Tips in Passing Through Immigration: The Ultimate Survival Tips
April 27, 2020
Passing through immigration is one of the most threatening experiences I ever had in my life. It still happens up to now, even though I have experienced flying abroad frequently for the past years. Looking at it closely, what scares people the most is not the immigration officer, but the idea that we might be offloaded. It means that they might scrutinize all the details of our travel details or, worse, might not allow us to board the plane. Pretty scary, right? But to be honest, there are some ways in which we could prevent this from happening. In this article, I will be sharing with you the ultimate survival tips in passing through immigration successfully.
1. Complete your documents
The documents would include at least two identification card, passport, printed itineraries (both for arrival and departure), visa (if needed, depending on the country), hotel reservation or letter of sponsorship is staying with a relative abroad, and day to day itinerary or activities which you plan to do overseas. By having these documents, you will be 80% sure that you can pass through the immigration successfully.
2. Be polite in answering questions
The immigration officer may ask essential matters relative to your travel. These may include previous travel history in the past 30 days, your planned number of days in the arriving country, the specific purpose of the trip, and your job. This will allow the officer to identify if your answer coincides with the actual number of days indicated in your documents.
3. Follow the rules
Standing behind the yellow line, forming lines, checking of documents, removing hats and sunglasses, and even using gadgets may be limited in the immigration hall area. Look for signage or posts around the area for possible restrictions. The more obedient you are with the rules, the more smooth your immigration process will be.
4. Dress accordingly
You do not have to wear something very formal. Just wear something that will make you look “able to travel” financially. If you intend to stay for a longer time in a country, then I would highly encourage you to wear something decent enough to convince the immigration officer that you have the means to stay in the country.
5. Arrive early
Arriving at the immigration hall as soon as possible is the best idea. Lines might take half an hour or even more, depending on the flock of travelers. Allow ample time for the line by arriving early at the airport and proceeding immediately at the immigration area right after checking in and dropping off your luggage at the airline’s designated counter.
6. Do not panic
If the questions keep on coming from the officer, do not panic! Yes, it will surely be a terrifying feeling if the officer will keep asking you a series of questions. But the tenser you appear, the more that he/she might ask follow-up questions. Keep your calm and maintain your composure at all times. The more accommodating you appear, the more that the officer will feel that you are not a threat in their country.
7. Understand the Situation
Immigration officers tend to be pushy when it comes to getting details. The long-standing lines, the not so cold temperature, and all the other external factors would also push you to be grumpy. Well, you have to be really understanding of the situation. It is okay to ask if it is taking too long and if you lack time to run in your flight gate. But always be understanding and courteous in approaching the working personnel.
I know that passing through the immigration hall is scary, especially if it is the first time you are going to do it. For as long as you follow all the tips I have given above, then I know that you are good to go. So, have a fantastic journey!