By Tony from Long Island
I just returned from a short trip to Europe to visit my wife. It’s the first time I have left the country (except for a brief trip to Montreal decades ago). When I received my passport, the first thing I looked for was some sort of “unique identifier.” I found none. There’s nothing I could see on the passport to identify my status.
I flew into Amsterdam and going through customs took 20 seconds. Just a “what’s the purpose of your trip” and “how long are you staying.”
I flew back from Berlin to New York 9 days later. When I had to scan my passport, I got the “X” on my receipt. I, of course, had no idea what this meant and started to stress out. I had to wait on a slow moving line only to be told “You have to be seen by an officer” with no reason given.
So I sat in a holding room for about 20 minutes and when my name was called, all I was told was “you can go.” And that was that.
I have no way of knowing whether that was because my status was flagged. I have read that many people get the “X” for random reasons. If It keeps happening upon subsequent trips it’ll be obvious.
Overall, I can say that I had no issues at all with my status during my trip overseas. Of course, I made sure to check ahead of time which countries would allow me to enter and I made sure to file whatever forms were needed to let the powers that be know I would be travelling.