To ensure compliance with international immigration laws and help travels go smoothly, here are some important tips:
Keep Your Original Documents with You
When visiting a country for business purposes, carry identification papers – a valid passport, roundtrip ticket, and proof of sufficient funds. We recommend you carry the original documents used to obtain your visa when traveling internationally since border officials may request that you show them upon entry.
It is important to note that in some countries, immigration authorities will ask about your current employment and the purpose of your visit. We strongly recommend an employment verification letter be carried when entering any country, but only show the letter if specifically asked for such a letter or if some hesitation is expressed regarding the purpose of your trip. Generally speaking, business visitor visas do not allow a traveler to do billable work or provide any services of a technical nature.
Typical Questions at the Border
When entering a foreign country, a border official will review your documentation and ask you some or all of the following questions:
- Where do you live (city/state)?
- Where are you going?
- How long will you stay?
- What is the purpose of your visit (business meetings, training, etc.)?
- What is the address of the place where you will you be staying?
For assignments longer than two weeks, you may also be asked:
- What is the name, job title, address and number of the contact in the destination country?
You May be Interviewed for Admissibility
Carrying the required identification documents doesn’t necessarily guarantee admission into a foreign country. An interview with a border official may also be required to determine admissibility into the country. These interviews are generally short because officials want to move you through the process quickly.
Avoid unnecessary delays or problems by always keeping relevant documentation close and offering simple, straightforward answers to any questions. Only answer direct questions when asked. Don’t volunteer more information than needed.
Avoid using the word “work” and emphasize the short-term nature of your trip. When asked the purpose of your visit, you can simply say, “I have a meeting with colleagues/clients;” “I’m attending a training course;” whichever is relevant.
If you follow this approach and remain calm and professional, you will most likely avoid any problems or unnecessary delays in dealing with immigration authorities.