Please enjoy this cavity search, courtesy of your big mouth. Find us a person who enjoys going through immigration, and we’ll find you a liar. Even when you know you’ve got nothing to hide- there’s something scary about the serious people in uniform. To make sure you are able to collect another passport stamp, and not become a resident of a detention center- we’ve come up with a handy guide of five things that should never come out of your mouth at immigration…
Flight attendants are amongst the most touchy when it comes to the ole’ “may I borrow your pen”, but they will seem like cuddly teddybears when compared with asking an immigration officer. Maybe they just love their special pen, or maybe they are seriously tired of being asked – but either way you will not end up with a pen, you will end up in the back of the line, and if karma has its way with you, you’ll be sent back to the same officer – after the inevitably long wait, of course.
It’s never fun feeling berated and interrogated by someone after a long flight, but please, pretty please just don’t give them the “do I look like a terrorist” line. Truth be told – terrorists sadly have many shapes, sizes and backgrounds these days so even though they may get the gist of what you’re saying, they absolutely will NOT find it amusing.
We’re all looking to improve in life – but no one loves criticism. Things being slow implies that immigration officers aren’t swift with their jobs, or even worse- that national security isn’t of the utmost importance to you. So yeah, despite everything you’re feeling inside, or the fact that the inefficiency of most immigration operations is staggering (hello, two lanes for 5000 people) just don’t ask them if this painful process is standard. After all, if you’re a frequent traveler- you already know it is. Don’t give them a reason to make your long day of travelers longer.
What’s in the rest then?! Now- lying is not good, but if your mom helped packed your bag, just say you did. But seriously- pack your own bag. This question is designed to instantly separate sketchy travelers from the normal travelers, and anyone who didn’t pack their bag is infinitely more likely to be carrying contraband. For the love of God, please pack your own bag, so you can just say “yes, I packed it myself”. Otherwise, forever enjoy telling the story of that one time you got cavity searched.
Truth be told – most of immigration after landing is a formality. If the country was really worried about you, they wouldn’t have let you board the plane in the first place. With that said, there are quite a few things you can say- which will cast doubt on your admissability. Immigration just wants to know that there’s an address they can track you down- if they need to, for whatever reason. Figure out where you’re staying, even if it’s a friends place – get an address. This will avoid significant delays and painful interrogations.
Again, we’re not advocating lying- but you’re just inviting a world of trouble, even if Tiesto is the only reason you came to this particular country. What do party people enjoy? Drugs and alcohol. What do customs prohibit – drugs. Being a “party person” can have you immediately flagged as someone who likely has drug residue on their belongings, which will lead to one of those (really cool actually) little drug test machines with the big beeps, after a swab of all your belongings. Go with “experience city life”, it sounds far more dignified.