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Old 01-23-2013, 09:57 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,130,167 times
Reputation: 11862

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While it varies on personality, I've travelled enough to notice that in each country I've visited, the immigration officers and other people at the airport tend to behave in a certain manner, which may or may not be reflective of the people in general. Could be a combination of national temperament as well as policy.

Australia, my own country - Generally friendly, open to small-talk/asking questions, although a few can be a bit bossy. Probably better than most.

New Zealand - Similar to Australia.

Singapore - One of the worst. No smiles, frowns and stern-looking, intimidating, often no or very little talking.

Malaysia - Varies. Many are similar to Singapore but some are a bit more relaxed/casual.

Thailand - Pretty formal and official, quite unlike Thai people in general.

Vietnam - Quite an unpleasant experience. As a communist country they seem suspicious of you. No smiling and again very stern and uncompromising. It was a pain getting my visa done.

China - similar to Vietnam.

Taiwan - Friendlier and more easy-going than China, was no problem. Even some smiles and jovial chuckling.

Sri Lanka - Do not reflect how friendly Sri Lankans are. About average, I'd say.

United States - Probably the worst. Was scolded for not knowing how to use a complicated finger scanning machine first go by one guy going through immigration, there was another officer yelling at people and herding them like cattle. Staff were terse and at times downright rude. This was at LAX btw. Felt they were very aggressive.


http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...6120904AAxvMXh

Apparently others have noticed this too...
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:01 AM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
20,695 posts, read 18,578,689 times
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Too leinient.

When i went to america they made us scan our fingers and take a picture. They asked my mum why was she brown and us white? (Fake tan). Her answer was "we are from northern ireland where it rains and we see no sun".
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:10 AM
 
30,325 posts, read 31,191,100 times
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The USA immigration officers have kind of a double standard. They are generally friendly but distant to returning Americans. But they are quite stern with non-Americans.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,668 posts, read 71,538,289 times
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They have to put up with the likes of travelers, many of whom have something to hide. By the end of the day,the immigration officer's demeanor is likely to reflect what he has had to endure.

I've probably made more than 500 border crossings into 120 countries, but none of them enough times to make a generalization about, except USA, Canada and Mexico. Of those three, I'd give them about equal marks. There are very few that stand out in my mind as being anything other than a reasonable blend of businesslike and personable. I'd say the unusually good experiences outweigh the bad.

Saudi Arabia's immigration officer in a remote desert outpost invited my wife and me home to be overnight guests of his family. We arrived at Liberia's border late at night and they put us up in their bunkhouse because there was no more public transport until morning. Thailand's immigration officer wished me a happy birthday after noting it on my passport. Laos officers arranged a ride onward in a truck for us. Entering Uruguay, the atmosphere in the immigration office between the travelers and the officers was like a family get-together, at which we were welcomed as newcomers and then escorted onward by other arrivals. Jordan had one uniformed officer who seemed to have no other function than to welcome people to Jordan and make sure their entry was being handled courteously and efficiently.

Last edited by jtur88; 01-24-2013 at 08:44 AM..
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:30 AM
 
Location: London, UK
9,992 posts, read 9,455,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by owenc View Post
Too leinient.

When i went to america they made us scan our fingers and take a picture. They asked my mum why was she brown and us white? (Fake tan). Her answer was "we are from northern ireland where it rains and we see no sun".
Ha I love that quote.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:05 AM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
20,695 posts, read 18,578,689 times
Reputation: 3107
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
They have to put up with the likes of travelers, many of whom have something to hide. By the end of the day,the immigration officer's demeanor is likely to reflect what he has had to endure.

I've probably made more than 500 border crossings into 120 countries, but none of them enough times to make a generalization about, except USA, Canada and Mexico. Of those three, I'd give them about equal marks. There are very few that stand out in my mind as being anything other than a reasonable blend of businesslike and personable. I'd say the unusually good experiences outweigh the bad.

Saudi Arabia's immigration officer in a remote desert outpost invited my wife and me home to be overnight guests of his family. We arrived at Liberia's border late at night and they put us up in their bunkhouse because there was no more public transport until morning. Thailand's immigration officer wished me a happy birthday after noting it on my passport. Laos officers arranged a ride onward in a truck for us. Entering Uruguay, the atmosphere in the immigration office between the travelers and the officers was like a family get-together, at which we were welcomed as newcomers and then escorted onward by other arrivals. Jordan had one uniformed officer who seemed to have no other function than to welcome people to Jordan and make sure their entry was being handled courteously and efficiently.
So what? Thats their job. I'm fed up of people whining about things that happen in their vocation.
I have teachers whining to us about marking and having to teach us and I always wonder 'Why did you choose this job then?'. If you aren't up for the responsibilities of the job then don't do it. No excuse for those immigration officers to be like that.
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:12 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,130,167 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by owenc View Post
So what? Thats their job. I'm fed up of people whining about things that happen in their vocation.
I have teachers whining to us about marking and having to teach us and I always wonder 'Why did you choose this job then?'. If you aren't up for the responsibilities of the job then don't do it. No excuse for those immigration officers to be like that.
Repped you for that post, part of being professional is putting on a smile even if you feel like punching someone.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Colorado
4,308 posts, read 11,464,879 times
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The ones in London always seem to be extra humourless. I always say you have to have a humour-bypass operation to be an immigration officer and okay, they're not there to be your friend, but really? Do they have to glower at you as though your very existence is an insult? I went thro Heathrow a few years ago and the officer sitting next to mine was giving this poor 14-year old French-sounding kid such a hard time. LAX seems to have very miserable characters too. The ones at a Canadian border crossing treated me like something they'd stepped in. At least I once got the guy in Denver to crack a smile - that made my day .
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:52 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 43,130,167 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilaili View Post
The ones in London always seem to be extra humourless. I always say you have to have a humour-bypass operation to be an immigration officer and okay, they're not there to be your friend, but really? Do they have to glower at you as though your very existence is an insult? I went thro Heathrow a few years ago and the officer sitting next to mine was giving this poor 14-year old French-sounding kid such a hard time. LAX seems to have very miserable characters too. The ones at a Canadian border crossing treated me like something they'd stepped in. At least I once got the guy in Denver to crack a smile - that made my day .
Lol I always feel like a naughty schoolkid whenever I go to Singapore, like I've done something wrong.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:59 PM
 
25,060 posts, read 22,106,910 times
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I've had indifferent experiences with immigration officers in the UK. One time I forgot my return ticket to the US after a trip from Europe, the guy was pissed off and we overheard him saying he's overdue for his lunch break by 2 hours, so I didn't blame him. After I got my return ticket then his mood changed and we shot the breeze and came to a mutual understanding. The Canadian ones just practically waved me on through on transit through Canada to Heathrow.

Coming back to US immigration I had no problems, sometimes I get a Puerto Rican officer and gets into a nice mood after he notes by place of birth is Puerto Rico, funny guy.

The German immigration officer in Leipzig-Halle airport was a very good guy, best one I've encountered so far. He got excited when he saw I was from Puerto Rico, and proceeded to talk to me in fluent Spanish
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