customs and immigration – Does a Swiss SEM entry authorization letter with an otherwise valid Schengen visa (suspended due to Covid) suffice for airlines to allow boarding?

Airlines use the TIMATIC database. Regarding Switzerland, the information comes from the SEM, but ironically SEM letters are not listed as an exemption. All it says is Swiss Schengen visas issued after 16 March can be used.

If the visa is issued before 16 March, you need to e-mail (CC:, attach the flight reservation and SEM letter, explain that the airline will NOT accept the passenger as it is, and ask that they co-ordinate with SWISS for an OK TO BOARD to be put in the reservation.

And indeed, the person must fly directly to Switzerland.

usa – When I enter the US, should I show my old or new passport to the US immigration? Or does the US immigration only look at my US green card?

I am a French citizen domiciled in California and with US permanent residency (US green card). I exited the US using my French passport, and and got a new French passport when outside the US (because the old French passport’s condition wasn’t satisfying some airline’s employee, not because of it had expired and were about to).

When I enter the US (by plane), should I show my old or new passport to the US immigration? Or does the US immigration only look at my US green card? Note that my stay outside the US may be between 6 months and 1 year, in case this changes what the US immigration will look at.

customs and immigration – UK Public Health Passenger Locator Form: Privacy and Data Retention Period

How long is any information supplied through the UK Public Health Passenger Locator Form kept for, when some EU citizen travels from the EU to England by plane, as of now (or 12 July 2020: it doesn’t matter because the information supplied through the form may vary, but the retention policy will probably stay)?
The form says that

the information you provide will be used by the Home Office and Public Health England, as described in the privacy policy.

Now such privacy policy, under section “How long we keep your personal information for”, is rather vague. I will analyze some relevant portions here below:

We will keep your personal information for as long as it is necessary for permitted purposes.

This doesn’t convey anything.

In the borders, immigration and citizenship system, we maintain a long-term record of immigration history and immigration offending to support future decision-making and enforce penalties.

This suggests they can keep this data forever.

Personal data will be typically retained for 25 years after a decision to grant settlement or naturalisation and for 15 years after the last action in other cases.

This suggests they might keep this data for 15 years.

At the border, passenger name records data is retained for up to 10 years. Advance passenger information may be retained for 10 years.

This is unclear, because “advance passenger information” is generally used as a technical term, often abbreviated by API, which until the start of this year essentially meant “Passport No / ID No”.

However, it should be noted that the Jay Inquiry, which commenced in February 2015, has placed a moratorium on the disposal of all records throughout the Home Office, including all operational records and case files. This is currently in force and will remain so until further notice. It does not apply where there is a statutory requirement to delete data.

This again implies they can keep the data forever.

I haven’t tried calling the “Form and self-isolation helpline” yet, but I doubt they’ll provide any further information. Furthermore, I’d prefer reading some published governmental policy paper rather than hearing by phone from some unknown employee.

Incidentally, the Republic of Ireland is extremely clear instead:

This form and any copies of it, and any updates that you send using the (email) email address, will be destroyed 28 days after your arrival, unless the form is required for law enforcement purposes.

customs and immigration – Is Schengen National Visa type D is same as Resident Permit?

I am stranded in my home country (India) and trying to go back to my work place in Poland. I have long term National Visa Type D along with work permit. Most of the rules given on Airline and Embassy websites says people with permanent or temporary Resident Permit are allowed to board the flights or enter the Schengen area.

Is National Visa type D considered as resident permit or not?

I know there are dedicated resident permits which we have to apply (like Karta Pobytu in Poland). However, I am confused with this condition. I have contacted Airlines, they said ONLY resident permit holders are allowed. Polish border guards say Resident Permit or Work Permit holders are allowed.

… the foreigners possessing a right to work on the territory of the Republic of Poland i.e. the foreigners entitled to work on the same grounds as Polish citizens, the foreigners possessing work permits, work permits for a seasonal work …. are able to present documents which confirms that they will start work shortly after entry to Poland,….

But none of them confirmed or denied whether I will be allowed. Can anyone help me with this matter?

Just an extra information, I have already applied for temporary resident permit (Karta Pobytu) last year which is already approved last month (I have scanned decision letter). However, to get the card, I have to personally go to their office in Poland and provide my fingerprints.

visas – What rights do airlines have to deny boarding due to immigration issues?

So I just stumbled across this account of a traveller which I can imagine to be pretty distressing
because I myself have had a rather close call not too long ago. I was travelling from Singapore travelling to Switzerland (to which I can travel visa-free) and a recent relaxation of regulation allows me to apply for a residency permit only after landing in Switzerland, instead of having to apply at the Swiss embassy in Singapore. Thus I travelled to the airport without any visa and the airline did not want to let me board because I did not have a swiss residency permit on hand (yet) or a return ticket. However I insisted that based on my own research I shouldn’t already need a residency permit to enter the country, but the airline was firm on their stance. I argued with the manager for a while and eventually they let me board after I provided enough evidence that I had sufficient reason to be living in Switzerland and as a result I almost missed my flight.

My question is, to what extent do airlines have the right to reject people from boarding due to immigration issues at the destination country? My logic is that even if I landed in Switzerland without a residency permit and don’t manage to acquire the necessary documents then, it should be the responsibility of the Swiss immigrations to kick me out of their country, and not the airline’s (which isn’t even swiss airlines)?

Anyway, it turned out in the end that I acquired my residence documents successfully in the country, so the airline would have done me a great disservice had they successfully barred me from boarding the plane.

customs and immigration – Are there Schengen airports besides Budapest with border “holes”?

Due to COVID-19, all arrivals at Budapest take place at the non-Schengen sector. As such, despite doing a Schengen -> non-Schengen transfer, I won’t be clearing any Schengen exit control at all. Beats me how those needing an exit stamp would get one (I just e-mailed the airport police and asked out of curiosity – the officers hanging around here don’t speak English).

Are there any other Schengen airports with this, IMO, serious hole in the external Schengen border?

customs and immigration – UK to continental Europe and back, same rules for air or surface travel?

My long distance relation boyfriend and I usually meet each other a few times each year, him traveling to continental Europe (the Netherlands, Belgium, France) or me from the Netherlands to the UK and the other coming to the same place.
We select our mode of travel based on convenience, cost and a bit of environmental concern.

In these COVID 19 days we wonder whether there is a difference how quarantaine (or self isolation) rules work between the different modes of transport.

As we are each citizen in our own country, visa rules do not matter to us, but for completeness sake, if there is a real difference that can be included.

At the time of writing, there seems to be a huge difference in cancelation rates, with flights being cancelled more often than they happen but as I expect changing the quarantaine rules to change that, I want to keep that out of this question. I may ask a different question if it seems relevant.

customs and immigration – Uk visit visa Host

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customs and immigration – Practical implication of Judgment in Case C-754/18 to family members of EU citizens according to EU 2004/38/EC

CJEU recently made a Judgment in Case C-754/18.

What practical implications it may have to family members of EU citizens according to EU 2004/38/EC.

The first point made by CJEU is that a permanent residence card according to Article 20 is at least equivalent to residence card according to Article 10.

Honestly, to claim otherwise is very stupid and I remember that European Commision already said it years before. Finally, there is a final argument to this topic.

The second point, for me much more interesting, is that CJEU decided that once a status as a family member of EU citizen according to EU 2004/38/EC is proven in one member state then a border guard is not allowed to question the status (unless there is an misuse or fraud).

From my experience, the police is very restrictive regarding Article 3/1 Beneficiaries of EU 2004/38/EC “a family member who is accompanying or joining the EU citizen”.

Firstly, the police does not even know the EU law. Then, they demand an absolute proof of accompanying or joining according to Article 3/1.

Do I understand that this police practise is over? The CJEU said clearly that a residence card according to Article 10 or 20 proves the status and police cannot further question it.

I am currently forcing criminal charges against German police as they completely failed to recognise my wife as a family member of EU citizen according to EU 2004/38/EC making all kind of stupid excuses. My wife clearly identified herself with residence cards according to Article 10 and 20.

What is your experience?

customs and immigration – Which Schengen countries (don’t) stamp passports of ordinary residence permit holders?

The Schengen Borders Code doesn’t prescribe an exception from stamping travel documents for holders of ordinary residence permits (as opposed to family member “Article 10″/”Article 20” residence cards).

However, in truth practice varies between member states.

So which countries stamp ordinary residence permit holders, and which ones don’t?