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Old Feb 3, 07, 6:55 am   #1
htb
 
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MUC passport control insisted on seeing my passport

OK, I know the title sounds a bit strange, and further I'm not sure if this is the right place to post since it's not really LH-related, but I thought here's the highest density of German flyers, and MUC is a major LH hub. Mods, please feel free to move to somewhere more appropriate.

Anyway, usually I only show my government ID (German Personalausweis) when passing the passport control. However, this time I got asked where I was flying to and consequently told I would have to show them my passport. Upon my inquiry as to why they wanted to see my passport the young officer told me it's because he had to check whether my credentials are all right to enter the foreign country avoiding that I'll be sent back immediately on arrival. I gave him my passport and mentioned that that's not his job but the responsibility of the airline.

My question is whether my understanding is correct in that the German passport control has to let me pass with a valid Personalausweis only, or whether they can insist on seeing my passport which would allow them to check all my stamps. Another question is whether I have to tell them where I'm flying to in the first place since that is none of the government's business. Should I complain somewhere to avoid erosion of our right of free movement?

Cheers,


HTB.
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Old Feb 3, 07, 7:01 am   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htb View Post
My question is whether my understanding is correct in that the German passport control has to let me pass with a valid Personalausweis only, or whether they can insist on seeing my passport which would allow them to check all my stamps. Another question is whether I have to tell them where I'm flying to in the first place since that is none of the government's business. Should I complain somewhere to avoid erosion of our right of free movement?

Cheers,


HTB.
Of course they do have a right to see your passport. Only when crossing into certain countries your ID will suffice - it's not clear where you were travelling to.

BTW your passport belongs to the state not to you as it should be mentioned somewhere in the passport.
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Old Feb 3, 07, 7:03 am   #3
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Normally the airlines pick up the tab if you are caught not having the right paperwork at your destination to enter that country.

If you however enter the destination country and get deported from there, the local authorities contact the german consular service, who pays for deportation and is obliged to get it back from you once you are back in germany.

Hence german authorities take care that you have all the required papers when you leave the country.
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Old Feb 3, 07, 7:11 am   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capetonian View Post
Of course they do have a right to see your passport. Only when crossing into certain countries your ID will suffice - it's not clear where you were travelling to.
I think the border guard's explanation is bollocks, they couldn't care less if you're sent back right away, it's your airline's responsibility. It could be that they have asked the Bundesgrenzschutz to take on this task though. In this age of self-checkin (even with baggage!) and do-it-yourself boarding on e-tickets, it's easy to fly just about anywhere without an airline employee ever seeing your ID.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capetonian View Post
BTW your passport belongs to the state not to you as it should be mentioned somewhere in the passport.
This is correct - looking at mine, it's on the inside of the back cover:

"Dieser Reisepass ist Eigentum der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
This passport is the property of the Federal Republic of Germany
Ce passeport est propriété de la Republique fedérale d'Allemagne"

I seem to recall that officially, a Personalausweis is government property as well, but it's not explicitly stated on the ID.

In any case, I would agree that the BGS has a right to ask to see your passport if it's reasonable to believe you would have it on you. My last passport was filled with stamps, many of them from not-so-friendly countries, and it was never a problem at German immigration.
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Old Feb 3, 07, 7:56 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex0683de View Post
In any case, I would agree that the BGS has a right to ask to see your passport if it's reasonable to believe you would have it on you. My last passport was filled with stamps, many of them from not-so-friendly countries, and it was never a problem at German immigration.
Your home country always has to let you in as long as you have its nationality. What happens after you got into the country is a second thing (getting arrested /questioned/...) but unless they take away your passport you should always be able to travel "home".
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Old Feb 3, 07, 8:35 am   #6
 
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Strange. I even took the burden to look up the relevant laws. It is their task to check your identity, to safeguard the German borders but for sure not to check whether or not you fulfill the visa policies of foreign countries (I have certain doubts that they are able to do this as they do not know the laws of 220+ states and your personal plans).

Just on side issue: The statement "this passport is property of Federal Republic of Germany" has two reasons: A.) it allows German governement to interfere if a foreign country tries to keep a German national's passport and B.) it allows German authorities to claim a passport back from a German national without an legal obstacles if they decide that such German national is not entitled to hold a passport.
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Old Feb 3, 07, 9:12 am   #7
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In the pre 9/11 days a colleague of mine lost her passport in the US and managed to fly home and enter the coountry using the 'personalausweis' (PA) the BGS or BP as it is now called let her in without any issues. The problem was with the airline staff, who wouldn't believe her the PA was equivalent to a passport in germany.

The official IATA rules say:


Quote:
/ 03FEB07 / 1611 UTC



National GERMANY (DE) /Destination GERMANY (DE)


GERMANY (DE)



Passport (may be expired) or National Identity Card

("Personalausweis") required.
Temporary passport ("Vorlaeufiger Personalausweis") also
accepted.

Visa not required.

Minors:
Identity Card ( Kinderausweis , with photo) issued to children

up to 16 years old also accepted instead of passport (no photo
required for children under 10 years of age).
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Old Feb 3, 07, 9:36 am   #8
 
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Good to know that IATA understands that I as a German national do not need a visa to enter into Germany.

Quote:
National GERMANY (DE) /Destination GERMANY (DE)
...
Visa not required.
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Old Feb 3, 07, 9:41 am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Lawyer View Post
Good to know that IATA understands that I as a German national do not need a visa to enter into Germany.
You'll be surprised how many countries require their 'nationals' to have a visa to enter their 'own' country. Especially for GB/UK it gets complicated:

Quote:


/ 03FEB07 / 1640 UTC



National UNITED KINGDOM (GREAT BRITAIN) (GB)
Destination UNITED KINGDOM (GREAT BRITAIN) (GB)


UNITED KINGDOM (GREAT BRITAIN)



Passport required. Also accepted are the following documents
issued to residents of:
- Gibraltar: Identity Card issued by Gibraltar authorities to

British Citizens and British Overseas Territories

Citizen (previously refered to as British Dependent

Territories Citizens , see TIRULES/R16 )(these cards have
a red stripe);
- Hong Kong:
- Hong Kong Certificate of Identity (will not be issued

after June 30, 1997, but remains valid for travel until

expiry date); or
- Hong Kong Document of Identity.


Visa not required if holding:
1. passport endorsed:
- British Citizen ; or

- British Overseas Citizen ; or

- British National (Overseas) ; or

- British Overseas Territories Citizen (previously

refered to as British Dependent Territories Citizens ,

see TIRULES/R16 ); or
- British Subject being Citizens of the United Kingdom and

Colonies"; or
- British Protected Person ; or

2.Identity Card issued by Gibraltar to residents of Gibraltar.


Please note that:
- British passports endorsed British Dependent Territories

Citizen issued in Hong Kong are no longer issued or valid

for travel; and
- U.K. passport may be expired indefinitely if endorsed:
- British Citizen ; or

- British Subject, being Citizen of the United Kingdom

and Colonies", having the right of abode in the U.K..

Flights from/to United Kingdom to/from Channel Islands,
Ireland (Rep. of) and the Isle of Man are domestic flights.

Therefore, there is no Immigration control.


Minors:
Since October 5, 1998, children are required to hold their
own passport.
Children up to/incl. 15 years, who are already included in
parent's or guardian's passports issued prior to October 5,
1998, may continue to travel. However:

- they may not travel without holder of passport; and
- the visa in passport (if required) must indicate it is also
valid for the child(ren).

CHECK TINEWS/N7 - U.S.A. - WESTERN HEMISPHERE TRAVEL
INITIATIVE



Timaticweb Version 1.3
03 February 2007
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Old Feb 3, 07, 10:46 am   #10
 
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As a result of the colonial past HM Government used to issue passports to plenty of people worldwide - these might be "somehow" British subjects, but they are not automatically entitled to take residence in the UK.

I believe Hong Kong was the real issue....
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Old Feb 3, 07, 11:29 am   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
You'll be surprised how many countries require their 'nationals' to have a visa to enter their 'own' country. Especially for GB/UK it gets complicated:
You're right that there are a number of countries, but the only one I can think of right now is Cuba. Cubans living abroad need to secure a visa if they want to visit their country. It's a way of keeping out exiled dissidents or other troublemakers.
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Old Feb 3, 07, 12:02 pm   #12
 
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Here is a weird one - Sudan requires a Visa from foreigners who wish to leave the country. I believe there are many more countries like this who require visas or exit permits to leave the country (especially for those on work permits).

Sudan
Saudi Arabia
Kuwait

to name a few
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Old Feb 3, 07, 2:44 pm   #13
 
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I have a visa for the US right now and I had to get a special note in my visa and passport that I am allowed to leave the country and come back to keep it still valid after my departure...
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Old Feb 3, 07, 6:10 pm   #14
 
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If you are a German passport holder of foreign descent, or so-called "ein Auslaender or eine Auslaenderin", the officer probably wanted give you a hard time.
If not, you just had a bad day.
More often than not, my financee , who is a naturalized German citizen, has to cope with this nuisance at Frankfurt.


Quote:
Originally Posted by htb View Post
OK, I know the title sounds a bit strange, and further I'm not sure if this is the right place to post since it's not really LH-related, but I thought here's the highest density of German flyers, and MUC is a major LH hub. Mods, please feel free to move to somewhere more appropriate.

Anyway, usually I only show my government ID (German Personalausweis) when passing the passport control. However, this time I got asked where I was flying to and consequently told I would have to show them my passport. Upon my inquiry as to why they wanted to see my passport the young officer told me it's because he had to check whether my credentials are all right to enter the foreign country avoiding that I'll be sent back immediately on arrival. I gave him my passport and mentioned that that's not his job but the responsibility of the airline.

My question is whether my understanding is correct in that the German passport control has to let me pass with a valid Personalausweis only, or whether they can insist on seeing my passport which would allow them to check all my stamps. Another question is whether I have to tell them where I'm flying to in the first place since that is none of the government's business. Should I complain somewhere to avoid erosion of our right of free movement?

Cheers,


HTB.
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Old Feb 3, 07, 7:12 pm   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dabour View Post
If you are a German passport holder of foreign descent, or so-called "ein Auslaender or eine Auslaenderin", the officer probably wanted give you a hard time.
If not, you just had a bad day.
More often than not, my financee , who is a naturalized German citizen, has to cope with this nuisance at Frankfurt.
Being a naturalised german on indo-german descent (mothers could pass on german citizenship only since 1976 which when we applied) I've never been treated even a bit differently. The only thing I notice is that my passport is scanned for a schengen SIS check when some 'german' are allowed to pass after a quick look at the biometric page in the passport.
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