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Old 14.01.2015, 15:48
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US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

Hello,

I am going to have a visa interview at the US embassy in Bern. As I read on their website, I am only allowed to bring a very small bag inside, and no electronic devices, etc. That's quite strict. I wonder if I can bring inside the following things: my (small) wallet, my house keys, and my umbrella (because it's forecast to rain). I want to know this to decide if I need a friend coming there with me to keep my stuff for me. I tried to contact the embassy but no luck so far.

Any experience?
Thanks!!!
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Old 14.01.2015, 15:55
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

When I was last there, you could not bring a bag of any sort beyond the waiting area. You had to leave it in the cubby boxes at security, along with your keys. All you could carry inside was an open envelope with your documents and your passport. Plus a little slip of paper with the cubby number where they put your bag. No cell phones at all - people were told to go away and come back without them.

In your case, you could probably leave your wallet, keys and umbrella in the cubby.
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Old 14.01.2015, 16:06
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

^ it's still the same as this. Which makes it funny sometimes
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Old 14.01.2015, 16:08
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

When I went there, I left everything in my car except my wallet and car keys (and the documents of course). If I remember correctly, they didn't create any issue and I was in the embassy in a matter of two minutes. But funnily enough they did not care about all the documentation I have prepared, the guy only asked for my passport, my work permit and the proof of visa payment
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Old 14.01.2015, 16:18
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

Thanks for your response. I will go to Bern by train then walk to the embassy. So I guess I must bring absolutely minimal personal belongings, or have a friend with me. It's really funny. I have been at US embassies in other countries, where it's certainly less safe than CH, and I could bring a lot of stuff in a large bag with me inside (no electronics of course).
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Old 14.01.2015, 16:27
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

There are lockers at the station.
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Old 14.01.2015, 16:40
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

Put it this way. When I went there to renounce in March 2013 the guard was unhappy that I had a pedometer and a tissue in my pockets. He eventually took the pedometer to keep for me to collect when I left, but allowed me the tissue.
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Old 14.01.2015, 16:46
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

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There are lockers at the station.
Good point. Train station locker is a good idea if that's the way you're arriving.

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Put it this way. When I went there to renounce in March 2013 the guard was unhappy that I had a pedometer and a tissue in my pockets. He eventually took the pedometer to keep for me to collect when I left, but allowed me the tissue.
That's right! I happened to have the sniffles and they still took away my tissues. I said fine, I'll wipe my nose on whatever brochures you have laying around for people to read. He relented and let me have one.

It kind of makes me laugh though...what would MacGyver do with a pedometer, a passport, and a tissue...
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Old 14.01.2015, 17:23
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

Guns - they absolutely insist you go in with a gun - because everyone is automatically safer if they are packing a piece or 2.
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Old 14.01.2015, 17:24
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

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Thanks for your response. I will go to Bern by train then walk to the embassy. So I guess I must bring absolutely minimal personal belongings, or have a friend with me. It's really funny. I have been at US embassies in other countries, where it's certainly less safe than CH, and I could bring a lot of stuff in a large bag with me inside (no electronics of course).
That was not my experience at all, all the U.S. embassies I visited in the past followed a no big bags/no electronics policy.

When I went to the U.S. embassy in Bern I left everything except my wallet and the needed documents in one of the lockers at the train station. Worked perfectly for me.
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Old 14.01.2015, 18:27
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

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Good point. Train station locker is a good idea if that's the way you're arriving.



That's right! I happened to have the sniffles and they still took away my tissues. I said fine, I'll wipe my nose on whatever brochures you have laying around for people to read. He relented and let me have one.

It kind of makes me laugh though...what would MacGyver do with a pedometer, a passport, and a tissue...
Something amazing I'm sure.
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Old 14.01.2015, 18:37
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

Just leave them in the box provided as previously mentioned. Worked fine for me.
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Old 14.01.2015, 18:42
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

I had to relinquish my car key fob (remote opener) so they are pretty strict with all electronics.
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Old 14.01.2015, 19:02
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

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Good point. Train station locker is a good idea if that's the way you're arriving.



That's right! I happened to have the sniffles and they still took away my tissues. I said fine, I'll wipe my nose on whatever brochures you have laying around for people to read. He relented and let me have one.

It kind of makes me laugh though...what would MacGyver do with a pedometer, a passport, and a tissue...
Every episode of MacGyver I ever saw he also had access to his trusty swiss army knife!
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Old 14.01.2015, 19:34
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

They wanted me to leave my sunglasses at security until i told them they were prescription and the only way i could see.
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Old 14.01.2015, 22:52
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

Are you allowed to wear a je suis Charlie t-shirt?
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Old 14.01.2015, 23:22
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

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Are you allowed to wear a je suis Charlie t-shirt?
Sure. Just don't take the magazine with you to read while you wait.
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Old 24.07.2015, 16:28
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

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That was not my experience at all, all the U.S. embassies I visited in the past followed a no big bags/no electronics policy.

When I went to the U.S. embassy in Bern I left everything except my wallet and the needed documents in one of the lockers at the train station. Worked perfectly for me.

I was at the US embassy in Bern this week (July 2015) and left my phone in a locker at the train station (6 CHF for the small lockers). But at the embassy, I was told no laptops, no computers in the building but they will check your phone and place it in a cubby behind the security; you pick it up when you leave since the entrance is also the exit. I was there for notary services with an appointment, and was in and out in 45 minutes.
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Old 25.07.2015, 00:28
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

I showed up at the embassy two weeks ago with my laptop bag (obviously didn't know). I was allowed to take only a document and could deposit the cell phone with the security. Didn't know what to do with the laptop bag, but one of the security guys was helpful - he said a small shop, which is actually a bakery that is 300m from the embassy will store the bags for you for 3 CHF and that is what I did.
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Old 25.07.2015, 00:39
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Re: US Embassy in Bern: what can I bring inside?

I had a small purse (no cell phone) and a folder with documents in it (no sealed envelopes are allowed). The agent checked my purse after the metal detector and looked through my folder. I also had an empty water bottle (no food/beverages allowed) and the security asked me if I wanted to keep the empty bottle.

In the small waiting room, there are bathrooms and a water fountain, and I think there was also a coffee machine.
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