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US Citizen with a Cuba stamp in my passport, intentionally

US Citizen with a Cuba stamp in my passport, intentionally

Old Jan 8, 12, 6:47 pm
  #1  
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Lightbulb US Citizen with a Cuba stamp in my passport, intentionally

I've scoured far and wide and can't find the answer to this question. I intend to travel to Cuba, by boat as it would be, and understand how they will stamp the tourist card and what not so you don't have a Cuban stamp in your passport.

But, I'm a travel nut and I _like_ the stamps in my passport. Especially the uncommon one, which this qualified for, for us Americans. Thus I intend to ask them to stamp it. Assuming they will...

The million dollar question is, what happens when I come back through customs? Since I'll be on a boat, and therefore going through customs at a marina, my Global Entry status won't help me avoid difficult questions or officers intent on scouring my passport for offending stamps. Thus... I'm kind of concerned to see what happens.

Can anyone speak from experience on this (forget the boat part, just a US citizen having a Cuban stamp in the passport upon returning to the mainland), or perhaps take an educated guess?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 8, 12, 6:48 pm
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I'm assuming you're going to re-enter in Florida, so I'm not sure how strict they are. However, returning to Puerto Rico from the British Virgin Islands by boat, I've been able to clear customs and immigration by phone before. We just gave them our passport numbers and vessel information over the phone.

My passport has a Cuba, and going through customs at SJU I haven't had as much as a raised eyebrow. Just don't bring anything back, don't lie, and don't offer more information than you need to
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Old Jan 8, 12, 6:51 pm
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Cool

Originally Posted by mkt View Post
10 PRINT "Bite Me!"
20 GOTO 10

Reminds me of a couple of "blank" cards I slipped into a friends Fortran stack back in High School.

I don't think she ever forgave me.

(I think I did add a loop with 50 iterations...)
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Old Jan 8, 12, 6:54 pm
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Originally Posted by mkt View Post
I'm assuming you're going to re-enter in Florida, so I'm not sure how strict they are. However, returning to Puerto Rico from the British Virgin Islands by boat, I've been able to clear customs and immigration by phone before. We just gave them our passport numbers and vessel information over the phone.

My passport has a Cuba, and going through customs at SJU I haven't had as much as a raised eyebrow. Just don't bring anything back, don't lie, and don't offer more information than you need to
Appreciate the quick reply! Had no idea they did it via radio / phone. I guess I assumed there was a customs agent in the international marina in Miami. And yes, you're right re Florida.

BTW, as the good Doc said, nice sig. That's the kind of thing I'd write back in school and leave running to piss off the teachers...
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Old Jan 12, 12, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by ainternational View Post
Appreciate the quick reply! Had no idea they did it via radio / phone. I guess I assumed there was a customs agent in the international marina in Miami.
It's something that's worth trying, but you could be told no, you have to come in.

From the BVI to Puerto Rico there's usually so private vessel traffic, that customs probably prefers it this way to keep lines moving quickly. I do this crossing 5-6 times per year, and nore often than not we clear by phone/radio. However, there have been times when we've been told to come in to do it.
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Old Jan 23, 12, 8:36 pm
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Originally Posted by ainternational View Post
Can anyone speak from experience on this (forget the boat part, just a US citizen having a Cuban stamp in the passport upon returning to the mainland), or perhaps take an educated guess?
Thanks!
I don't know what it's like for a cruise passenger returning to the States, but some friends of ours went to Cuba through Mexico via Tijuana. They returned from Tijuana airport and went through the border by car, no problems. Generally, no one scours your passport for offending stamps as there isn't enough time during long lines. They flip through for an empty space, stamp, and send you on your way. (In this particular instance, they just swipe the passport through the reader, wait and ask questions, i.e. "What was the reason that you visited Mexico?") They're more concerned if you seem nervous about something or have strange answers to their questions. Look annoyed or tired, but don't look anxious, and you should be OK. They are more concerned about illegal immigrants coming through than a US citizen with a stamp they're not supposed to have in their passport.
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Old Mar 5, 12, 12:43 pm
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I'm not sure what the repercussions are either, however, like you I'm a sucker for a good passport stamp so I had them stamp my old, expired passport to play it safe!
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Old Mar 5, 12, 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by SPatrick83 View Post
I'm not sure what the repercussions are either, however, like you I'm a sucker for a good passport stamp so I had them stamp my old, expired passport to play it safe!
This is brilliant!

Not sure they'd do it given the expiration, but perhaps. And maybe if a crisp $20 was involved too. Wonder if that's a smart move over there.

Can you imagine trying to slip cash to a US Immigration officer? Haha.. kiss of death!
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Old Mar 6, 12, 2:24 pm
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Originally Posted by SPatrick83 View Post
I'm not sure what the repercussions are
None for me On a valid passport.

Originally Posted by ainternational View Post
Can you imagine trying to slip cash to a US Immigration officer? Haha.. kiss of death!
I've done it to BVI Customs on multiple occasions, and both Guatemalan and Haitian security once each, but that's not something I'd even consider with US authorities.
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Old Mar 12, 12, 7:39 pm
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I went to Cuba legally a number of years ago and had my US passport stamped. Never heard a word when reentering the US at least 50 times thereafter. Also didn't hear anything from either of the two US embassies that later added pages to my passport. Not sure I would have had it stamped had I not gone legally though.
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Old Jun 11, 12, 10:49 pm
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Just returned from Cuba and asked that my passport be stamped both coming in and going out. I openly declared I had been to Cuba and DHS didn't bat an eye at LAX.
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Old Jun 11, 12, 11:05 pm
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I have been "there" a couple times, no stamps.
Except the exit/entry pair from CUN with no landing in-between !

Anyway, I always remember this dramatic story from 1993:

http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/ar...s-to-cuba.html

This was a headline story in the AUS paper as well.
A week later there was a much smaller story.

All the people who had passports seized
went to he Post Office and got new passports for $50.
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Old Aug 13, 12, 1:42 am
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Originally Posted by MatthewLAX View Post
Just returned from Cuba and asked that my passport be stamped both coming in and going out. I openly declared I had been to Cuba and DHS didn't bat an eye at LAX.
That' s the way it should be.
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Old Aug 13, 12, 5:36 am
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Originally Posted by carpetbagger View Post
That' s the way it should be.
Agreed.

Thanks for all these datapoints, folks. Much appreciated.
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Old Aug 13, 12, 11:53 pm
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I'm flying from the US to Mexico City and then on to Havana for a few days later this year. I'm a little conflicted about whether I should write "Cuba" on the blue form asking me what countries I've visited. I'll be flying from Mexico City to Las Vegas. I'm concerned that the CBP officers in Las Vegas will not be as used to people coming from Cuba and that I might face some trouble if I openly declare/flaunt it.
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