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  #101  
Old 12.08.2012, 15:49
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

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But come on- you must be very naive if you think that 'ueber' profiling does not go on. Do you know many customs officers? Some of them are really nice guys/gals but they are rarely well-traveled, and most of them have a tendency for the right, and some the far right. No I am not stereotyping here- it is a fact. Many of them belong to the UDC- fact- and the .... don't keep your head in the sand
OK, I'll sit comfortably and wait for the official substance for the fact most border/customs folks rarely leave CH and are righties... should be quite easy to prove if it's fact Odile.

I think the sandy headed folks are the ones who cant see that border security/customs/profiling is a north bound train (pardon the pun), and that accepting it makes travel so much easier, or think back wistfully to bygone times when maybe it wasn't such a necessity.

If the OP had their permit in their passport there would be no thread would there, and the maybe po-faced guard would have waved them through, maybe. It's neither time consuming or difficult to have all documentation ready for inspection at a control point JIC, you may need it, you may not, but profiling or not it's stressless. If you don't have it and they ask..... stress.

I don't know how many customs guys/gals Zurich airport has but probably a lot, the OP has said he's been stopped once, hardly a calamity or indication that they have white hoods in their lockers and holiday homes in Mississippi. To the OP really, have all your doc's handy, and if you get controlled more than you feel is 'fair' smile nicely and think to yourself, you earn more than they do, probably have a better lifestyle than the do... and move on to planing what your going to watch on the inflight entertainment.
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  #102  
Old 12.08.2012, 15:55
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

I agree with Papa Goose. In these kind of situations it's very much a question of "pick your battles" or as the fruit gum ad used to say "grin and bear it".....

Of course, if you wish to make it a matter of principle nobody is stopping you, but principles come with a price. The big kid in the school yard may be a bully and it may be brave of you to stand up to him. It won't stop you from going home with a black eye though....
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  #103  
Old 12.08.2012, 15:56
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

I always carry my C Permit with me when exiting/entering Schengen. At Zurich or Geneva airports, showing my Permit means my US passport doesn't get stamped (saves on pages, don't know if its the same for EU citiens); wish that could apply in non-Swiss Schengen control points.

I have the say that the silliest passport control I ever went through was in the UK when I went there for a weekend, the officer at immigration actually asked where I lived and when I said Switzerland he asked for my Swiss permit. Customs also stopped me for about 20 minutes and took my documents to a room and started doing a search in their database. I found it all so amusing and was polite and smiling the whole time (I had nothing to lose and what's the worse they could do to me, deport me back to Switzerland?), and literally was about to tell them: "C'mon, I have a very good paying job in Switerland, you think I would want to move here and work illegally in a McDonalds?".
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  #104  
Old 12.08.2012, 16:01
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

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...

But come on- you must be very naive if you think that 'ueber' profiling does not go on. ...
Interesting comment Odile.

Reminded me of the days when I used to travel from the UK abroad with my work and for vacations.

Almost without exception, I would get stopped, questioned and have my luggage searched regardless of whether travelling alone or with friends/family/colleagues and even when returning to the UK.

Never once was there rudeness or unpleasantness on either side and, in all cases, I was sent on my way with a nice smile and parting comment. I even once had a very humourous exchange with a UK Customs Official during the questioning session (he started the jokes) that had not only him and I but others around us laughing as well.

At a dinner, I was introduced to a friend of the hosts who was a UK Customs Officer. During the course of our conversation I jokingly asked him about my situation. He replied that it was because I fitted a particular profile that they were on the alert for and which had me in stitches of laughter as to what it actually was. He told me not to take it personally (not that I ever had) but that it was just them doing their job. End of.
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  #105  
Old 12.08.2012, 16:04
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

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Yup, rumbled. My KKK barbecue was well attended, we toasted the Aryan breed and afterwards we'll kidnap some poor "B permit" holder and force feed them some Swiss yokel literature and sing the national anthem at full volume whilst living off all the benefits that their taxation brings us.
Remember that the B permits and the asylum seekers are considered to be tax evading and welfare stealing. So no they don't contribute, quite the opposite!

Please remind me of a country that doesn't ask for residence papers on entry if available?
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  #106  
Old 12.08.2012, 16:12
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

I've also been ocassionally asked for my Swiss Permit by US-based carriers during the security screening for US-based flights at the check-in counter while checking in at Zurich or Geneva airports, even though I have a US passport.
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  #107  
Old 12.08.2012, 16:16
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

As many before me have suggested, it is always better to carry your Residence Permit with your passport while entering or exiting a country. Better still, being prudent when choosing your fights. Getting into an argument with an immigration officer at the border is a bad idea. Lucky, it was Switzerland and not many other countries in the world. At the end of the day, these folks are just doing their job...
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  #108  
Old 12.08.2012, 16:23
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

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Never once was there rudeness or unpleasantness on either side and, in all cases, I was sent on my way with a nice smile and parting comment. I even once had a very humourous exchange with a UK Customs Official during the questioning session (he started the jokes) that had not only him and I but others around us laughing as well.
As a teenager I once went on a day trip with a friend of my parents who was a pilot (with that great airline Dan Air - that dates the incidence). I had left early and picked up my passport from my parents' room. On the return I had to go through passport control like all passengers. Handed my passport to the immigration officer who raised his eyebrows and told me that it didn't look like me. I asked him what he meant and he showed me my passport with the Pipi Longstocking features of my younger sister.... Luckily he just rolled his eyes and said "Go on, get out of here"
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  #109  
Old 12.08.2012, 16:25
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

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I've also been ocassionally asked for my Swiss Permit by US-based carriers during the security screening for US-based flights at the check-in counter while checking in at Zurich or Geneva airports, even though I have a US passport.
That's because the carrier is liable if they deliver you here (or anywhere) without the required paperwork.
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  #110  
Old 12.08.2012, 16:36
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

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That's because the carrier is liable if they deliver you here (or anywhere) without the required paperwork.
Agree that carriers are liable, but how is a Swiss Residency Permit required "paperwork" to ultimately enter the US when one already has a US Passport?
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  #111  
Old 12.08.2012, 16:51
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

However bad Antibes experience with Swiss immigrations or customs, I cannot imagine it's anything like as bad as US.
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  #112  
Old 12.08.2012, 16:52
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

Well here is another nice happy story. My mum was about 88 and came to UK with dad for one of our daughter's wedding. Wheel-chair bound and obviously very frail, she arrived at East Midlands airport- and gave her (Swiss) passport to the immigration official - her photo showed a much younger and very good-looking woman. He was looking very carefully at her passport, and she said something like 'I know, I know, I am a bit older now' - in her perfect English. He replied 'that is not the problem Madam, but do you realise your passport is 8 years out of date' to which mum replied 'Young man I am going to my grand-daughter's wedding - at my age I can assure you that these little detail to not matter' and smiled her most beautiful wrinkly smile. He looked at her, smiled back and said 'of course, you are quite right- have a wonderful time'. It was her last visit to England- and we all knew it.

I've often wondered what would have happened if she had had a Nigerian or Pakistani passport. If she had not spoken excellent English. I'll never know. Bless her/miss her.

Last edited by Odile; 12.08.2012 at 17:35.
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  #113  
Old 12.08.2012, 17:30
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

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Come on PJ - that is out of order- and the other extreme. Not needed, honest

It is clear that customs officers and police do 'profiling' - for all sorts of reasons- most of them justified by stats. I see this on a daily basis at our local border crossing- where anybody who is darker than a Swiss suntan, gets stopped, questioned and vehicle searched for meat or other imports.
I do have friends in France and UK who are constantly stopped and searched, totally disproportionately- because of their skin colour or their East European look- and it is very very hard not to develop resistance and slowly but surely, that famous chip on the shoulder. White trash, that is insulting - and yet I agree, most of us do not know what it is like to be constantly stopped, searched, asked for documents, etc, for no other reason than looking 'different'.

In this case, the woman was just doing her job. As Wollie says, the fact it is the first time you have been asked, shows that it is not discriminatory - otherwise you would have been asked every time, no? And as said before, she could easily have called security because you swore at her- and you would have been taken to the slammer for a while, and not been able to travel. As you were clearly in the wrong- you wouldn't have had a leg to stand on- even with the best lawyer. So count yourself lucky- onwards and forwards. cheers.
It still is not racism. And racism is constantly brought up by someone of color if they get asked a simple question. Yet, many are given permits and the like to live and work in Switzerland. It makes you wonder why do they stay. But I forgot, it is because of the taxes other than that the Swiss can go to hell. But yet...the OP has a permit to stay in the country. Go figure...

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In your original post you didn't mention that you were stopped all the time. If you are stopped all the time, the logical thing to do is to stick your resident permit in with your passport.

Trust me you're not the only one who gets stopped. A good friend of the family gets stopped ALL the time everywhere he goes and he's Swiss and white.

Let's hope your little out burst isn't going to cause you a little note in your record and more problems.
Exactly...now the story changes and the OP says they are stopped all the time where initially the story was different. There is not very much a person can do about their color so they may as well accept it, love it, and not be so sensitive about it.
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  #114  
Old 12.08.2012, 17:31
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

Back to the subject of permits needed on Swiss border crossing, like most of you, I have never been asked to produce my Swiss permit (L) at the Swiss border control during the one year I have been here. I always wondered if it was a requirement. So in my last trip (last month) I asked the question directly from the lady passport control officer to which she replied that since you travel on a UK (EU) passport, you don't need visa to be here, so no, you don't need to carry your permit.

Having read some of the responses here, I guess there is no harm in taking it with you.

Last edited by Mr. Happy; 12.08.2012 at 17:35. Reason: sentence added
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  #115  
Old 12.08.2012, 17:38
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

Hey, I'm just happy when I get checked in...

Post 9/11, for some reason when I present my ticket and passport at the check-in, the person at the counter scans my passport and... looks at the screen... calls a supervisor over... who looks at the screen... who then calls 'somebody'... and then takes my documents 'somewhere'... and finally comes back, finishes checking me in and wishes me a nice flight.

I have absolutely no idea what is going on. Some kind of flag?

But once checked in, it's smooth sailing through passport control, even when asked to show my C permit.
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  #116  
Old 12.08.2012, 17:40
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

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Back to the subject of permits needed on Swiss border crossing, like most of you, I have never been asked to produce my Swiss permit (L) at the Swiss border control during the one year I have been here. I always wondered if it was a requirement. So in my last trip (last month) I asked the question directly from the lady passport control officer to which she replied that since you travel on a UK (EU) passport, you don't need visa to be here, so no, you don't need to carry your permit.

Having read some of the responses here, I guess there is no harm in taking it with you.
I was told the exact opposite thing. You must have your permit with you at all times when travelling. I guess is up to the individual agent but as you said why risk it? Its not exactly a heavy thing to carry...
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  #117  
Old 12.08.2012, 17:41
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

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Hey, I'm just happy when I get checked in...

Post 9/11, for some reason when I present my ticket and passport at the check-in, the person at the counter scans my passport and... looks at the screen... calls a supervisor over... who looks at the screen... who then calls 'somebody'... and then takes my documents 'somewhere'... and finally comes back, finishes checking me in and wishes me a nice flight.

I have absolutely no idea what is going on. Some kind of flag?

But once checked in, it's smooth sailing through passport control, even when asked to show my C permit.
Rumbled... ED Boob has had you tagged, as we need to know where our doggy guru is at all times.


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Having read some of the responses here, I guess there is no harm in taking it with you.
That's it in a nutshell, people happily carry laptops, iPad's, phones, MP3 players and any other gadget you can think of, yet a piece of paper is too much... maybe if there was an app for it

An old white guy called Baden-Powell had the right idea and tried to instil it into yoofs of any colour who liked to play with their woggles... be prepared.

Last edited by Papa Goose; 12.08.2012 at 19:01.
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  #118  
Old 12.08.2012, 18:57
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

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I see this on a daily basis at our local border crossing- where anybody who is darker than a Swiss suntan, gets stopped, questioned and vehicle searched for meat or other imports.
That's not the only reason. I drive a "nice" car and always get stopped coming back from Germany. If I am driving my wife's far more utilitarian car I never get stopped. Go figure....
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  #119  
Old 12.08.2012, 21:31
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

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Hey, I'm just happy when I get checked in...

Post 9/11, for some reason when I present my ticket and passport at the check-in, the person at the counter scans my passport and... looks at the screen... calls a supervisor over... who looks at the screen... who then calls 'somebody'... and then takes my documents 'somewhere'... and finally comes back, finishes checking me in and wishes me a nice flight.

I have absolutely no idea what is going on. Some kind of flag?

But once checked in, it's smooth sailing through passport control, even when asked to show my C permit.
Do you have a name similar to one that might show up on the DNF list? That'll do it, as your info usually gets passed on as part of the passenger list in advance of the actual flight.
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  #120  
Old 12.08.2012, 21:36
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Re: Swiss immigration officer rant

Three white guys around thirty (but lookin' somewhat younger), one with bleached blond spiky hair in a 3 series BMW. Totally taken apart (including back seat and door cover removal) by Swiss customs when leaving(!) the country.

Audi, lowered suspension, big & wide rims, darkened back lights (back when they were fashionable ), got stopped almost every time.

Run-of-the-mill, silver, totally stock Audi, got hardly ever stopped.

Last edited by Mark75; 12.08.2012 at 23:44.
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