customs and immigration – Was the UK government capable of confirming in 2016 if I was in Bulgaria?

First of all you should consider that name and date of birth is not enough to uniquely identify a person. Even if Bulgarian authorities recorded entries and exits, they could with the name and DOB only confirm or reject that a UK citizen with that name and DOB was currently present in Bulgaria at any time. It would not be possible to find out if it is the person you are actually looking for.

IANAL and I am not familiar with Bulgarian record keeping of foreign visitors, but when it comes to the question if a UK citizen would generate entry and exit records passing a Bulgarian bolder in 2016, I would with 99.9% certainty say no. UK and Bulgaria were at that time both members of the EU (UK not being a Schengen member is not significant here) and it would be a breach of EU data protection laws if one country with no reason tracked the movement of other EU citizens.

customs and immigration – Can I carry 25 pounds in cash to UK without a receipt?

None – that is an enterly 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.

customs and immigration – Is the UK government capable of confirming that I am currently in Bulgaria?

I’m actually asking as research for a novel.

If a UK citizen was reported missing abroad, would the UK authorities be able to check using name and DOB only, and discover that someone with those details was definitely in Bulgaria at that time? (NB- Bulgaria is not in the Schengen Zone, so passport checks are required at all borders).

customs and immigration – AirBNB for Ukrainian eVisa or Passport Control

Indian national working in Germany with a permanent resident permit here.

I plan to visit Kyiv and I am eligible for eVisa. One of the requirements for a tourist visa is:

proof that the applicant’s main purpose of journey to Ukraine is
tourism (hotel/accommodation booking(s), programme of stay,
information on the tour(s) and the tour(s’) timeframes, tourist agency
details, transfer details, sightseeing information etc.);

The wording here can be understood in so many ways. However, the internet seems divided about things like Couchsurfing or AirBNB, and whether hotels / hostels from something like Booking let’s say acts as the only valid confirmation.

In many countries, people book stuff for the purpose of visa, only to cancel it later and be at the receiving end when they approach passport control. Especially, in countries like the UK or EU. My friend tried to do this when he wanted to visit me in Germany. Instead, I just gave him a letter of invitation which worked out pretty smoothly later.

In Russia, the officer at the consulate initially had no idea about AirBNB but eventually granted me the visa, same at the border control too, no questions asked.

Vloggers/bloggers, both foreigners and Indians, give suggestions like “Please book a hotel, then cancel, and go for couchsurfing/AirBNB”. Now, these guys live on a budget besides being with locals, so I understand this. This however may also demonstrate indirectly that they are lacking funds to cover their stay in hostels or hotels unless they have stellar bank statements to prove otherwise.

Although I do not plan to go this route, and I would rather just book an AirBNB if I feel confident, or just book a hostel / hotel and stick to it, what is the legality of travelers who do this, like book, cancel, and then live for free on-the-go? Especially when some countries may also have local registration laws even for short term tourists?

Hotels of course register you, but what about living with locals who are not your friends as such, but rather strangers?

I have no budget issues but I love to live in a local’s residence, and I feel comfortable paying than living for free.

Nationals from India visiting Ukraine are given a tough time, understandably so because some what to get into illegal menial jobs or into the EU. Given that I have a weird combination of having a not-so-great passport but living in EU already for years, is AirBNB worth the shot?

india – UK Visa correspondance from immigration

I am an applicant from India who is trying to apply for UK Visitor Visa on priority from VFS Global. My application was received successfully but I received this very distressing email from the Immigration office.

“Unfortunately, we will not be able to make a decision on your visa application within these service standards because we require further information to fully assess your application. We will contact you should we require any additional information from you.

Should I be worried here? I don’t know what other information I can submit. I have submitted Bank Statements, Demat Holdings Statement, Recurring Deposit Summary, Leave Letter from the company, Tax returns for 3 years, Salary Slips, a Personal Covering Letter, Flight Tickets ,Hotel Bookings.

What can possibly be missing here? Or is this message something everyone is getting now due to delays caused in processing times due to the pandemic?

customs and immigration – Is it legal to take photos at the airport?

Important nuance here: taking photos with people in them might be problematic as pictures can be considered personal data under GDPR

So if you’re taking pictures on the street, you have to ask for consent to feature someone in a shot. GDPR does not allow consent to be asked AFTER the photograph is made, only before. You might not have super big issues if people cannot be easily identified in the shot (e.g. they’re facing away from you, super far away, etc.), but better to err on the side of the caution if you intend to publish those pictures.

Furthermore, GDPR also establishes “right to be forgotten” so even if someone okayed the picture (or was not very obvious that it was them), if they request their picture to be taken down, you have to comply with it

About taking pictures at passport control and secondary inspection areas, in general, those areas are not classified as public, so you’re not subject to the same legal protections for photographing and filming that are granted to public spaces in most jurisdictions.

customs and immigration – Does Canada accept the EU covid certificate as a proof of vaccination?

For entering Canada by air you need to show proof of Covid vaccination in print, and also upload it to the ArriveCAN app. The requirements for that proof are delightfully vague: “a photo or PDF file of the record of each dose of your vaccination, such as receipts, cards, or confirmations” (source)

The EU DCC is explicitly described as a vaccination proof for inter-EU travel only – the digital version only contains the QR code, while the paper version contains more details. But because the Canadian standards are so vague, the paper version might be enough actually. So my question is: has anyone tried entering Canada with the EU DCC vaccine record as their “proof of vaccination”?

The EU DCC seems to be the only vaccine proof that the Dutch authorities is willing to give out, except for the stamp in the International Certificate of Vaccination booklet.

customs and immigration – Dual citizen entering Pakistan with expired Pakistani passport

I am a dual citizen of USA and Pakistan.

I have a valid USA passport and expired Pakistani passport.

I will be traveling from USA to Pakistan.

I will be using my valid USA passport for travel.

Will my expired Pakistani passport be OK for entry into Pakistan? (I also have a valid NICOP but it is not with me, is in Pakistan.)

customs and immigration – Wrong date/year on passport stamp upon US arrival

Do they have an electronic record?

Yes, as mentioned in the comments, https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov shows the electronic I-94 record. If it’s different than what’s written, that means one of them was a mistake. Print a copy of the electronic I-94 and save it forever, as evidence that the written date on the entry stamp was a mistake. The site usually won’t show this record after you leave the US, so print it now.

Will it [the wrong written date] be a problem?

Maybe or maybe not. If you’re leaving before the electronic I-94 end date and not returning to the US for a while, it’s probably fine. OTOH, if you apply for an H-1B or another immigration status that requires adjudication in the future, it could be an issue to have to explain why it’s a mistake.

Should I contact someone?

It’s up to you, but I would request a correction just to be extra careful. Most CBP ports of entryCBP’s Deferred Inspection Sites will make I-94 corrections in case of mistakes CBP made on the entry stamp or electronic I-94. Many of the sites are at airports and are open Monday-Friday in the morning before most international flights start to arrive. Bring all documents but mainly the passport and printout of electronic I-94, and they should correct the entry stamp.

customs and immigration – How can a UK 10 year visa ban affect a US visa application?

Yes, it can affect your chances of obtaining a US visa.

This 2015 question is similar, and has a relevant answer that addresses your question. Since the answer was posted the law has not changed in favor of applicants.

In the answer posted October 2, 2015, a well-respected member of this community wrote:

Yes, they share information. The controlling reference for this is a
treaty between the US and UK which was drafted in 2013 and entered
into force last year (2014) which says in part…

  • CONSIDERING that the effective administration and enforcement of the
    immigration and nationality laws of the United States of America and
    the United Kingdom are important to protect the health and safety of
    their populations, to maintain the security of their societies, and
    to promote international justice and security by denying access to
    their territories to persons who are criminals or security risks;

  • ACKNOWLEDGING that identification of individuals who are inadmissible
    under their respective immigration laws enhances their ability to
    facilitate the travel of bona fide visitors;

So the answer is yes, the two governments share information, not only
by this treaty (and similar ones), but also by terms implicit in the
“Special Relationship”.

Based upon all of this, it is natural to conclude that a pejorative history in one of the signatories will affect visa decisions in the other signatory. This does not mean visa applications will be automatically refused, the decision-maker in each country will decide based upon all available information and sometimes this can be favourable to the applicant; but most of the time it would not be favourable to the applicant.

Thus, your UK ban clearly carries a negative effect. Based on that negative effect, the US may deny your application. If your US application is otherwise exemplary, the US may grant you a visa. Whether your US visa application will be granted or denied, however, cannot be known in advance: the only way to know for sure is to apply for a US visa.