airbazar
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Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:19 pm

As an European living in the U.S. I think one of the good things U.S. airports have going is that we are not required to clear immigration on the way out of the country (one less line to wait in). Growing up in Europe (and when I visit), we are always required to clear immigration on the way out. Why is that? What is the purpose of outbound immigration control?
I get the need to check ID's at check-in/security/gate but I don't understand the need to outbound immigration clearance. I would think that if I'm a fugitive of some sort that my name would be on some no-fly list and would be caught at one of the above checkpoints.
 
LGAviation
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:26 pm

In order to check whether people leave by the time they should, it is immensely useful to have exit immigration which the US from my understanding accomplishes by data sharing from airlines and at the land borders doesn’t do at all leading to the unfortunate situation that you can overstay your us visa by spending too much time in Mexico even though you’re legally present in Mexico. So it comes down to whether you want to trust airlines with enforcing that. Furthermore, not everyone that has an outstanding warrant is on a no-fly list so it is quite useful to actullay jsve immigtatio. Checks. Lastly, it enables frictionless international to international transfers which I understand aren’t that much of a focus on O&D centric America.
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kruiseri
Posts: 148
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:34 pm

LGAviation wrote:
In order to check whether people leave by the time they should, it is immensely useful to have exit immigration which the US from my understanding accomplishes by data sharing from airlines and at the land borders doesn’t do at all leading to the unfortunate situation that you can overstay your us visa by spending too much time in Mexico even though you’re legally present in Mexico. So it comes down to whether you want to trust airlines with enforcing that. Furthermore, not everyone that has an outstanding warrant is on a no-fly list so it is quite useful to actullay jsve immigtatio. Checks. Lastly, it enables frictionless international to international transfers which I understand aren’t that much of a focus on O&D centric America.


It is my understanding that there is some international to international transfer traffic at LHR, yet the UK does not have exit immigration control (they stopped doing that some time ago).
 
Arion640
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:46 pm

kruiseri wrote:
LGAviation wrote:
In order to check whether people leave by the time they should, it is immensely useful to have exit immigration which the US from my understanding accomplishes by data sharing from airlines and at the land borders doesn’t do at all leading to the unfortunate situation that you can overstay your us visa by spending too much time in Mexico even though you’re legally present in Mexico. So it comes down to whether you want to trust airlines with enforcing that. Furthermore, not everyone that has an outstanding warrant is on a no-fly list so it is quite useful to actullay jsve immigtatio. Checks. Lastly, it enables frictionless international to international transfers which I understand aren’t that much of a focus on O&D centric America.


It is my understanding that there is some international to international transfer traffic at LHR, yet the UK does not have exit immigration control (they stopped doing that some time ago).


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chonetsao
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:51 pm

1, passport forgery, or false ID checks. In many country, Immigration is the only authority to check forged ID or travel documents; in USA the task is done by TSA and in some European countries it is done by check-in agent and security contractors at boarding Gate (i.e. G4S for BA flights)
2, Interpol. You would be surprised to hear how many criminals get caught by exit immigration through Interpol. Often by forged ID. In USA I believe this is done by passenger data sharing. But in many other countries, exit immigration is also police (I think Germany, please correct me if wrong)
3, Domestic court orders or on the restricted travel list. Again I think in USA it is in the passenger data base so no need a physical check. But in other countries, exit immigration forms a last line of duty to stop people on restricted list to travel, whether it is right or wrong.
4, Stop illegal immigration and human trafficking. I think it mainly applies to so called third world country where problem is pandemic.
5, Spot criminals or intended smugglers. It might be physiological impacts, people tends to show nervousness and break down when facing authorities in exit immigration checks. One of the airport program based in Colombia is the classic case to show the exit immigration checks can sometimes stop smugglers or first time criminals.
6, Catch over stayers. I think Thailand is one of the example where people tends to overstay and the exit immigration often catch these people and fine them before they leave.
7, and any other functions defined by their job description and host country's law.

I think air travel is like any other travel methods, there are people should not be on the plane are travelling. Exit immigration is still an effective way for some country to deter and spot potential law breakers. But in the USA exit immigration is effectively done in the back ground and some tasks are shared by other law enforcement agencies. In UK the case for exit immigration is relaxed but I am sure there are data base check all the time (if you do watch some TV documentaries from UK airport you would see police working on cases relating to departure passengers like catching the people forbid to leaving the country). It is really the choice and capability of individual country. There may not be physical exit immigration check point in some countries, but the checks on exit passengers are there.
 
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hvusslax
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:53 pm

airbazar wrote:
As an European living in the U.S. I think one of the good things U.S. airports have going is that we are not required to clear immigration on the way out of the country (one less line to wait in). Growing up in Europe (and when I visit), we are always required to clear immigration on the way out. Why is that? What is the purpose of outbound immigration control?
I get the need to check ID's at check-in/security/gate but I don't understand the need to outbound immigration clearance. I would think that if I'm a fugitive of some sort that my name would be on some no-fly list and would be caught at one of the above checkpoints.


The exit control allows clearer tracking of time spent in the country (or within a grouping of countries like the Schengen area) and thus helps catching overstayers. It is also for intercepting persons who might have arrest warrants or otherwise need to be kept track of. Still, it has become a bit old fashioned as it is probably possible to mostly accomplish the same by getting passenger lists from airlines.
 
iadadd
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:59 pm

It helps in establishing "International Zones" in airports as the area past Departure immigration is considered "outside that country's borders", which in turn enable smooth International transits with passengers at most only needing to clear a security check, if necessary.

However, I think it would still be possible to create International-only zones without having exit immigration. Nonetheless, the extra stamp in the passport is an added bonus
 
Aeroflot001
Posts: 355
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:07 pm

Given the amount of stress placed on Security and Immigration in the U.S. it surprises me that we do not have formal Exit Immigration. It is convenient since airlines can mix departing domestic and international flights from the same terminal.

Often times I hear my friends and family that are departing on international flights from the U.S. say "We need to be extra early, it's an international flight" or something to that effect and I always like to let them know that they do not need to waste their time given that there is virtually no difference between a domestic and international departure. I have arrived at MIA, 1 hour and 15 min before my flights to GRU and BSB before and made it without an issue, even including a quick visa check. Though I am very used to traveling through MIA as my home airport. I always recommend 2 hours.

The era of arriving 3-4 hours before a flight has come to an end. It is unnecessary unless you have Lounge Access and want to spend more time in the lounge.
 
Bhoy
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:08 pm

I note that there is no exit Immigration check leaving UK Airports, but there is if you take the Ferry from Dover to Calais - but then that's also frequently the only time anyone knows who's actually boarding the Ferry, as there's no real Passenger list/boarding pass check otherwise.

Thinking about exit checks in Europe, I've only seen them when leaving the Schengen area, so it does to my mind point come down to checking for expired visas.
 
Redwood839
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:15 pm

I still remember that little white CBP stamped carton piece you got coming into the US maybe 10 years back that you had to return on the way out. I once forgot to do it and FREAKED out, F/A didn't really care.
 
hohd
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:16 pm

In USA overstays are a huge problem. If they had exit immigration like other countries, this would have decreased this somewhat. Most of the overstays occurred in 80's and 90's when the airlines had to be trusted to share data, which was not always the case. Even now, there is no exit immigration for land travel (Canada and Mexico, British VI from US VI) and they dont even ask any document if you leave by land and ther is no way to track.
Last edited by hohd on Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
redhair
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:30 pm

Funny topic, I always wondered why there was no exit immigration check in the US
 
USAirALB
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:38 pm

I would somewhat argue that the US doesn't have formal exit control because US citizens don't like being "tracked". I imagine that there are many Americans that would have an issue if a CBP officer was asking them why they were leaving the country, where they were going, etc.

It's essentially the same reason why the US doesn't have a mandatory national ID card.
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ubeema
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:44 pm

Thanks OP I have always thought the same thing. I always hate the fact that CDG has two bottlenecks: immigration and security checkpoints back to back. I noticed at least at CDG the officers only look at the photo page to confirm the identity not the visa pages.

I like the US system better because it’s efficient and still catches people who should not cross the border or for overstayers thanks to required data sharing with airlines.
 
PanHAM
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:49 pm

You have to fill out a form efore you enter the US, part of whoch is usually staüled to the passport. There is an entry stamp on that form as well and when leaving the US the Airline takes that and Hands iit over to Immigration. Easy to heck whether that Person over stayed the usual 90 days
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hvusslax
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:26 pm

USAirALB wrote:
I would somewhat argue that the US doesn't have formal exit control because US citizens don't like being "tracked". I imagine that there are many Americans that would have an issue if a CBP officer was asking them why they were leaving the country, where they were going, etc.

It's essentially the same reason why the US doesn't have a mandatory national ID card.


It would be strange to ask an American citizen a lot of questions on exit from the US. EU/EEA citizens generally don't get asked anything at all at the exit control from the Schengen area. In most places these days they just go through automated gates with facial recognition and don't have any human interaction at all.
 
kruiseri
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:31 pm

PanHAM wrote:
You have to fill out a form efore you enter the US, part of whoch is usually staüled to the passport. There is an entry stamp on that form as well and when leaving the US the Airline takes that and Hands iit over to Immigration. Easy to heck whether that Person over stayed the usual 90 days


That was the procedure maybe 10 years ago.

Today you fill no forms, and nothing gets stapled to your passport.

That is if you are in Visa Waiver program
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:42 pm

I don't believe having exit immigration would help solve the visa overstay problem in the US. The problem with visa overstays is having to find them and remove them. That requires boots on the ground. Just too many people to track.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:00 pm

iadadd wrote:
However, I think it would still be possible to create International-only zones without having exit immigration. Nonetheless, the extra stamp in the passport is an added bonus


YYZ certainly has an international-only zone even though Canada has no exit immigration.

As an aside, I think we are pretty much past the point of stamps in passports in the States, Canada, and Western Europe. My current passport, acquired in 2014, has zero stamps in it.
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trpmb6
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:03 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
iadadd wrote:
However, I think it would still be possible to create International-only zones without having exit immigration. Nonetheless, the extra stamp in the passport is an added bonus


YYZ certainly has an international-only zone even though Canada has no exit immigration.

As an aside, I think we are pretty much past the point of stamps in passports in the States, Canada, and Western Europe. My current passport, acquired in 2014, has zero stamps in it.


Do you think we'll see a day where we don't even have a book at all and we just use passport cards? I paid a little extra to get my passport card and I'll be honest, there is no reason for me to have it right now as far as I can tell.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 5:13 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
iadadd wrote:
However, I think it would still be possible to create International-only zones without having exit immigration. Nonetheless, the extra stamp in the passport is an added bonus


YYZ certainly has an international-only zone even though Canada has no exit immigration.

As an aside, I think we are pretty much past the point of stamps in passports in the States, Canada, and Western Europe. My current passport, acquired in 2014, has zero stamps in it.


Do you think we'll see a day where we don't even have a book at all and we just use passport cards? I paid a little extra to get my passport card and I'll be honest, there is no reason for me to have it right now as far as I can tell.


I tend to think not because Global Entry has not moved in the card only direction despite early signs that that might happen. I carry my Global Entry card to Canada so I can get into their version of Precheck but other than that the card is utterly useless to me when traveling by air. I would think that Global Entry would go the card-only direction first. Of course, there are several regions where national ID cards - a pandora's box in the States, I realize - work for all purposes while abroad.
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LGAviation
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:54 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:

YYZ certainly has an international-only zone even though Canada has no exit immigration.

As an aside, I think we are pretty much past the point of stamps in passports in the States, Canada, and Western Europe. My current passport, acquired in 2014, has zero stamps in it.


Do you think we'll see a day where we don't even have a book at all and we just use passport cards? I paid a little extra to get my passport card and I'll be honest, there is no reason for me to have it right now as far as I can tell.


I tend to think not because Global Entry has not moved in the card only direction despite early signs that that might happen. I carry my Global Entry card to Canada so I can get into their version of Precheck but other than that the card is utterly useless to me when traveling by air. I would think that Global Entry would go the card-only direction first. Of course, there are several regions where national ID cards - a pandora's box in the States, I realize - work for all purposes while abroad.


My passport acquired in 2014 was full by 2017 so I had to acquire a new one. Certainly, as a Westerner I don't get many stamps in the Western world but in other areas of the world, a one-week trip sometimes fills four pages. I don't think we'll see a complete shift away from passport booklets but I think that maybe we'll see a common standard for TATL ID cards some time in the future in the same way that us Europeans are used to international air travel to countries in Europe's vicinity on ID cards only. In the end though, I think though with current US attitudes towards Europe and immigration security and the UK's reluctance to reintroduce ID cards that this will be a slow process and we might get something totally different in the end (some form of pure online registration and biometrics checks) in the far future.
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LTU932
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:15 pm

kruiseri wrote:
Today you fill no forms, and nothing gets stapled to your passport.

That is if you are in Visa Waiver program
Don't you still fill out a customs form, or has that changed since I was last in the US back in January 2016?
trpmb6 wrote:
I don't believe having exit immigration would help solve the visa overstay problem in the US. The problem with visa overstays is having to find them and remove them. That requires boots on the ground. Just too many people to track.
IMO it does help because even if you leave the US in time, there is the remote possiblity that your departure is not properly recorded, hence people getting denied entry for overstaying visas when they did not (yes, there are such incidents). Having exit immigration would not just enhance security, but would also be very convenient to the traveller because their departure is directly logged with CBP and they don't have to rely on the manifests they get from the airlines.

I believe IAD and LAX have a pilot project, where you face is scanned against the passport picture on departure from the gate. I believe this would also serve to directly log their departure in CBP's database, or am I wrong?

Also, Costa Rica has reintroduced exit passport controls in airports last year, after almost 20 years. Just before you go through security, there is an officer from immigration police checking your passport and boarding card, actively registering the exit from the country and eliminating the need to hand over an exit departure form to the airline (even the arrival forms have been abolished and you just fill out the customs form). This is not just for security, but also to pick up people with travel impediments (e.g. people with arrest warrants, minors without travel authorisation by PANI and people who have e.g. outstanding alimony payments). The only difference between the controls at the airport and the ones at the border is that you don't get your passport stamped when leaving the country at the airport. So I am in favour of exit passport controls, even if it's just a scan of your passport and of your face at the gate.
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ChrisKen
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:31 pm

Bhoy wrote:
I note that there is no exit Immigration check leaving UK Airports, but there is if you take the Ferry from Dover to Calais - but then that's also frequently the only time anyone knows who's actually boarding the Ferry, as there's no real Passenger list/boarding pass check otherwise.


Actually, there is. It's silently done in the background via API. Exit checks were reintroduced in the UK from April 8th 2015
 
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trpmb6
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:58 pm

LTU932 wrote:
IMO it does help because even if you leave the US in time, there is the remote possiblity that your departure is not properly recorded, hence people getting denied entry for overstaying visas when they did not (yes, there are such incidents). Having exit immigration would not just enhance security, but would also be very convenient to the traveller because their departure is directly logged with CBP and they don't have to rely on the manifests they get from the airlines.


Good point, that would be beneficial. Could we not already utilize the TSA's scanner as dual purpose? They're already scanning passports so why not just have that send information directly to CBP?
 
flymia
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:56 pm

I just don't see the point. We already have a federal agency checking identification. The airlines share all the information with CBP/ICE on who is leaving. And the people are leaving. If there is an issue with them with immigration, the U.S. is happy to let them leave. They will have issues when they try to come back.

Also many U.S. airports don't have international only terminals. So you are talking about major changes to airports like JFK, MIA or LAX in where and how international flights leave.

Lastly, there is a bit of an argument that the government has absolutely no right to question nor check identification for the sole purpose of leaving the country. They do it already, through security (getting on an airplane reasoning) and the airlines share the data anyway. But I don't see any legal reason for CBP or ICE to have the right to ask and review documents for someone leaving the U.S.
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flymia
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:56 pm

I just don't see the point. We already have a federal agency checking identification. The airlines share all the information with CBP/ICE on who is leaving. And the people are leaving. If there is an issue with them with immigration, the U.S. is happy to let them leave. They will have issues when they try to come back.

Also many U.S. airports don't have international only terminals. So you are talking about major changes to airports like JFK, MIA or LAX in where and how international flights leave.

Lastly, there is a bit of an argument that the government has absolutely no right to question nor check identification for the sole purpose of leaving the country. They do it already, through security (getting on an airplane reasoning) and the airlines share the data anyway. But I don't see any legal reason for CBP or ICE to have the right to ask and review documents for someone leaving the U.S.
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STLflyer
Posts: 236
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Fri Sep 28, 2018 3:07 am

trpmb6 wrote:
LTU932 wrote:
IMO it does help because even if you leave the US in time, there is the remote possiblity that your departure is not properly recorded, hence people getting denied entry for overstaying visas when they did not (yes, there are such incidents). Having exit immigration would not just enhance security, but would also be very convenient to the traveller because their departure is directly logged with CBP and they don't have to rely on the manifests they get from the airlines.


Good point, that would be beneficial. Could we not already utilize the TSA's scanner as dual purpose? They're already scanning passports so why not just have that send information directly to CBP?


Because with the way US airports are laid out, anyone could walk back out of the secure area even after the TSA has scanned their BP/passport. You would have to redesign every airport with departing international flights (and that is a lot. Not just the major hubs, but the smaller airports with service to Canada on AC, or once weekly charters to the Caribbean/Mexico) to separate domestic and international flights, and prevent anyone who's cleared TSA into the international side from walking back out landside without going back through CBP and "re-entering" the country.

It's just easier to have airlines share the data. If your BP was scanned at the gate, then they can be reasonably sure you left the country.
 
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LTU932
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:17 am

STLflyer wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:
LTU932 wrote:
IMO it does help because even if you leave the US in time, there is the remote possiblity that your departure is not properly recorded, hence people getting denied entry for overstaying visas when they did not (yes, there are such incidents). Having exit immigration would not just enhance security, but would also be very convenient to the traveller because their departure is directly logged with CBP and they don't have to rely on the manifests they get from the airlines.


Good point, that would be beneficial. Could we not already utilize the TSA's scanner as dual purpose? They're already scanning passports so why not just have that send information directly to CBP?


Because with the way US airports are laid out, anyone could walk back out of the secure area even after the TSA has scanned their BP/passport. You would have to redesign every airport with departing international flights (and that is a lot. Not just the major hubs, but the smaller airports with service to Canada on AC, or once weekly charters to the Caribbean/Mexico) to separate domestic and international flights, and prevent anyone who's cleared TSA into the international side from walking back out landside without going back through CBP and "re-entering" the country.

It's just easier to have airlines share the data. If your BP was scanned at the gate, then they can be reasonably sure you left the country.
I know about the layout of US airports, I've been there a few times, but the face and passport scan at the gate, as introduced in places such as LAX would be the alternative. Obviously scanning the passports through TSA would not be the solution because not everyone flies international. Like I said, it has happened that data from the airlines was not properly forwarded to CBP, causing problems during re-entry. So if not a "traditional" exit immigration, then at least something where the passport is scanned at the gate through CBP directly and not the airline, there doesn't need to be a stamp on the passport. Costa Rica, (which reintroduced exit controls in airports) and Panama (which probably has them longer as Costa Rica) don't stamp passports on exit, and with my EU passport, I don't get it stamped on entry and exit from the Schengen area or entering any EU country.
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directorguy
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Sat Sep 29, 2018 12:28 pm

Some countries make it a point of policing those leaving in a more overt ways. Some countries do not have the technical infrastructure to implement a (seemingly) process-free departure system where airlines electronically notify the government of who left when. Others have a love of bureaucracy and stamping in which case old habits die hard. Certain nations have limitations on how long non-nationals can stay in the country, or outside (their residence permits could lapse).

One time I was in India, and on leaving (from CCU), the immigration officer asked me how long I'd stayed, where I'd been, whether I had any family/friends in India etc. The sort of questions you expect to be asked when trying to enter a country, not while leaving it. On previous entries to India, I don't recall being asked a single question on arrival. Perhaps exit controls are a measure to ensure the person has complied with their visa/entry conditions?
 
Wednesdayite
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Re: Why Exit immigration?

Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:34 pm

In 2006, Polish immigration at Krakow had no issues allowing me in to the country with my 9 year old, well worn (water damaged) UK passport.

But when I tried to leave Poland, the immigration officer didn’t like my passport and initially refused to allow me to exit the country!
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