india and south east asia to get back to australia this year, then i have the opportunity to go live with an awesome friend in Michigan for a while, and i'm curious about what they'll think of an iranian visa in my passport. I don't suppose anybody has experience with anything like this

Mieke's uncle went to the States for work back in the day, he worked for a Belgian airline, and he'd previously been to Moscow for work, and he was turned away at the airport, away being in the direction of another plane going back to Belgium. Upon hearing this i thought, man, that sucks.


people are people

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Sethis
BRONZE Member since May 2005

Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University

Total posts: 1762
Posted:If you've got an Iranian stamp in your passport then odds are they're going to put you on a list monitored by the FBI, CIA, NSA and FEMA (for whatever reason umm) for your movements in America and who you meet. Surveillance will be stepped up if you meet an Iranian while you're there. Your baggage will be completely searched at every opportunity, as will your clothing. You will be kept on their "Suspected Terrorist" list even after you've left the country, and if you go back to Iran afterwards then they'll arrest you and fly you to a secret prison where they'll interrogate you for months.

I can't actually remember if I'm still joking or not. umm


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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Mand
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

Mand

Keeper of the Spitfire
Location: Calgary Canada

Total posts: 2317
Posted:Written by: ananya

Does anybody know how difficult it is for a non-American and non-Canadian to travel between the US and Canada? I'm considering doing Camp America this summer and after nine weeks of working in a summer camp, they let you loose to go explore the states. Now, as I've got friends in Ontario I'd like to go visit them, but apparently it's tricky to cross the America/Canada border with a British passport as you're neither Canadian nor American. I'm sure they'd let me through eventually, but I don't particularly fancy the added hassle whilst travelling alone for the first time.



I've travelled between Canada and the US quite a bit (I have a UK passport), and I've never had any problems.
As long as you have a ticket to leave the country your entering, you should be fine.


Lets steal a spaceship and head for the sun, and shoot the stars with a lemonade ray gun.

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VampyricAcid
SILVER Member since Jun 2005

VampyricAcid

veteran
Location: My House

Total posts: 1286
Posted:Written by: Sethis

If you've got an Iranian stamp in your passport then odds are they're going to put you on a list monitored by the FBI, CIA, NSA and FEMA (for whatever reason umm) for your movements in America and who you meet. Surveillance will be stepped up if you meet an Iranian while you're there. Your baggage will be completely searched at every opportunity, as will your clothing. You will be kept on their "Suspected Terrorist" list even after you've left the country, and if you go back to Iran afterwards then they'll arrest you and fly you to a secret prison where they'll interrogate you for months.

I can't actually remember if I'm still joking or not. umm




lol sethis i wasnt sure...still not umm help


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BansheeCat
BRONZE Member since Jul 2005

veteran
Location: lost

Total posts: 1247
Posted:Hmmn. Recently a german friend of mine had a problem getting back into Canada after he went to see some friends in the USA .

Mind you, he was stopped by the drug dog( who thought was just affectionatley coming to sit by his feet lol) , and he had no money, a huge bush terrorist beard( quite frightening really) kerosene soaked martial arts objects in his bag( fire poi) , a sword on his back
( seriously!!!a real sword!) and absolutely no evidence of the ticket he claimed his " canadian friend" ( me) had purchased on line so he could fly out of Canada in a few days...
ubblol

At any rate, I got a hilarious call from perturbed immigration officer saying they were holding my friend at the border, and would I please call them back. Unfortunately, the machine at my place had a message saying I would send out pigeons in response to all messages, so I fairly certain that did not help his case any. But, when I called back in person, they seemed to accept my explanations, and in reasonable Canadian fashion, did let him back in....

He then left for London a few days later, with all that amazing arsenal-- and !!!steel knitting needles, aluminum pipes( wind chimes, look suspiciously like pipe bombs) and silver snowflake ornaments( look like chinese throwing stars) in his bag... I was sure he would never make it home! Somehow, they let him through!
umm
ubbloco

Just have a return ticket, and a reasonable amount of money to show you wont have to work or beg, dont carry much obvious weaponry, and you should be fine... And do thoroughly clear all the drugs out of your bag, and like maybe wash your clothes first too? !


"God *was* my co-pilot, but then we crashed, and I had to eat him..."

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:I've been twice into the US after 2001 with a passport full of Middle-Eastern stamps (Turkey, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Egypt), never had any hassel with tham at all; basically they zip the front page through a machine and don't look in the middle at all unless they're really bored.

My Russian visa caused hassel at the US/Canadian border at Sout St Marie (or however they spell it) as apparently it looks like a Canadian one, but the alphabet was wrong and it took the border guard a while to realise he couldn't read it.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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OrangeBobo
SILVER Member since Nov 2003

OrangeBobo

veteran
Location: Guelph, ON, Canada

Total posts: 1389
Posted:Hmm... I've never had any real troubles... The trick is to be calm, and answer their questions (both Canadian and American) truthfully, and not in such a way that you seem suspectful. As NYC said, in Canada, they can be good, or bad depending on the day. I've had no problems one time, then the next I'm huddling outside in -10 with the rest of my class while our bus gets searched with dogs on the way back from NYC (the city this time, not the guy).

I've been questioned to make sure that my aunt and uncle weren't stealing me (as they are all american, and I was the only Canadian. One time, my aunt and uncle found out through conversation that the border guard we were talking to actually lived around the corner from them (or something to that affect).

I got asked some funny questions when leaving Europe after my year in Germany - I was flying through Amsterdam to Detroit... Something about what kind of electronics I had with me, nothing serious... Not like the woman behinnd me who kept bragging/complaining that she had to wait because there were some laws about importing guns that her hubby had bought in the Netherlands... rolleyes

I've never had my luggage checked either, knock on wood. I guess due to my age and whatnot, I'm not a huge threat. Although I tend to set off metal detectors a lot... When I was a child, I was terrified of crossing the border, because my parents always turned off the music, and made us remain completely silent, and I was scared that we'd get pulled over and get checked, and something would be wrong and all that... tongue

Anywho... those are the highlights of my bordercrossing experiences...

~ Bobo


wie weit, wie weit noch?
fragst mich, wo wir gewesen sind...
du fehlst hier

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JayKitty
GOLD Member since Nov 2004

JayKitty

Mission: Ignition
Location: Central New Jersey

Total posts: 534
Posted:I was born in America... but aparently my mother was in labor for a long time, does that count?

Don't mind me, just passing through.

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Mr Majestik
SILVER Member since Mar 2004

Mr Majestik

coming to a country near you
Location: home of the tiney toothy bear

Total posts: 4693
Posted:lol, really helpful jaykitty ubbloco

"but have you considered there is more to life than your eyelids?"

jointly owned by Fire_Spinning_Angel and Blu_Valley

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Hanz


Hanz

veteran
Location: Bendigo, Vic, Australia

Total posts: 1328
Posted:when I went to Canada in 2004 we had to stop in LA for the night as we had to do the changeover to get on a flight to Canada.
When you are on the plane they give you a declaration form saying stupid stuff like "are you a terrorist", "do you have any bombs on you" and things like that. You can do one per family, and as I was travelling with my sister she filled it out for the both of us. When you get off the plane you go through a gate and they check the form and say whether one or 2 people are on it. When we went to go through customs they asked for the forms and they let her through and then asked for mine, we said I was also on the form they had just given us... but the guy had only marked it for one person! so I started freaking out, my sister was yelling which didnt help any, and we had a b*tchy security guard chick who was yelling back. We had to go into an office to get it sorted out and then they asked us who signed our form, so we had to go and find him, but we couldnt, so we went back into the office and luckily the guy was in there eating lunch and he remembered us so he fixed it, and we FINALLY went through. Unfortunatly the group we were with (our choir) had disappeared but they came back and found us. That was scary, as because of where we were at the time, we werent in America yet and couldnt get in, but I couldnt turn around and go back to Aus!

When we got to Canada the next day it was easier, they just asked us where we were going, what we were doing, and where we were staying, that was easy enough.

So yes, that is my airport story. So make sure she checks all forms carefully before moving on.


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Firetramp


Firetramp

old hand
Location: Binstead, Isle of Wight

Total posts: 896
Posted:I flew to San Francisco in 2002 and got stopped at customs when they checked my passport. I was taken to a little room where more people where waiting. My passport details got run through a computer and after 15 minutes they let met go. I never knew why they picked me out of the queu. I did have a lot of stamps in my passport, including a Russian and a Japanese one as I was travelling the world.

I've also been told never to mention if you have a partner in the US or that you're going to Burning Man. A friend's name and address in the US as a reference is good though.

And nowadays, as a European citizen, you need an elctronical passport!


Ask a question and be a fool for a minute...don't ask and be a fool your whole life.

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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted:except for attitude problems? wink

They might demand a biometrical passport as of this month (I was told) and neither I have one, nor will I get one (just for the US)... umm ubbloco

Sorry but right now the US is the last destination I consider visiting... and I guess they're not crying ubblol ubbangel


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction

Total posts: 13215
Posted:I just remembered, work visas for other countries might be a problem. My first time into england I was fine until they saw my romanian working visa and then started asking questions.

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Posted:Every time I fly internationally, I get tagged for the 'random' passport check. This could be due to the fact of having the same first and last name as the former director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.



I've been scanned, patted down and thankfully, avoided a cavity search, more than once. There's been a couple of close calls, where it looked like I wouldn't be allowed into the U.S. . But have so far managed to be let in.


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