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Mistaken Identity while travelling in Germany

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andrej
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Mistaken Identity while travelling in Germany

Post by andrej » Thu Oct 11, 2012 9:45 am

Last week I landed in Berlin with my EU spouse before catching a lift to Poland. I have a third country biometric passport which does not require a Schengen Visa. At Pass-check desk my wife and I were rudely shoved aside without an explanation as my passport was checked over and over by a summoned officer and shoved under scans and ultra-lights and even looked over with a magnifying glass... I guess they were checking if it was authentic.

After 30mins or so the officer told me that at first they thought I was "WANTED in Germany" but that it is now ok. He took us in front of the remaining line and I guess asked his colleague to stamp my entrance. They did stamp me but then his "unconvinced" and ill tempered colleague snatched the passport back and started comparing it to a pc screen while continuing to argue. After about 40-45 mins in all we made it through but now as the time approaches to fly back... I am starting to sweat as I think about passport exit checks at the same airport. Was it the same name or similar looks that rang the alarm bells? Will this carry on forever?

After the experience I shall never-ever complain about UKBA staff. Compared to the continent, UKBA staff are polite and civil, even when they ask stupid questions...

Anyone had similar problems?

ca.funke
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Re: Mistaken Identity while travelling in Germany

Post by ca.funke » Thu Oct 11, 2012 11:42 am

andrej wrote:...Was it the same name or similar looks that rang the alarm bells? Will this carry on forever?...
The only ones who will ever know are the officers who mixed you up with someone.

If this happens again, you should should try to find out as many details as you can...

...my guess is, that your name matches an SIS entry, hence the System raised an alarm.

Common sense suggests to me that they should have a procedure in place, which "adds" your details to the search entry, so they will always see the entry "this individual is similar, but not the one we´re looking for" (something like a "negative match").

In practice, imagine they´re looking for "John Smith, born 01.01.1980". I´m sure this imaginative person exists a few times. If they establish that another "John Smith, born 01.01.1980" is not the one they´re looking for, they could (for example) enter the passport# of the one they´re NOT looking for! This would allow to clear up the matter swiftly in future checks...

If "negative matching" is not possible, try to get as much info as you can about the alarm that was raised, and write a summary about it. Next time you get stuck, you could always produce it.

Just some ideas, not knowing if any of the above amkes sense/is feasible!

Rgds, Christian

andrej
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Location: uk

Re: Mistaken Identity while travelling in Germany

Post by andrej » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:57 pm

ca.funke wrote: If this happens again, you should should try to find out as many details as you can...

...my guess is, that your name matches an SIS entry, hence the System raised an alarm.

Common sense suggests to me that they should have a procedure in place, which "adds" your details to the search entry, so they will always see the entry "this individual is similar, but not the one we´re looking for" (something like a "negative match").

I hope their level of sophistication is that high and that they took steps to eliminate my info from the list. Even though it is Germans we are talking about i fear i might have to go through a similar scenario tomorrow on my way back. we shall see. i don't hold high hopes.

If "negative matching" is not possible, try to get as much info as you can about the alarm that was raised, and write a summary about it. Next time you get stuck, you could always produce it.

You mean that I should write my own summary? From my experience passport control ask questions but then never take your answer for granted... and still proceed with checks.


Christian
thanks budy

andrej
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Location: uk

Post by andrej » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:02 pm

Flying tomorrow... see what happens!!!

mcovet
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Post by mcovet » Fri Oct 12, 2012 4:01 pm

andrej wrote:Flying tomorrow... see what happens!!!
you, handcuffed, in a Deutsch cell...hope not :D don't worry, just allow plenty of time for the nonsense and arrive early for departure

Directive/2004/38/EC
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Post by Directive/2004/38/EC » Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:07 pm

andrej wrote:Flying tomorrow... see what happens!!!
Ask lots of questions and write down the answers. Also keep a record of who you are dealing with.

andrej
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Post by andrej » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:11 am

mcovet wrote:
andrej wrote:Flying tomorrow... see what happens!!!
you, handcuffed, in a Deutsch cell...hope not :D don't worry, just allow plenty of time for the nonsense and arrive early for departure
seems funny now, hehehe, but to tell you the truth I was rather nervous. I went to the airport very early, checked in, went through security and then got ready for pass-kontrol... but they seem to have a new system where:

1. you book in - easyJet staff check your visa for UK
2. you go through security and scans
3. you expect pass-kontrol - but NEW system - they only check your passport once the Boarding Gate opens - 1 hour before take off. YES - there are mini-booth in front of every gate!!!
4. You spend hours in a duty-free area, sweating like a hog- replaying possible scenarios in you head as you wait for the Gate and pass-kontrol to open...
5. The gate opens, you rush before the crowd and stand before the mean looking Polizai, who turns your passport this way and that, taking moments to look at your face as you stand there- your brain working over-time, heart pounding. You hear Brits, Germans and Polish passengers behind you sighing and asking "Why is it taking soooo long?" "Why are we having to wait?" and "There must be something dodgy about that guy holding us up!" After scanning my passport for eternity and making comments to his buddy, the officer asks if I have a visa for UK. I am happy he talks to me and point to my PR sticker. Without another word or glance he lets me through. NO PROBLEM.

6. EasyJet goon checks my passport again for a UK visa and rips my ticket. I am through... but not in the air yet. What if it is all a plan, a cunning and wicked attempt to trick and ley me relax before they send in an armed strike force to cuff me and humiliate me in front of all the other passangers - including a school girls rugby team...

7. We land in Gatwick, proceed to Pass-control, All Other Passports just because UK/EU/EEA line is chocked with Brits, Germans and Polish asking "Why is it taking soooo long?". Smiling and polite IO bids me a good evening, cracks a joke winking to my wife, scans our passports and waves us through... NICE TO BE HOME! :D

andrej
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Location: uk

Post by andrej » Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:16 am

Directive/2004/38/EC wrote:
andrej wrote:Flying tomorrow... see what happens!!!
Ask lots of questions and write down the answers. Also keep a record of who you are dealing with.
I was ready for that but since they made no problem - except just scanning and looking at my passportfor about 4-5 mins max (just seemed much longer in my head) and let me through I found no reason to bring up the subject. Maybe they are much more strict when you enter Germany, as I already had an entry stamp from the same airport.

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Sun Oct 14, 2012 11:21 am

andrej wrote: as I already had an entry stamp from the same airport.
You hold a residence card (you state PR), your passport should not have been stamped.

andrej
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Post by andrej » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:32 pm

EUsmileWEallsmile wrote: You hold a residence card (you state PR), your passport should not have been stamped.
Oh yes, in theory only really. Tired of fighting them battles. Next travel will be on UK pass.

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Sun Oct 14, 2012 5:37 pm

andrej wrote:
EUsmileWEallsmile wrote: You hold a residence card (you state PR), your passport should not have been stamped.
Oh yes, in theory only really. Tired of fighting them battles. Next travel will be on UK pass.
Ok, just as long as you know it's the law. It's not theoretical.

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