Your stories with the Bundespolizei at the airport

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Hi everybody ,

 

so last march I flew to Germany on an Australian passport(I have no Germany passport ,never had one) ,I wanted to visit the country I was born in (lived there 17 years since birth).

At the Bundespolizei counter the first question I was asked was : Why are you coming to Germany ? 

Asking me that question at first I was a bit surprised because I thought He would know that I was born in Germany (dont they know that when your name and date of birth comes up on their screen ? ) plus I felt the question being asked that way was a bit rude.Second question was how much money you have ? I told him the amount ,then he asked me if I can show him the money ,I said no ,I can show him the amount on my banking apps ,which Idiot carries about 1000 dollars cash in his pockets on such a long journey from Australia to Germany ? What if I am sleeping somewhere in the transit airport and someone steals it from me ? All the time he was speaking in broken English ,so I told him I was born in Germany so I can speak German.He says ahh you was born here ,dann können wir ja etwas in Deutsch sprechen.In German he said look I cant stamp you entry now ,I will call my colleague and he will speak to you.So the other one comes and takes me with him to a room and asks me where I was born ,where I grew up ,where I am staying ,how much money I have....then he searched for about half an hour in the system information about me ,then he comes with a printed picture of a bald guy(I am not bald) and asks me if this is me ,I said no does he look like me ? He said his ears a bit.He was obviously looking in the system if I had a criminal history ,of course he didnt find anything because I never had problems with the law.So one hour later I was finally cleared to go.

 

Please tell me about your experiences with the Bundespolizei in Germany ,because to be honest I find them amusing :D

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Haha ! With the Bundespolizei not so much. Looking at my info they obviously saw my Deutsch course paperwork and spoke German to me, were happy that I could speak back in German. 

 

 But in Zurich I got stopped, no one telling me why, just a come with us and taken to the back room and in a surprisingly in a very polite friendly way interrogated in English as to why my exit was not stamped leaving Hamburg the year prior. 

 

I had a stamp from OR Tambo stating my entry, had to pull up emails to show my flight tickets which kind of proved I did leave . Got my picture taken and told that I’m on a watch list 😆😂🤣 and released. 

 

So now im very vigilint in making sure my passport is stamped at every entry and exit. 

 

I have a residence permit now but still, those stamps - ganz wichtig ! 

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I've never had any problems with the border in any country I've visited so far but it is their job to ask these questions.  They want to know that you are not coming to Germany in order to work illegally or to commit crime and that you have enough money to finance your stay and will not eventually have to be deported at their cost.

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It does sound as if OP has little experience of international travel!

I have been asked those questions - Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand. 

Money- well, you have to declare over a certain amount. Yes, many people do carry wads of cash with them. Heard of money laundering, drug mules?

And yes- enough money to fund your visit, as Leon says. You will not be eligible for any benefits !   ( Unless you actually do have Dual German Citizenship)

Readon for visit- they want to check if you will use your visitor's visa as excuse to work.

 

None of this is rude- normal requirements if you wat to visit another country.

It May be your responses sparked an alert in their questioning.

Life and travel have become much more security conscious, and visa requirements stricter.

Relax and enjoy your trip!

 

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I get asked that question in some form almost everywhere I travel.  If you say anything except vacation or business and/or volunteer too much information you are going to have a bad time.

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Do not offer sarcastic one liners at Border controls. The worst are the US! Lack of humour must be obligatory there! Aussies can also be very abrupt.

They are not your friends, they see hundreds every day and  are checking for visa/ money/ drugs/ criminals.

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3 hours ago, Nocturnalman said:

I find them amusing :D

Wait till they do the body search. :ph34r:

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The whole time while I was waiting for my turn to get the stamp to enter I imagined the "Bundespolizist" telling me "We have to check ze papers" 

Hell if he said that they would have had to ship me back on an ambulance aircraft because I would have cracked up from laughing :lol::lol::lol:

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55 minutes ago, onemark said:

@ALLalone

Did they deign to tell you why you are now on their watch-list?

 

Precautionary , coming from a 3rd world country it’s protocol. The Officer was really nice while taking my pic and telling me these things as well as to always make sure I check that my passport is always stamped. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, onemark said:

@ALLalone

Did they deign to tell you why you are now on their watch-list?

 

1 hour ago, ALLalone said:

 

Precautionary , coming from a 3rd world country it’s protocol.

 

Utter BS.  There is criteria to place an individual on a watch-list.  Due to possible terrorist links, fraud, extremism (mostly politically based), suspect of felony matter crimes.  However, there are some countries that do give pause to border police such as North Korea, Iran, Syria, Libya and a few others.  But only a few and this comes from either terrorism or terror supported.  To state it's protocol due to coming from a 3rd world country is completely fabricated.  People from Chile or India (both 3rd world countries) are not blanket watch-listed. Either you're lying about being placed on the list or lying about the reason why. 

And before you have a wee tirade about how you think I'm wrong, I'm not.  I've worked on adding to and removing names from watch lists in several European and Asian countries as well as the US.

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20 minutes ago, BayrischDude said:


And before you have a wee tirade about how you think I'm wrong, I'm not.  I've worked on adding to and removing names from watch lists in several European and Asian countries as well as the US.

 

Is there anything that you havent actually done?

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24 minutes ago, BayrischDude said:

 

 

Utter BS.  There is criteria to place an individual on a watch-list.  Due to possible terrorist links, fraud, extremism (mostly politically based), suspect of felony matter crimes.  However, there are some countries that do give pause to border police such as North Korea, Iran, Syria, Libya and a few others.  But only a few and this comes from either terrorism or terror supported.  To state it's protocol due to coming from a 3rd world country is completely fabricated.  People from Chile or India (both 3rd world countries) are not blanket watch-listed. Either you're lying about being placed on the list or lying about the reason why. 

And before you have a wee tirade about how you think I'm wrong, I'm not.  I've worked on adding to and removing names from watch lists in several European and Asian countries as well as the US.

 

🤣

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My multiple encounters with German officials at the airport have been very straightforward.  They ask me questions and I answer them without any attitude nor kerfuffle.  Seems to work.

 

You seem to have read all kinds of strange things into the questions they asked, which are absolutely standard in most immigration/border control scenarios, not only in Germany. I've been asked the exact same things on entering Switzerland, Austria, UK, France and Spain (when traveling from the US).   I even get asked these questions sometimes when entering the US, in spite of being a citizen.  

 

They ALWAYS ask you the purpose of your visit.  It really is enough to just say "I'm on vacation" or "I'm here for a conference" or "I have a job interview" or whatever.  It really is that simple.  The idea they should magically know that you were born in Germany when you've never had a German passport is really bizarre.  

 

When they ask you how much money you have, they're talking about cash, which is why he asked you to show it.

 

It sounds to me like you were a dick to the agent and yes, in that case you can expect extra scrutiny.  Maybe you should travel more to see how "amusing" immigration/border control can get.  Germany is a cakewalk.

 

 

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1 hour ago, SpiderPig said:

 

Is there anything that you havent actually done?

 

I've yet to bungy jump naked....  or did you mean in regards to law enforcement?

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I'm from a "first world" nation (indeed two) and I was in a developing world nation yesterday and (surprise) they asked me how much money I had.   And (surprise again) I too said "erm, no idea, been spending it, will have to count it" and so they just asked for a rough total.

 

It sounds like you've not travelled much, maybe?  As others observed, this stuff is entirely normal.  

 

It's not even the half of it to be honest.  When re-entering from outside the EU, the "high risk" routes I do have routine police checks on simply disembarking, sometimes the police even get on the plane.  I've also seen people get hauled out of queues for immigration and asked where they are going, and then to produce documents validating that - and, boy, you want to make sure you have those.

 

That is the key thing - to always have our story straight.  Inconsistencies are what is their red flag.   

 

The other key thing of course - it is in no way random, they are targeting perceived risk.  

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An amusing note:

Several years ago I was in the airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin, talking with the passenger next to me as we waiting for boarding to begin.  A dark-skinned man was being interrogated by Security, and the guy next to me said rather loudly that he felt that was really not called for and that being called out while TID (traveling while dark-skinned) was racial targeting.

So the next person to be interrogated by Security was this guy, as pale-skinned as I.

Moral:  NEVER give Security a cause to give you grief.

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The border people wherever you go are just doing their jobs - I don't take offense. I also don't care if they don't smile or even seem rude. They are cops - their job is to be at least somewhat suspicious. If these people are not suspicious then who should be?!

 

Even questions that may seem dumb are less about the content of the answers and probably more about demeanor and behavior. 

 

I have gone into and out of the German border maybe 30-40 times now. I have never had a bad experience and it is generally boring. Just be honest, calm, friendly and make eye contact. 

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It´s not my experience but my son´s and it was maybe 10 years ago when he wanted to play soccer in the garden of a member of the Bundespolizei (his friend´s dad). He was told not to kick at the flowers but he wasn´t arrested. :ph34r:

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