Proof of Finances for a Visit

Jun 13th, 2012, 04:28 PM
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Proof of Finances for a Visit

I will be travelling from the U.S. to Europe (England, France, Italy, Germany) in a couple weeks for the first time. I have heard that Customs officials may ask to see bank statements to prove that you can support yourself while in the country. I will only be in any given country for no more than 6 days.

Has anyone had any experience with this? Did they ask for any specific documents or require and specific amounts?

Thanks for you help!
spoon777 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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No, never. All I've ever needed for Germany, Austria and the UK is my passport.
bettyk is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 04:42 PM
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What customs are you talking about.....? :-? For starters, the only answer you should be seeking should be coming from the US Dept of State -- your tax money at work . Some Eastern European countries still ask that visitors carry a minimum amount of cash upon entering their borders, but I have never heard/seen this requirement enforced in England, France, Italy, nor Germany... :-?
Viajero2 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 04:44 PM
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Customs are concerned with things you're bringing into a country. Immigration is concerned with how long you're staying.

Immigration (not customs) are not going to ask for proof of solvency if you're only there 6 days. You might be asked for a return ticket or one showing when you'll leave the country.

Who the heck tells people things like this?
adrienne is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 04:52 PM
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I think this question might come up in going through Immigration (passport control) if you should be flying on a one-way ticket.
Travelnut is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 04:53 PM
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First - Customs officials don;t ask you anything - they are interested only in luggage. The first thing you do after getting off the plane is to go through IMMIGRATION (entry of people).

These questions are not something they ask the average tourist. for the average tourist they greet you, ask the reason for your trip (vacation) and how long you will be staying (6 days). Sometimes they ask what hotel you will be staying at. If they ask this you must have an answer. If you say - with friends, or I'll look around - that's when they start to ask more questions, since it's not typical of tourists.

Also if you are young, or look at all scruffy, or as if you are short of money, or carrying camping gear - they very likely will have a longer conversation with you. At that point they will want to see proof when you will be leaving the country (either a return or ongoing ticket) and if that isn;t clear may start to ask about your funds, health insurance etc. By the time they get to those questions you already have a problem to solve and will need to be able to convince them you have no intention of staying illegally.

Whatever you do, don;t mention having family or friends there or visiting them - red flag to a bull.

BUT - I've been to europe more than 90 times and have gotten past the vacation and how many days questions only twice - when I was 19 and 22 - and scruffy was the style. When I showed my return ticket and hotel info they passed me on immediately both times. (But if they has asked to see them I did have a couple of credit cards.)
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 05:02 PM
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For perspective - there used to be a TV show about heathrow Airport and various aspects of what happens there to employees and passengers, with a couple of stories in each episode.

In one episode there was a segment on Immigration Officials and several problem tourists they had to deal with. The only one I remember clearly is two young women who had previously had to leave the country and were returning - they said - for a sort visit with relatives. When questioned it became apparent that their plans were to stay long-term with family (they didn't have jobs or school to return to and almost all relatives were in England). they didn;t have return or ongoing tickets. They were definitely coming to stay with family, not vacation. They had very limited finances. And each one was traveling with about 8 large suitcases (obviously everything they owned). After some back and forth with more senior officials they were denied entry and had to return to wherever they had come from - based on the fact that they were highly suspect of becoming illegal immigrants.

As long as you're not them you should be fine.
nytraveler is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 05:46 PM
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>Whatever you do, don;t mention having family or friends there or visiting them - red flag to a bull.

I have family in the Netherlands and have never had a problem mentioning I would be staying with them. This is really only normally a problem if there are other factors (such as the 8 large suitcases nytraveler mentions later) in combination with the family thing. If you are an average tourist, with a return ticket and are staying for only a short time, you won't have a problem. If they really became interested in how you were going to support yourself a credit card is usually proof of sufficient funds, even if you have no accommodation booked. Immigration officials are very good at sizing people up and it doesn't sound like you'll have a problem.

In Australia we have a TV show called Border Security, which looks at Customs, Quarantine and Immigration services at the airport, postal inspections for contraband items, chasing down illegal immigrant workers, and coastal patrols. Highly entertaining and very enlightening as far as the questions put to people at airports goes. Maybe there's some episodes on YouTube - if you're worried this will put you at rest.

lavandula is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 05:53 PM
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Does the sitter know you are fooling around with the keyboard again?
Dukey1 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 06:03 PM
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I have encountered the "finances" question when arranging business travel for a non-US citizen to a EU country. We had to have a "letter of invitation", a "letter of recommendation vouching for his character", and proof of finances and health coverage to assure the country to be visited (Greece) that the person was not going to stay and become a welfare case.

It was rather an interesting process. Especially since we couldn't use a Visa expediter and I had to deal with the Greek Embassy in San Francisco by phone!
Dayle is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 07:09 PM
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Thanks for the replies everybody! And of course Dukey1 for the trolling.
spoon777 is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 07:22 PM
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First off, you need to learn the difference between Customs and Immigration. Second, you are entitled to spend 90 days in Europe as an American citizen with a normal tourist visa. No one is going to ask you for bank statements or anything similar if you're traveling as a short-term tourist.
StCirq is online now  
Jun 13th, 2012, 10:08 PM
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you are entitled to spend 90 days in Europe as an American citizen with a normal tourist visa.

Several inaccuracies.

First there isn't a "Europe" visa. There is a Schengen visa WAIVER which entitles eligible people to spend 90 days in the 180 days from first entry in the Schengen Zone. There's also countries outside Schengen like the UK where a US tourist will normally get 6 months entry or Ireland where they get 3 months...

... so that's nearly a year in itself under which a tourist could legally spend time in Europe - by which time the Schengen clock has reset and they can start all over again.
alanRow is offline  
Jun 13th, 2012, 10:10 PM
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... so that's over a year in itself
alanRow is offline  
Jun 14th, 2012, 10:05 AM
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You don't need a "tourist visa" to go to Europe (Eng, Fr, It, Ger) for a short time (less than 90 days). YOu don't need any visa.
Christina is offline  

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