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Why Is There No Passport Control At US Airports?  
User currently offlineCaliAtenza From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1582 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 26639 times:

Is the US the only place not to have this? Every other country ive been to has this (upong leaving), but not the US. What gives? I've always wondered the answer to the question. I searched on here, but i didnt find the answer  .

57 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinesteffenbn From Denmark, joined Apr 2010, 263 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 26620 times:

When you fly CPH-OSL there is no passport check either, but when you fly OSL-BILLUND there is passport checking, always wondered me to!


A330, A319, 737,738,752,763,763ER,764ER,777-200LR
User currently offline757ops From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2006, 318 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 26575 times:

There is no departure passport control in the UK either

User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3317 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 26478 times:

There are departure checks at UK airports, they're just random. That's what the desks on the other side of the security search area at LHR T3 and at least LGW North are for. I have been stopped before a couple of times.

User currently offlineBirdwatching From Germany, joined Sep 2003, 3836 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 26497 times:

The USA is one of the most difficult countries to get into. It is very complicated and expensive to get a visa, many people will get rejected. They obviously do this to limit immigration, fearing that the country will become overpopulated.

So why have any checks of any sort on who gets OUT? If it is so hard to get in, getting out should be no issue.

Soren   



All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
User currently offlineCaliAtenza From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1582 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 26409 times:

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 4):


The USA is one of the most difficult countries to get into. It is very complicated and expensive to get a visa, many people will get rejected. They obviously do this to limit immigration, fearing that the country will become overpopulated.

makes sense, but not really from a technical stand point. I have a US passport, so its no hassle for me, but countries ive been to, like malaysia, thailand, india, etc..all have passport control. Just wondered why the US doesnt...


User currently offlineCYatUK From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 811 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 26387 times:

Within the EU, there is NO passport requirement for passengers wishing to travel between countries within the Schengen Area.

However, for security purposes, passengers are required to have a photo I.D. with them (passport, driving licence, I.D. card etc) so that the airline can ensure that the person boarding is the person appearing on the airline booking.

Schegnen Area includes all EU countries (except UK and Ireland) as well as Iceland and Switserland. Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus are not yet in the Schengen Area but are expected to join within the next couple of years.



CY@Uk
User currently onlineojas From India, joined Mar 2008, 2988 posts, RR: 25
Reply 7, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 26396 times:

There are exit checks in every country, it's just different ways. Conventionally you have immigration counters however in the US the exit check is kind of "done" at the check-in itself.

For non-immigrant visa holders you submit your I-94 form ,attached at the time of your entry to the passport, to the check-in agents. For immigrants/citizens their green card/passport check at the check-in registers their exit.



A lion does not concern himself with the opinions of the sheep
User currently offlineCaliAtenza From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1582 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 26346 times:

Quoting ojas (Reply 7):
There are exit checks in every country, it's just different ways. Conventionally you have immigration counters however in the US the exit check is kind of "done" at the check-in itself.

For non-immigrant visa holders you submit your I-94 form ,attached at the time of your entry to the passport, to the check-in agents. For immigrants/citizens their green card/passport check at the check-in registers their exit.

ah k, hmmn, didnt know that. I didnt know the exit check was kinda done at check-in itself in the US. Yeah the I-94 thing i know about.


User currently offlinedaumueller From Germany, joined Nov 2003, 693 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 26308 times:

Quoting CaliAtenza (Reply 8):

ah k, hmmn, didnt know that. I didnt know the exit check was kinda done at check-in itself in the US. Yeah the I-94 thing i know about.

but since I94W doesn't exist anymore, there is indeed nothing (except maybe passenger lists?) that might be used as a reference.


User currently offlineFlyingDove From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 86 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 26288 times:

FYI, there's no passport control leaving Canada either.

User currently offlineflyingalex From Germany, joined Jul 2010, 1027 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 26131 times:

Quoting 757ops (Reply 2):
There is no departure passport control in the UK either
Quoting FlyingDove (Reply 10):
FYI, there's no passport control leaving Canada either.

You can add Ireland to that list as well.



Public service announcement: "It's" = "it is". To indicate posession, write "its." Looks wrong, but it's correct grammar
User currently offlineflyingalex From Germany, joined Jul 2010, 1027 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 26123 times:

Quoting daumueller (Reply 9):
but since I94W doesn't exist anymore, there is indeed nothing (except maybe passenger lists?) that might be used as a reference.

The I94W (green form for visa-waiver countries) is gone, but the I94 (white form travellers with US visas) is still alive and well!



Public service announcement: "It's" = "it is". To indicate posession, write "its." Looks wrong, but it's correct grammar
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7607 posts, RR: 32
Reply 13, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day ago) and read 26035 times:

This is really more a political question than a aviation question and relates to the US view that the government should not be able to track the movements of US citizens.

The closest thing to an identity card most US citizens have is a driver's license issued under the authority of the various states. There is no national ID, there is no national registry of citizens.

We have specific laws which prevent the federal government from cross referencing such things as social security numbers against drivers licenses and citizenship status.

Both the political conservatives and the political liberals in the US are strongly against the government being able to track the movements of US citizens, and exit passport controls are seen as a form of that type tracking.

I do not see the political climate as allowing that to change within the next decade or so at a minimum.

Yes, that does leave the US without effective means to track when non-US citizens leave the country. The system is voluntary and most people comply.

But we have a tremendous problem with people who overstay their visa. Many of the illegal immigrants in the US entered the country legally on tourist or student visas and simply never left.


User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3317 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 25967 times:

Quoting CYatUK (Reply 6):
However, for security purposes, passengers are required to have a photo I.D. with them (passport, driving licence, I.D. card etc) so that the airline can ensure that the person boarding is the person appearing on the airline booking.

This is a really good example of people buying a pile of crock surely. What countries insist on this in law? Certainly not the UK where it is not and never has been a security issue. This is revenue protection pure and simple. It prevents me buying ten Ryanair tickets for next summer and selling them at a mark up in eight months time, this is profit that Ryanair rightly feels should be there's and not mine. Hence they WILL insist on checking your passport to see that you are the person who bought the ticket.

Airport security is a seperate issue regulated by statute, photo ID checks by airlines are a by product of revenue protection.


User currently offlineCuriousFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 702 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 25929 times:

The US is very happy to see you leave! Just go! They won't hinder you with a passport check. Just go!

Actually this is an efficient policy, since id is checked by airlines at check-in, why bother doing it a second time? Waste of time and money.


User currently offlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8658 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 25837 times:

Quoting CaliAtenza (Reply 5):
makes sense, but not really from a technical stand point. I have a US passport, so its no hassle for me, but countries ive been to, like malaysia, thailand, india, etc..all have passport control. Just wondered why the US doesnt...

Yes there is.

Quoting ojas (Reply 7):
There are exit checks in every country, it's just different ways. Conventionally you have immigration counters however in the US the exit check is kind of "done" at the check-in itself.

  

Quoting daumueller (Reply 9):
but since I94W doesn't exist anymore, there is indeed nothing (except maybe passenger lists?) that might be used as a reference.

Replaced with an electronically readable passport. Why do you think your passport goes through the scanner? If there are any problems, rest assured that you'll be having a meeting with a couple of nice gentlemen from CBP  


User currently offlineBogota From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 820 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 25789 times:

Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 15):
The US is very happy to see you leave! Just go! They won't hinder you with a passport check. Just go!

Actually this is an efficient policy, since id is checked by airlines at check-in, why bother doing it a second time? Waste of time and money.



Totally agree, in this day and age of electronic lifestyles a system can be developed to help out with this. Now I ask if this system is in place? Most people autocheck or webcheck themselves, so who is actually checking the id against a list of possible wanted people? On the other hand the US does lack a sterile area for international flights, that is if they are interested in drawing international connections through their airlines. Most people would do it once and never again go through transit in the US, the hassle is huge.


User currently offlinejonathan-l From France, joined Mar 2002, 507 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 25715 times:

Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 15):
since id is checked by airlines at check-in

What about online check-in?


User currently offlinebanjo76 From Italy, joined Apr 2008, 189 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 25586 times:

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 14):
Airport security is a seperate issue regulated by statute, photo ID checks by airlines are a by product of revenue protection.


  
It couldn't have been said better.


User currently offlineeastern023 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 882 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 25510 times:

Quoting daumueller (Reply 9):
but since I94W doesn't exist anymore, there is indeed nothing (except maybe passenger lists?) that might be used as a reference.

I-94W IS STILL ALIVE AND WELL...Why would ayone think is gone?



AA will Rise Again!
User currently offlineeastern023 From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 882 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 25484 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 13):
We have specific laws which prevent the federal government from cross referencing such things as social security numbers against drivers licenses and citizenship status.

Social Securiy numbers are required for many states now to get a Driver's License. As a matter of fact you will not be issed a U.S. Passport if you do not provide a SS#. Just look at the application. In this day and age dou you really think they are not doing that?...security and terrorism just one great reason.

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 13):
Both the political conservatives and the political liberals in the US are strongly against the government being able to track the movements of US citizens, and exit passport controls are seen as a form of that type tracking.

Airlines report your exit. The minute they swipe your passport on the computer, where do you think that information goes?

Quoting flyingalex (Reply 12):
Yes, that does leave the US without effective means to track when non-US citizens leave the country. The system is voluntary and most people comply.

System voluntary? hmmmm.....

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 13):
But we have a tremendous problem with people who overstay their visa. Many of the illegal immigrants in the US entered the country legally on tourist or student visas and simply never left.

This is very true indeed we do. Face to face exit check would not fix it though.



AA will Rise Again!
User currently offlinecygnuschicago From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 758 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 25489 times:

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 4):
The USA is one of the most difficult countries to get into. It is very complicated and expensive to get a visa, many people will get rejected. They obviously do this to limit immigration, fearing that the country will become overpopulated.

I have to completely disagree with this assertion. It is a common myth that the US is hard to get into. Getting a visa is actually extremely easy if you comply with the process. My sister-in-law, who like you is South African, got her 10 year visitor's visa in Johannesburg within a day. She applied online, submitted all her paperwork, went a couple of days later for her interview and walked out with her visa.

Now, compare that to the expense or time required for a Shengen visa. Or a UK visa. Or how about a visa to visit India? The US only denies those that do not comply with the immigration laws, and those laws are very clear and easy to understand.



If you cannot do the math, your opinion means squat!
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 23, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 25467 times:

Quoting cygnuschicago (Reply 22):
The US only denies those that do not comply with the immigration laws, and those laws are very clear and easy to understand.

That depends almost entirely on the country of origin. Some have very high approval rates (probably north of 90 percent). Others are much lower (probably below 50 percent).



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinekl911 From Czech Republic, joined Jul 2003, 5302 posts, RR: 15
Reply 24, posted (3 years 10 months 2 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 25452 times:

I was flying EIN-BUD last Sunday, and was stopped twice to show my passport and boardingpass. Once at security, and once at the gate before boarding.

Why is this when both Nations are within Schengen?


25 eastern023 : There's a big number of visa appplicationeach year, specially from those countries of high risk. In other words those who are seen as potential immig
26 VirginFlyer : Funnily enough, I was about to post the same sort of thread - I guess the idea must have got out there somehow and had CaliAtenza and I thinking the s
27 mayor : I disagree.......the checks were not made until after 9/11. Photo ID checks by the airlines are used as the first step in the security process.
28 enilria : Not sure that is the reason since there are states like Wyoming with basically nobody living there. It's more about welfare and other xenophobia. The
29 Bogota : Not sure about Canada and Ireland, but UK definitely does have sterile areas. International departing planes are separate to the domestic departure p
30 MNMncrcnwjr : Well, For a US international departure to a foreign country I do believe that it is a requirement that Airlines check visually for proper documentatio
31 kgaiflyer : In both countries you require a photo ID to pass through airport security. But in parts of Canada, you require a photo ID at the gate as you board do
32 ANstar : Well you might want to have passport checks when going OUT so you know who is IN your country. Ie - how do you know people havent over stayed visas e
33 Aesma : It can even work outside the Schengen area under certain conditions, a French ID card is enough to go to Tunisia with a travel agency (plane tickets
34 skipness1E : It's something of a joy to be able to fly domestically within the UK without so much as a photo ID. My last few BA and BMI flights all I have needed
35 LAXintl : I posted this in another thread but since its the same topic here you go: CBP does have a exit control program in trial at a few airports. This was a
36 CXfirst : Wow, really, passport control from a Schengen country to another? You shouldn't even need to bring a passport traveling Norway to Denmark (or any oth
37 CYatUK : You are absolutely correct. I stand corrected.
38 airbazar : You still need to scan your passport at the airport. For security reasons, not immigration reasons.
39 jmy007 : To add my two cents. I don't know if the machines still exsist, but for a time, there was a passport exit control kiosk at major US airports near the
40 tsugambler : When I am required to have my "papers" in order to leave the US will be the final straw for me.
41 Post contains images enilria : Based on past experience, the govt wouldn't fund a thing, but would simply set an unrealistic date and demand the airports build it and pass on the c
42 CaliAtenza : When I check in online EK asks for my details and forwards it to some database, I think it was APS.
43 AAIL86 : Well, it can be easy, depending on the circumstances... or not. A good friend of mine comes from an EU visa wavier country, yet every time he comes t
44 LAXintl : Why would they not fund it? They are currently providing billions in funding for redesign of facilities to accommodate things like check points and i
45 HBGDS : Back to the orginal question: it is very simple. US citizens are NOT required to have a passport. My inlaws have never left th country (though they ha
46 brandonfsu05 : Lol, not really. It doesn't effect your ability to enter the USA at all. Basically, you just answer the questions if you answer the questions correct
47 N6801 : I do check-in at CPH and, believe you me, we most certainly do check passports before we send anyone's baggage off down the belt. Some airlines have
48 Post contains images kgaiflyer : Funny story. I went through a full-body scanner at ELP (one of the more paranoid airports in the US -- apparently for good reason) last October 2nd a
49 AAIL86 : Ouch. So much for progress!
50 Post contains images super80 : Haha, well, the US do have "passport control", they just leave it to the the airline check-in counter agents. Some of them don't even have a passport
51 chuchoteur : I'm not entirely comfortable with leaving the exit declaration to an airline, in electronic format or otherwise. Although electronic is better (safer
52 LJ : It's not entirely a waste of time and money. A person who has a) commit a crime or b) has some fines due will be stopped before leaving the country.
53 Viscount724 : Not all foreigners. Canadians don't need an I-94.
54 aklrno : I have no insider insight to this question, I'm just a passenger and US passport holder who flies in and out of the US several times a year. I don't r
55 Post contains images Coal : I've always wondered the same, but then again pretty much every country I've been to (many!), the check in staff run your passport through the machine
56 cofannyc : The one airline I know about is US. They stamp all international boarding passes "Docs OK" or something like that. If you do not have that stamp on y
57 Coal : All US airlines (and perhaps foreign too) have a DOCS OK sign printed on them for int'l flights. Cheers Coal
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