necessary documentaton for international flights and auto travel.
October 20, 2012 1:04 PM   Subscribe

Last minute check list for US citizen with departing flight from Canada to Iceland to UK to Ireland, no return ticket and a car retuning with a different driver.

I am a US citizen living in Ohio departing tomorrow from Windsor Canada > Toronto Pearson International Airport> Reykjavik Iceland (6 days) to UK for a connecting flight to Ireland (extended stay). A friend is taking me to the airport (crossing border) using my car. I have taken the following steps. I have my passport, all flight and lodging reservations, boarding pass from Windsor to Toronto and will give my friend my auto registration/Copy of Title/proof of insurance. I travel 2-4 times a year between Ireland and the US and frequent trips from Ireland to the UK. However, I have never departed from another country for an extended stay in Ireland nor visited another country (Iceland)on the way to Ireland. Also, have never had a friend drive my car into Canada and return without me (she has her passport). Finally, I believe I have all the information necessary to secure an extended stay in Ireland ( I have done this twice before and have a GNIB number)--but this is the first time I am gong without a return ticket as it is uncertain when I am leaving and what my destination on leaving Ireland (will coordinate with my wife when she arrives in Ireland). Any observations, things I might have forgot or need to know. I have the essentials--passport, credit cards, prescription medicine and copies of all flight documents. Not asking about packing etc--most concerned about car, leaving from Canada and no return ticket
posted by rmhsinc to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
They're not going to like the lack of a return ticket. I went to London without a return and the border agent made me pull out all of my credit cards and tell him the balance on each one and then gave me a very stern lecture. Eventually he let me through but told me that if I ever tried it again he'd "bounce my bum back to the continent" (I was flying in from Schipol).
posted by elsietheeel at 1:33 PM on October 20, 2012

I would invest €30 on an EasyJet/Ryanair return ticket to the UK from Ireland just to avoid the potential trauma of getting into a "no return ticket on an extended visa" issue.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:38 PM on October 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding elsietheeel on the no return ticket thing. As I didn't have credit cards at the time I had to get copies of bank balances faxed from Australia (my mother doing the legwork doesn't email) it was a pain and embarrassing and made me feel like a criminal. Get a cheap return ticket, either get a flexible one you can change for a minimal fee at a later date or get a cheap ass one like DarlingBri suggested.
posted by wwax at 1:43 PM on October 20, 2012

I flew into Dublin twice with no return/onward ticket handy on my last trip. The first time I flew in from the US and I said I was planning to leave via ferry in two days (true, though I had not yet bought my ticket) and they gave me a thirty-day stamp (I think? It was much more than I needed, regardless).

The second time I flew in from London and I said I was flying out later that afternoon (also true! I never left the airport!) but I did not have a boarding pass and I did not know my flight number, and the guy gave me a frowny look and a shorter-term stamp that time (possibly actually a 24 hour stamp, still more than I needed).

So, in neither case did Irish border control demand to see an onward ticket, but they did want to know about my plans and it seemed important to have a non-shifty story. To me it seems entirely reasonable that someone who is planning on staying in Ireland for an extended period would not necessarily have his onward journey completely planned out, but then I'm not an Irish border control agent. If you can't/don't want to buy a return ticket, I would recommend being straightforward and saying, "I'll be leaving on/around $DATE and returning to the U.S. either direct from $IRISH AIRPORT or stopping over in $CITY."
posted by mskyle at 2:13 PM on October 20, 2012

I'd also get a return ticket to the UK if I was you. You can get them very cheap through Ryanair - look for a 'No Taxes' flight - usually either early morning or late at night. I fly from Dublin to Luton all the time and often get flights for around €40.
posted by anaximander at 3:00 PM on October 20, 2012

No return flight is a massive red flag to immigration officials. I know plenty of people who have been refused entry because of it. This doesn't mean that it will happen to you. It just means that it can.
posted by aychedee at 4:19 AM on October 21, 2012

Thanks for the input--a near consensus is best notignored. A return ticket will be purchased before arriving in Dublin--now all i have to decide is the return destination. Thanks again for taking the time to respond.
posted by rmhsinc at 9:30 AM on October 21, 2012

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