Refused entry

colmcb

Member
Mar 22, 2009
19
31
13
I don't post often but just have to chime in again because this story doesn't make any sense other than needing the letter, which may indeed have been the issue. However, in that case, did they ASK for a letter? Did they ask who the children were and what your relation is to them? From what you wrote it sounds like you leisurely walked off the plane and were immediately singled out for no reason, and whisked to the side. I am having a hard time picturing the scenario... a gentleman walks off a plane full of people, with 2 children. They immediately say you can't stay and you have to sleep in a hallway? No other communication? Not "are you here on business or are you on a pleasure trip"? Not, "are you related to these children"? And then they take the passports? Did they look at the passports first? Did they match up the photos to the 3 people standing in front of them? Even if you happened to get an agent who was in a foul mood, it just seems very "off". Would they have any way of knowing that, in the past you have overstayed without even so much as looking into the passport or questioning you? I mean, it's not like (I would hope) you had a big X on your forehead as you walked out of the jetway.

Also, just curious: a few people have asked, but there's been no answer: Are you the biological father and what nationality are you? U.S.? Dominican?Spanish? What about their mom? I know you said the kids are U.S. citizens but you haven't answered about yourself and their mom. Is this the first time the kids have been to the DR? Have the 4 of you traveled to the DR in the past together? You said you have your residency. Does she?

And then there's the cell phone issue and the flight attendants holding the passports, which is the part that really got me. I was an international flight attendant for many years. No, not for Iberia but overall, the airlines operate on a similar basis. Never, ever, ever, would we be handed somebody's passport. Ever. For any reason. We carried deportees, shackled prisoners at times, passengers traveling alone despite being in the depths of Alzheimer's (very sad but that's another story entirely as yes, families will put them on a one-way flight) etc. Never would they ask the flight crew to hold somebody's passport. In fact, it's completely against policy. Every passenger must be in possession of their identity documentation. The ONLY time we were ever given a packet with a passport is when we had a minor traveling alone. That minor would become our responsibility until he/she was handed over to the agents meeting the flight, who then had total responsibility for that minor until the pre-flight-agree-upon immediate family member met the agent AND proved his/her identity.

Sorry for rambling and if the story is true I feel bad for you but something is, as I said, a little "off" with this.
 

Auryn

Well-known member
Apr 22, 2012
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This sounds to me as though you fit the description of some sort of flight/abduction risk.
Maybe two kids of similar age or description were reported missing from the USA? Maybe from Spain? Maybe you yourself?
As mentioned, some of your story sounds “off”, but maybe they had to clear your identities and ensure you weren’t abducting your kids?
One parent traveling alone with children is very risky. A notarized letter signed by the other parent helps. I was asked to produce one in Glasgow when I travelled with my nephew. It would be easy to forge, but it provided our dates of travel and contact information for both parents had the official decided to contact them.
 
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Chris S.

Island Love
Jul 23, 2020
23
2
3
Pitcairn Island
The story is somewhat blurred to me. The children are Americans and travelling from Spain. So this indicates that he is not the natural father, then you need permission to travel from the father.
I am their father. We were traveling from Spain because we have lived in Europe for the past five years, due to work.
 

Chris S.

Island Love
Jul 23, 2020
23
2
3
Pitcairn Island
I don't post often but just have to chime in again because this story doesn't make any sense other than needing the letter, which may indeed have been the issue. However, in that case, did they ASK for a letter? Did they ask who the children were and what your relation is to them? From what you wrote it sounds like you leisurely walked off the plane and were immediately singled out for no reason, and whisked to the side. I am having a hard time picturing the scenario... a gentleman walks off a plane full of people, with 2 children. They immediately say you can't stay and you have to sleep in a hallway? No other communication? Not "are you here on business or are you on a pleasure trip"? Not, "are you related to these children"? And then they take the passports? Did they look at the passports first? Did they match up the photos to the 3 people standing in front of them? Even if you happened to get an agent who was in a foul mood, it just seems very "off". Would they have any way of knowing that, in the past you have overstayed without even so much as looking into the passport or questioning you? I mean, it's not like (I would hope) you had a big X on your forehead as you walked out of the jetway.

Also, just curious: a few people have asked, but there's been no answer: Are you the biological father and what nationality are you? U.S.? Dominican?Spanish? What about their mom? I know you said the kids are U.S. citizens but you haven't answered about yourself and their mom. Is this the first time the kids have been to the DR? Have the 4 of you traveled to the DR in the past together? You said you have your residency. Does she?

And then there's the cell phone issue and the flight attendants holding the passports, which is the part that really got me. I was an international flight attendant for many years. No, not for Iberia but overall, the airlines operate on a similar basis. Never, ever, ever, would we be handed somebody's passport. Ever. For any reason. We carried deportees, shackled prisoners at times, passengers traveling alone despite being in the depths of Alzheimer's (very sad but that's another story entirely as yes, families will put them on a one-way flight) etc. Never would they ask the flight crew to hold somebody's passport. In fact, it's completely against policy. Every passenger must be in possession of their identity documentation. The ONLY time we were ever given a packet with a passport is when we had a minor traveling alone. That minor would become our responsibility until he/she was handed over to the agents meeting the flight, who then had total responsibility for that minor until the pre-flight-agree-upon immediate family member met the agent AND proved his/her identity.

Sorry for rambling and if the story is true I feel bad for you but something is, as I said, a little "off" with this.
I am reaching out to people like you, in order to get some feedback from people who might have had the same or a similar experience, or know someone who had. Anyway, we did show our passports (and yes we are all US citizens, also my wife, and yes I am their biological father) to the border control person. She just asked if these were mi kids, and then she walked us over to immigration. We have not travelled to the DR all together before. But we have all been there before, just came in on different flights, and from different departure locations. I am trying to find out if my right have been violated. Based on what you are telling me regarding having been a flight attendant, that is something that is interesting. That is what does not make sense to me, why would they keep my passports and hand them to me upon arrival anyway. It is not like we would have escaped from the plane if we had our passports before. And escaped from what anyway, we were not arrested. And no, I don’t have altzheimer either :) I have been asking around and nobody seems to know. Yes, something seems off here, and that is why I am asking others. I am not reaching out to people to judge me, or to start wondering if the story is true or not. I am writing this so I get maybe some useful information from someone who might know anything. You certainly know more than most as you have been a flight attendant. This is useful, thank you.
 

Chris S.

Island Love
Jul 23, 2020
23
2
3
Pitcairn Island
When asked if everyone else was entry you replied "As I was a little freaked out I really was not paying much attention to anyone else from our flight. "
I suggest that if you are going to make up a story that you make SOME attempt to keep you facts somewhat consistent.. .
I was asked if anyone else from OUR flight was refused entry. That other person was not on our flight, he was already there before we got to SDQ.
 

Chris S.

Island Love
Jul 23, 2020
23
2
3
Pitcairn Island
You mentioned that both your children are U.S. citizens. Are you as well? Their mother? Did immigration ask you for an affidavit?
What airline did you fly in and out on? What flight number numbres? I have a friend at STI who may be able to get info. No promises.
Yes we are all US citizens, and their mother as well. The immigration just asked if those were my kids, and if I have other IDs from other countries. Not sure why they would ask that. It was Iberia, flight IB 6501, February 20, from Madrid to SDQ. And yes, we have lived in Europe for five years, and continue to do so for the next maybe five years.
 

LaVerdadera

New member
Apr 29, 2020
21
11
3
USA
Yes we are all US citizens, and their mother as well. The immigration just asked if those were my kids, and if I have other IDs from other countries. Not sure why they would ask that. It was Iberia, flight IB 6501, February 20, from Madrid to SDQ. And yes, we have lived in Europe for five years, and continue to do so for the next maybe five years.
My daughter is a minor and her US passport is only valid for 5 years, then has to be renewed. My US passport (adult) is valid for 10 years. You said you’ve been living in Europe for 5 years. How old are their passports and yours and your spouse, and how close to date of expiration? That could be the issue.
 
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ROLLOUT

Silver
Jan 30, 2012
2,194
30
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not for nothing, but some visitors seem to forget that they are not going to a first world country when they travel to the DR, and that "first world" rules dont always apply in the "nanner republic" (based on personal experience).
 

colmcb

Member
Mar 22, 2009
19
31
13
Chris, I really don't know what to tell you. Yes, maybe it was due to the lack of a letter, perhaps the passports were going to expire prior to 6 months after travel, etc. Although I was a F/A, I'm certainly no expert and not in a position to offer professional advice. I wasn't there and don't know all the circumstances. I might suggest speaking with an immigration lawyer in Spain. That would probably be MY first course of action. He/She may give you some insight and/or direction. And, you may want to bring the passports to your local passport office/embassy, to see if they provide any insight?? Not sure. This morning I remembered something that used to happen when my husband and I traveled..... He is Dominican but a U.S. citizen, and travels on a U.S. passport. Working with the airlines we have always traveled extensively. Every time we would arrive back in the U.S., Customs whisked him into "the room". It became a joke with us as "the room" has windows and I would walk by and see him sitting there with a room full of others so I would wave as I went by. Eventually he was "released" and we would meet up out on the sidewalk. I was convinced they thought he was a drug dealer because we did travel to the DR frequently for little getaways, sometimes twice a month. Golf trips - not drug runs. They questioned him each time - where have you been, what was the reason for travel, who did you travel with, where did you stay, etc... And then they would let him go. ONE day, after perhaps 15 trips ending this way, a very nice Customs agent finally explained that the issue was his passport was not scanning. It was dirty! She wiped it off, scanned it, and the bar code was fine after that. He was never detained again. My point being, it was just a stupid little issue that could have been resolved easily but the Customs agents never explained that. Instead he was treated like someone who had just stowed away to enter the country illegally.

If indeed your rights were violated (and they may have been) I doubt you have recourse to be honest. Think about it - who will you sue/go after/complain to....the gov't in the DR? That's a mighty big hill to climb. If you do, I would imagine your residency would be revoked and you will most likely have visited the DR for the last time, although I could be wrong. Speak to an immigration lawyer. They would be much more qualified to give you advice, in my opinion, than people here on the site. Good luck to you!
 
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MarJD

Member
Aug 29, 2012
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You can't travel with minors unless your carrying that letter of authorization as it has been the case in so many kidnappings. This is fairly common knowledge in most countries with more and more divorces. ( I think?)
Yes you can. I enter the DR last month and every year with my mynor children,(American citizens) no letter of any kind. Husband usually travels on a different date.
 
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monfongo

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Feb 10, 2005
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on the childs first trip from US or DR or where ever, they need permission from both parents, after that they don't need permission again. My 12 yr. old son flew here a yr. ago by himself, cost me 100.00 dollars extra.
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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Well, there was another person with us held at immigration for overstaying for a month, they kept him there for two full days before they put him on a plane back to Malta
Just for previously overstaying and nothing else? Are you sure?
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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Well there's certainly a lot going on here.
Based on your story first of all it seems that you're traveling around a lot. I don't know if you're a US citizen and are the children US citizens are the children Dominican citizens. What were you doing in Madrid? Sometimes when folks travel around a lot and enter the country through a country that is not the country of origin this is a problem. You said you have been a chronic overstayer for 25 years. I know of people that are all the sudden denied entry turns out due to overstay abuse. Other reasons they do not let you in maybe various flags on your passport that may have to do with infractions in other countries, namely the country of origin. There's just so much here. Especially, what you're probably leaving out.
You know first hand of this? I thought refusal of entry never happened "just from" overstay abuse.
 
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windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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I am reaching out to people like you, in order to get some feedback from people who might have had the same or a similar experience, or know someone who had. Anyway, we did show our passports (and yes we are all US citizens, also my wife, and yes I am their biological father) to the border control person. She just asked if these were mi kids, and then she walked us over to immigration. We have not travelled to the DR all together before. But we have all been there before, just came in on different flights, and from different departure locations. I am trying to find out if my right have been violated. Based on what you are telling me regarding having been a flight attendant, that is something that is interesting. That is what does not make sense to me, why would they keep my passports and hand them to me upon arrival anyway. It is not like we would have escaped from the plane if we had our passports before. And escaped from what anyway, we were not arrested. And no, I don’t have altzheimer either :) I have been asking around and nobody seems to know. Yes, something seems off here, and that is why I am asking others. I am not reaching out to people to judge me, or to start wondering if the story is true or not. I am writing this so I get maybe some useful information from someone who might know anything. You certainly know more than most as you have been a flight attendant. This is useful, thank you.
When you are entering a country, the immigration agents have total and complete control over your destiny. You are essentially in a place during that time when you have no "rights" and those agents have the ultimate say on letting you enter or sending you back from whence you came. I have been there and seen this myself since I travel with my DR born relatives and from time to time something would come up on their screens which prompted the equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

The most likely thing is you did not have a notarized apostilled permission letter for the children. That is my best guess.
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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Winded, please remind me around 5 today. It's too early for me and you.
I do my best work in the morning....


Yes you can. I enter the DR last month and every year with my mynor children,(American citizens) no letter of any kind. Husband usually travels on a different date.
Your experience does not guarantee others will be stopped. That letter could certainly be needed on your next trip. Or they may have noted you do this often.
 
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