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1. Do not always follow the crowd: If it’s your first time traveling, this could be a headache for you because a little mistake on your part could see you on the next available flight back to your home country. First-timers may want to follow the crowd and do what everyone does, but that doesn’t always show confidence. Target where the queue is less and where most businessmen in suits are heading.

2. Avoid newer immigration officers: If you are given the chance as a patient to choose between an experienced old-looking doctor and a younger doctor who just graduated from medical school for a critical surgical procedure, where will your choice be? Your guess is as good as mine. Always target the older-looking officers to stamp your passport. If they all look relatively young, look at the one with the older-looking uniform and go to him/her. Since that uniform doesn’t look too new, it may suggest he/ she has been working for some time hence he/she is experienced. Inexperienced workers always want to enforce the rules to the latter. And this may not favor first-time travelers.
3. Look busy: Yes, I understand how first-timers feel excited and anxious after landing in a foreign land. But look busy so you don’t attract any undue attention. Keep your passport handy and occupy yourself with flipping through the passport. Immigration officers may look out for potential immigrants disguised as genuine travelers. Do not be caught staring at edifices like you just came out from a jungle.
4. Do not Panic: If/when you are unfortunately picked up by officers, do not panic, all they want is to ascertain whether you have genuine travel documents and accommodation arrangements. You’re likely going to be asked to produce your passport and asked a question or two. Answer exactly what you applied for. If you traveled for tourism, say so. If you plan to visit your cousin in the same country you’re visiting but you stated in your visa application that you have no relatives in that country, do not be tempted to mention your cousin’s name.
5. Produce your documents: Have your hotel accommodation reservation close by or the address you plan to stay nearby, if stopped by immigration, you may be asked to produce such.
6. Be humble: Immigration rules are no respecter of persons, if you’re a kin pin in your home country, immigration officers do not care. You’re in their territory now, so be humble and show some respect.!!!. Your attitude could get you back home in moments.
Writer: Andy Pratt
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