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Follow-up to my last question (U.S. citizen visiting Sweden next year)

Follow-up to my last question (U.S. citizen visiting Sweden next year)

Old Aug 20th, 2014, 11:50 PM
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Follow-up to my last question (U.S. citizen visiting Sweden next year)

Hello all. This is a follow-up to this question I posted here: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-questions.cfm

This is a long question, so apologies in advance for the long read!

I will be going to Sweden next year for a full 90 days (leaving on the 90th day) to visit my girlfriend and also do sightseeing/tourism in the country.

As it will be almost six months before the trip begins, I want to make sure everything is taken care of in advance and that I will not have any issues.

I will have at least 5000 USD (~35000 SEK) in savings while I go (which I can access via debit card). I will also be bringing my VISA and Mastercard (additional 5500 USD/38000 SEK) just in case. I will be staying with my GF, so the money is mostly for food/souvenirs/emergencies. I will be bringing a bank statement for the savings/checking and statements for both the credit cards to prove that I have access to these funds.

I have purchased traveler's insurance that covers 50000 USD for medical transport and 10000 USD in medical expenses (among other coverages). I will be bringing a copy of the insurance that shows this coverage.

I plan on bringing my return ticket with me, as well as a copy of my flight itinerary to prove that I am returning to the U.S. on the 90th day.

I will also have my GF's address and phone number with me in case I am asked where/with whom I will be staying.

My questions are as follows:

1) Is all of the above sufficient evidence for me to show the border agent I will not be overstaying/working illegally/etc.?
2) Is the trip I planned too long? Should I shorten it?
3) I'm concerned about encountering homophobia if I say that I am staying with my GF (I am female). Would it be safer to say she is my friend and not a lover? I am concerned about being denied entry because of my sexuality. I do not want to be dishonest, but I don't want to be sent home because of prejudice either.

Thanks so much in advance for the help!
Spider72 is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2014, 12:03 AM
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Your plan is fine as it is but you're overt thinking it.

One of the great things about being an American is that if they ask if your trip is for business or pleasure and you say pleasure, that's the end of the conversation. Chances are very, very good that you will not be asked to show proof of funds or return ticket.

I find it doubtful that you will be asked where you are staying, but saying "I'm staying at my girlfriend's place" won't raise concern. Same sex marriage has been legal there since 2009.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 12:04 AM
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I think you have covered all the bases, are very organized and an excellent planner. Sweden is expensive but you have lodging covered and your girl friend will know how to find good value and bargains.

Just my opinion but the country is probably one of the least homophobic in Europe, where overall there's less interest in a person's private life than in the States.

However, I would probably say "staying with a friend" to an immigration officer in order not to raise any flags about over-staying (highly unlikely with the documentation you will have with you).
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 03:50 AM
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Completely anecdotally five of us took a Canada - Reykjavik - Stockholm flight last year. Passport control was in Reykjavik. The only question was to the 15 year old (we were in different lines) - where was he going? Nothing in Stockholm.

I'm glad they didn't ask for a bank statement.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 03:52 AM
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You will probably be OK, BUT

You must realize that they are not obliged to let you enter. If they decided there is a potential problem they can simply refuse and send you home again and you have no recourse.

Typically the people who are asked the most questions are those who are young, look as if they may not have much money, mention they are coming to visit a friend/family for 3 months (which is where they will be staying) and talk abuot planning to live there eventually. If you do those things you will be calling attention to yourself and invite questions.

Saying you have $5K to cover 3 months is asking for trouble - since Sweden is very expensive and that would be a pittance for a tourist, even for one staying in hostels.

I would do everything you can to avoid questions. When they ask you why you are entering you should say tourism and you should have the name of a hotel or hostel where you have a reservation (even if it costs you the price of a night's stay). Saying you will be staying with a friend for 3 months will be alike a red flag to a bull.

Now - you may get only a couple of routine questions (why are you coming? how long will you be here? can you prove when you're leaving?) and your answers as described above culd be a big problem.

I would adjust your story so they don;t ask further (tourism through several different countries, flying back out of Sweden for cheaper fare, and have name of hotel/hostel ready). I know not strictly true - but as long as you do intend to leave - and do leave on time - you will be OK.

But if you are as young as I suspect they may ask a lot of questions and your truthful responses could be a big issue. Also be ready to explain why you MUST return home (registered at school, have a job waiting, have your apartment waiting for you and need to pay for - whatever links you have).
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 04:32 AM
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The key is to look casual and not nervous. Don't offer any information; wait until you're asked. Just hand over your passport and say good morning.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 04:49 AM
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You are entitled to stay 90 days, just the same as I am. No one has ever asked me anything when entering Sweden, ever. I really think this is a non-issue. You have enough funds for food etc as you are not paying for accommodation.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 05:00 AM
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he key is to look casual and not nervous.

The key is to look tired like you didn't get any sleep on the plane, manage a feeble smile and a "good morning" (or "hej hej" if you're feeling up to it) to the immigrations officer as you hand them your passport.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 05:07 AM
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Casual and tired.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 05:09 AM
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>

I look casual, tired, rumpled, and OLD when I arrive!
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 05:15 AM
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Me too. I am clearly a threat to no nation's economy.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 06:25 AM
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sparky - from your photo, you look casual, rumpled, and tired all the time but you are definitely young!

Where is murricah? Is that some sort of Esperanto for America? Or perhaps Marrakesh?
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 06:54 AM
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OVERTHINKING IT.

Good gosh. You're an American with an American passport. The immigration agent will ask you if the trip is business or pleasure and that's about it. No need to bring up your finances or your orientation (why you'd volunteer that if you had even a shred of concern that you'd be barred is a question for another time but you're going to Sweden where they won't care, not Saudi Arabia).
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 07:03 AM
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>>You are entitled to stay 90 days, just the same as I am.
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 09:57 AM
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spark,

Remarkable resemblance to John Krasinski. How's Emily?
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Old Aug 21st, 2014, 10:11 AM
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She's bueno. Thanks for asking.
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