Will I get denied entry to the US for having visited a Communist country?
May 29, 2007 5:28 AM   Subscribe

HomelandSecurityFilter: If you have visas/stamps in your passport from Communist or former Communist nations, can this prejudice your entry into the US?

I am a UK citizen who normally enters the US on the 90 day Visa Waiver Programme. I'm looking to go travelling globally and, when I next enter the US, I may well have visited Russia, China and Cuba. Is this likely to cause me any problems when I arrive in the US and apply to enter under the Visa Waiver Programme?

I know I should just contact the US Embassy but I want some "real world" input as well as the official line.
posted by SpacemanRed to Travel & Transportation (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
No. I just moved back from living in China and I work there. Have I shown you the pictures from my vacation to the Socialist dictatorship of Syria?
posted by Pollomacho at 5:38 AM on May 29, 2007

nah. i think they'd be more worried if you, as a UK citizen, had spent a lot of time in north korea or something like that.
posted by thinkingwoman at 5:41 AM on May 29, 2007

IIRC, Cuba don't stamp passports for this very reason. Russia and China should be no problem.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:50 AM on May 29, 2007

Cuba doesn't stamp passports for Americans that want to go there illegally. It's not illegal for UK citizens to travel there even if they want to come to the US.
posted by Pollomacho at 5:58 AM on May 29, 2007

Cuba doesn't stamp passports for Americans that want to go there illegally.

...except for when they do. Sorry about the derail, but I have the stamps in my passport to prove that the Cuban officials aren't always so obliging.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:26 AM on May 29, 2007

Carry a spare passport and have that one stamped ?
posted by horsemuth at 6:39 AM on May 29, 2007

My GF sometimes had problems with her Russian passport when it had stamps from Tunisia even though she has a greencard. She always manages to get hassled by the HS people one way or another. Luckily I am there with her to help straighten things out. OTOH, I have never been bothered even though my US passport has a Cuban stamp. Granted I was legally licensed to go there so I have nothing to fear. These days having a Russian or Chinese stamp in your passport will not matter.
posted by JJ86 at 7:00 AM on May 29, 2007

Really don't think they care, if you don't look or act suspicious in other ways. As long as you're not going to places that you're prohibited from going to, it shouldn't be a problem.

Russia or China are both pretty big tourist destinations, and Cuba isn't that uncommon for non-Americans. It's not like you've been hanging out in North Korea or something. I wouldn't worry about it. Just be honest and up-front about it if anyone asks.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:38 AM on May 29, 2007

I am Canadian and had a work VISA for Vietnam in my passport last time I visited the USA.

I did get pulled into the room beside customs and was asked the same questions over and over again. I was allowed to enter, I think it may have to do with the fact that I am a high tech worker and traditionally we get a hard time crossing the border for business.

On previous entries to the United States, I was asked if I was or had ever been a member of a socialist party - this is not a standard question from what I have heard - but I have been asked that.

You should be okay, but don't be suprised if they rattle your cage a bit.
posted by Deep Dish at 9:39 AM on May 29, 2007

I travel on a British passport. I have Cuban entrance and exit stamps in my passport. When I flew into New York JFK it wasn't even mentioned, the immigration official was more interested in what I had been doing in Jamaica.
posted by DelusionsofGrandeur at 9:55 AM on May 29, 2007

A friend of mine told the anecdote that Cuban immigration officials used to accept $20 folded into your passport as payment to stamp your bording pass rather than your passport. Story goes that the government became aware of this, and simply institutionalised the practice, with the proceeds going to them rather than the individual officials.
posted by djgh at 12:04 PM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone, it's difficult to mark any particular answer as "best" but you've all put my mind at rest.
posted by SpacemanRed at 4:54 AM on May 30, 2007

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