Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Transiting Thru The US - Immigration Policy Clarified  
User currently offlineBkkair From Thailand, joined Aug 2001, 409 posts, RR: 0
Posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2377 times:

I didn’t know that changing planes in the US was such a risky business, even if you are innocent of anything. Why anyone would choose to change planes in the US rather than Canada or another country is beyond me, especially after reading this!

< http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/10/nyregion/10civil.html?/>


The US made clear its policy towards transit passengers today in Federal Court in New York.

We all know that all transit passengers who are only changing planes in the US must go through an immigration check.

Now comes news that if you don’t pass the immigration check, even if you are completely innocent of anything, you can legally be seized, detained without charges, deprived of access to a lawyer or the courts, and even denied basic necessities like food. However, the US authorities do say that transit passengers should not be tortured.

This came about in a lawsuit from a Canadian who was changing planes at JFK in 2002, didn’t pass the immigration check and was shipped off to his native Syria (by private jet) to be tortured, since torture by the US authorities would be illegal. The US has a policy of “extraordinary rendition” which allows the government to send, for instance a transit passenger to another country to be tortured, since torture is not allowed in the US.

NOTE: Canada and his native Syria (which he left as a teenager) have cleared this 35 year old passenger of any illegal activity although the US will not back down from their claim he is a terrorist.

The US said in Federal Court today that all people who are on a connecting flight thru the US have to show admissibility to the US.

QF’s passengers going from Sydney to Vancouver can be picked up in San Francisco? What about CX passengers going from Toronto to Hong Kong? Can they be picked off in Anchorage? No wonder IB closed their Miami hub earlier this year. The scary part is the US has now made this policy official.

Do any other countries do this? I’ve heard that Germany now requires visas and immigration check for passengers connecting in Germany.

18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAirTran737 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 3690 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2357 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

While torturing passengers is wrong, why shouldn't they have to go through immigration? If you want to use our airports then you will abide by our rules. If you don't like our rules then book a ticket that doesn't require you to pass through the United States.


Nice Trip Report!!! Great Pics, thanks for posting!!!! B747Forever
User currently offlineAvek00 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 4282 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2355 times:

Quoting Bkkair (Thread starter):
Do any other countries do this? I’ve heard that Germany now requires visas and immigration check for passengers connecting in Germany.

Every country reserves the right to do this, and some exercise that right.



Live life to the fullest.
User currently offlineJoFMO From Germany, joined Jul 2004, 2211 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2329 times:

Are you sure about that new policy in Germany?

I have nothing heard of that kind. Maybe it was more reported in foreign countries because nobody from Schengencountry is effected, but I doubt it.

Such a rule would harm our aviation business very much. LH likes 5th and 6th freedom passengers very much and FRA would fall back far behind without them..


User currently offlineN949WP From Hong Kong, joined Feb 2000, 1437 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2299 times:

Bkkair,

For the case of Cathay's YYZ flight, they changed the tech stop from ANC to YVR when US transit requirements became onerous, and only moved back to ANC when the procedures were modified to allow for "sterile" tech-stops (i.e. refueling of aircraft only; doors remain closed and no one gets on or off).

Why anyone would even bother to transit the US anymore (if there are alternative routes) nowadays is beyond me!!


User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24325 posts, RR: 47
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2297 times:

One can still transit Germany without a visa depending on what nationality you are.

Germany for years has required a transit-visa for certain countries. However this list has grown bigger recently.

From having travelled via Germany often, have noticed German border Police conduct more random inspections and also have been meeting planes and inspecting all passports as passengers get off more frequently as of late.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineXkorpyoh From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 819 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2291 times:

well, the us airlines and airports are loosing moeny because of this. if you keep the transit passengers in a secured are then i don't understand what the big deal is. The government has the passenger list anyway, and they should detect anybody on the black list.

User currently offlineBkkair From Thailand, joined Aug 2001, 409 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2306 times:

Looks like the US isn't the only country that now requires transit visas. Here are just 3 countries I checked. There must be more:

Germany requires transit visas for citizens of these countries

Afghanistan
Angola
Bangladesh
Congo
Ethiopia
Eritrea
Gambia
Ghana
India
Iran
Iraq
Jordan
Lebanon
Nigeria
Pakistan
Somalia
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Syria
Turkey

France has even more countries whose citizens need a visa to transit in France:

Afghanistan
Albania
Angola
Bangladesh
Burkina Faso
Cameroon
Congo (People's Republic of)
Côte d'Ivoire
Egypt
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Haiti
India
Iraq
Iran
Lebanon
Liberia
Libya
Mali
Nigeria
Pakistan
Palestinian
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Somalia
Sudan
Sri Lanka
Syria

And the UK requires transit visas for nationals of these countries:

Afghanistan
Albania
Algeria
Angola
Bangladesh
Belarus
Burma
Burundi
Cameroon
China, Peoples Republic of
Colombia
Congo
Congo, Democratic Republic of
Ecuador
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gambia
Ghana
Guinea
Guinea-Bissau
India
Iran
Iraq
Ivory Coast
Lebanon
Liberia
Macedonia
Moldova
Mongolia
Nepal
Nigeria
Palestinian Authority
Pakistan
Rwanda
Senegal
Serbia and Montenegro
Sierra Leone
Sudan
Somalia
Sri Lanka
Tanzania
Turkey
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus'
Uganda
Vietnam
Zimbabwe


User currently offlineAviasian From Singapore, joined Jan 2001, 1483 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2264 times:

AirTran737: In many countries, if you are transferring from one flight to another (airside) or merely transiting on the same flight to another airport, there is no need to have visa or clear immigration/customs.

I agree with you when you said that "If you want to use our airports then you abide by our rules". Trust me, here in Singapore we said the same thing when Michael Fay was punished for his vandalising acts some years ago.

And there is more truth to you statement than you think. Passengers and airlines do often have a choice and I am certain that many exercise that choice by electing to route their flights via Canada or elsewhere, or choosing to fly an airline that bypasses the US. Both consitute a loss of business for the US.

I certainly think that the alternative airports chosen by the airlines are just as safety-conscious and vigilant. It is in their vested interest to ensure that this is so.

KC Sim
Singapore


User currently offlineBlrsea From India, joined May 2005, 1393 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2261 times:

Requirement of transit visa is waived for Indians proceeding onwards to/from US if they hold a valid US visa. There was rumors that Germany made this exception as otherwise LH would have lost a huge chunk of Indian business

User currently onlinePA110 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 1979 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2244 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

In typical ego-centric fashion, U.S. international airports were designed strictly for O&D traffic. Absolutely no thought whatsoever was given to transit passengers. The overwhelming majority of U.S. international airports lack truly adequate transit facilities, and U.S. immigration knows this. Hence the policy of requiring immigration checks on virtually everyone. This is nothing new. It's been going on for decades.


It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
User currently offlineVirginFlyer From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 4537 posts, RR: 42
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2207 times:

Quoting PA110 (Reply 10):
U.S. international airports were designed strictly for O&D traffic.

Am I correct in my understanding that there is no outwards customs control/emigration at airports in the USA, meaning anyone boarding aircraft has to do so from American soil (and hence why transit passengers have to go through inwards customs control/immigration)?

If this is true, are there any plans to implement outwards customs and emigration controls at airports in the USA?

V/F



"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
User currently offlineIrishjohn From Russia, joined Nov 2004, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2199 times:

I believe that the base point is being missed here! There was a time that the presumption was innocent until proven guilty. The US no longer subscribes to this understanding - every person who arrives in the US is assumed to be a threat and even when this proves not to be the case the US reserves the right to think differently. I am not aware of any other country, with the exception of the few remaining dictatorships, where this is active legal government policy

Immigration checks are a fact of life and are legal! I have no problem, what so ever, with this requirement. What concerns me is the abuse of a perfectly legal requirement.

Safe sailing
John


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 8740 posts, RR: 28
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2147 times:

I am not 100% sure on the Visa requirements in Germany because, obviously it doesnot concern me. The normal procedure is that a passenger transiting through a German airport does not leave the transit area. The system has however been abused many times in the past by passengers who miraculously lost their passport after leaving their departure port or even claiming that they never had a passport, which makes me wonder how they even got inside an airport in places like Karachi.

Such an abuse can lead to years and years of "all in paid vacation". Authorities work slowly but when finally new rules are set, they sometimes are the result of over reaction. While before, it was "open house", we now have a "closed shop". I myself have lost potential business because a customer does not get a Visa. The Catholic youth meeting in Cologne suffers because people do not get Visa, again, the result of abvuse because two years ago in Toronto 2000 people stayed in Canada.

That is the reasojn behing the present policy in Germany, terrorism adds to the restrictions but not as much as it influences the policy in the US. The other hing is that, with some minor exceptions, a quarantined transit is not possible in the US because simply the airports are not designed to handle that, I experienced that only twice, in Anchorage on a stopover and in LAX on a FRA/LAX/AKL flight. There, I could not leave the room even thoiugh I had a multiple entries/indefinate visa at this time.

It is also interesting to see that naturalized citizens from certain countries are treated in the US as if they still had their old citizenship. Gives you something to think about when you hear that a US citizen takes half an hour to clear immigration when it takes me less than 60 seconds. But then again, this is up to the USA and every country does have the right to decide who they let in and who not.



I'm not fishing for compliments
User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 2127 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 13):
Such an abuse can lead to years and years of "all in paid vacation".

You and your permanent right-wing agenda.. I don't know whether you have a clue about Airport Asylum in FRA airport (I do), but designing this as paid vacation: be ashamed - you have no idea about the life of an asylum seeker. There is a lot of abuse going on there (@ FRA), and the Flughafenverfahren is different to the regular procedure. So get your facts straight and take care before you give a biased picture about things which concern the destiny of many humans. Your study of the "propaganda right-wing Welt media" (Springer) has definitely influenced your being. And..:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 13):
That is the reasojn behing the present policy in Germany

Please use vocabulary and grammar properly! Use the spellchecker if needed


User currently offlineZonky From New Zealand, joined Nov 2004, 432 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2074 times:

Quoting VirginFlyer (Reply 11):
Am I correct in my understanding that there is no outwards customs control/emigration at airports in the USA, meaning anyone boarding aircraft has to do so from American soil (and hence why transit passengers have to go through inwards customs control/immigration)?

Prior to 9/11 NZ1/2 did have access to a airside 'holding pen' with toilet and drink facilties at LAX, for pax going AKL-LHR, but the room was only accessable for those transiting passengers - so there were exceptions to the above statement.

These days, i think all those are processed before being held in this room. Never did before 9/11.


User currently offlineMacc From Austria, joined Nov 2004, 1004 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 2057 times:

Mrniji, take it easy. There is no right wing stuff in PanHAMs message. I dont know about your personal experience, whether you had to go through such procedures or not. Much of the present policies on immigration within europe are not determined by the terrorism aspect but of abuse of the asylum rights. Who wonders if things get more tight.

As to the US: I cant follow their argumentations. They have to deal with the results however. What scares me much more is the torture stuff. You book a vacation to the carribean and find yourself in Guatanamo. Thats fun.

Isnt it great, the US fights a global war for democracy and freedom and what the f...k, and condems evil nations like iran, korea and syria. But then make use of this countries if it comes to torture.

Come on George, explain it again! The world loves to hear you speak up for our rights!!



I exchanged political frustration with sexual boredom. better spoil a girl than the world
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 2038 times:

I've seen several cases of passengers booking flights on CO, AA, UA or DL, transitting the US on the way to South America.

It's OK as long as the stay at their final destination does not exceed the limits of the Visa Waiver program (obviously, this only applies to people coming from countries that benefit from said program), but since we have a high number of passengers staying for more than 90 days (students), we, often enough, get calls about passengers being denied boarding...

A passenger travelling to, say, Guatemala for 6 months also seems to require a visa for the US valid for 6 months, even if the transit stops are direct transits without stopovers; it's annoying as hell, and with the American embassies here in Germany being somewhat problematic when trying to call them and getting information, people frequently simply get faulty information.

Strangely enough, we've had several cases where passengers were allowed to travel on the Visa Waiver program while staying at their (non-US) destination for more than 90 days... so I'd say that there still exists some requirement for clarification, besides the obious things that were clarified here...

Regards,
Frank



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently onlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22304 posts, RR: 20
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 1908 times:

Quoting VirginFlyer (Reply 11):

Am I correct in my understanding that there is no outwards customs control/emigration at airports in the USA, meaning anyone boarding aircraft has to do so from American soil (and hence why transit passengers have to go through inwards customs control/immigration)?

The basic answer to your question is yea. IIRC, though, ATL has a sterile transit area somewhere... I've never seen any sign of it when going through there. It wouldn't shock me to hear that other international facilities built in the 90s (ORD, for example) have them too.

Quoting VirginFlyer (Reply 11):
If this is true, are there any plans to implement outwards customs and emigration controls at airports in the USA?

Outward controls would be a pain at many American airports. The example of SA)">DL and ATL immediately comes to mind. SA)">DL sends very few a/c arriving from international destinations on international departures. There are a lot of quick east coast or Florida turns first. Having to tow a/c to a domestic terminal upon arrival in ATL and then back to Concourse E would be a logistic nightmare, and I'm not sure that SA)">DL has the gates to do it. They lean pretty heavily on Concourse E. Besides, the American system is better for spotters... where else can you go ogle an SA aircraft while flying BNA-ATL-CLT...



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
The Role Of Mergers In The US Airline Industry posted Fri Dec 8 2006 19:21:18 by WorldTraveler
Old DC-3 Transcon Routes In The US posted Wed Nov 15 2006 19:32:37 by DIJKKIJK
AF's 773s In The US posted Mon Nov 6 2006 01:15:50 by Cleared2Land4
Icelandair In The US posted Sun Nov 5 2006 23:17:24 by Walter747
What Are Finnair's Cities In The US? posted Fri Nov 3 2006 19:13:55 by Eastern023
No Direct NPL Flights From The Us posted Tue Oct 31 2006 23:53:18 by Walter747
Aeromexico Expands To The US (MCO, IAH, ORD) posted Tue Oct 31 2006 17:51:25 by Juventus
Shortest International Airport Runway In The US posted Sat Oct 28 2006 20:07:50 by Fll2993
Fluids In Carry On Luggage To The US Questions posted Thu Oct 26 2006 18:50:39 by Paneuropean
Flying To The US posted Thu Oct 19 2006 14:46:15 by NORTHSEATIGER