Having successfully obtained a visa to travel to your preferred destination, you should have a sigh of relief and focus on the next stage, which is entering your selected country. However, many travellers do not take into consideration when travelling to Europe a clause in their visa which says inter Alia “Possession of a Schengen visa does not guarantee entry into a Schengen State” The above statement of facts now led us to explain in detail the following points on:
HOW TO AVOID IMMIGRATION PROBLEMS IN EUROPEAN AIRPORTS
- Possession of a visa is not a guarantee of entry: Please note that your entry or otherwise depends solely on immigration officials at the point of entry. If he chooses to be funny you have to comply.
- Your travel documents: Are your travel documents up to date, some people do not travel immediately after they obtained a visa, if your passport or visa is about to expire, mutilated or damaged it may lead to immigration problems.
- Your purpose of visit: Know exactly where you are going, if you’re visiting a relation or organisation be conversant with the name, the street name and number or phone number.
- Let all your supporting documents such as health insurance, yellow cards, letter of invitation and disembarkation card be readily available. Never put them in your main luggage.
- Your date of arrival: Although your visa may be valid, if you arrived late for an event already held, it is an automatic reason to have problems with Immigration at the airport
- Take note of the maturity date on your visa. Some visa has an effective date. If you arrived before the effectiveness of the visa it may lead to immigration problems. Sometimes in May 2016, a lady travelled to Rome for an event. It was written in her passport that the effective date of her Visa was June 1, 2016. However, she travelled before the due date. On arrival she was refused entry and repatriated to Nigeria.
- No double-dealings: Do not associate with people with a dubious character if you want to avoid immigration problems in a European airport.
- When last did you communicate with your host: Communicating with the person receiving you must be up to the moment you step out of the airport. Never choose or visit a person who may fail to answer your call on demand.
- Know the schedule of your host: Do not start your travel without knowing if your host will be available to take your immigration responsibility.
- Do you have sufficient funds: Your basic travelling allowance must be available regardless of the person you’re visiting. Even if your host is to take care of your financial responsibilities, you must have a reasonable amount of a basic travelling allowance, in case of unforeseen circumstances.
- Communication gadgets: Mobile phones, Tablets, Cameras and laptops could constitute problems if you use them recklessly. Text messaging, video conversations, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook can lead to Immigration problems in a European airport.
- Excess luggage: What are you carrying. Too large luggage on a short visit may send wrong signals to immigration officials at the airport.
- Accepting to deliver luggage: Do not carry luggage for anyone, it could be dangerous.
- Your appearance: If you appear unkempt or dress loosely you may be treated like an irresponsible person.
- Pay attention to instructions: Upon arrival, you will see written instructions mostly in English language, along the immigration control area, read, and listen to announcements.
- Follow the right line: on arrival, you will see two-line, European citizens and non-immigrants. Join the one you belong to.
- No telephone call or camera: Do not call or take photos within the immigration control area if you want to avoid immigration problems in airports.
- Hostile environment: Few officials may appear rude or hostile, patience is key at this stage. Relax, you have nothing to be afraid of. Remember, those officials are there to facilitate passengers entry. Their main duties is to ensure that passengers are properly attended to, therefore they are there to attend to everyone.
- Hurrying or unstable: Do not be moving up and down. Stay online and in one place. Do not engage in any frivolous conversation.
- Visa on arrival: If you’re entering a country where a visa on arrival is applicable please apply and secure approval before you arrived.
These are some of the important points to note in order to avoid problems in European airports or elsewhere, be watchful.