Sunday, May 13, 2007

The most troubling part for the US trip: Immigration @ India (Hyderabad)

Yes, you read it right. Problems at immigration at US stands no where close to the problems at immigrating back to your own country.
For the presence of some electronic items in my cabin baggage, they marked the baggage and I had to "verify" at the Red Channel.
The person (No, I can't call him officer) at the Red Channel won't agree to the fact that my belongings were within the limit of 25,000 + 1 laptop. He wouldn't care for that. The fact that I had some electronic items and laptop suggests to him that I should pay him some money (not using the right word here but its obvious).
There were other ppl who were stopped there and everyone seemed to end up giving some money else this person would start arguing uselessly for e.g I heard him saying to a person that all you clothes and etc also count in that limit of 25000, Our Indian economy is affected when u bring this item to India (so pay me some money to let u in).
Calling the higher officer didn't help. He would say in low voice, "you are violating the law by bringing two laptop doesn't matter if one is you company's owned". Basically saying I can't say anything you have to pay him money.
The form for immigration clearly leaves the terms to be read and interpreted and abused by these buggers as they want. It says "One laptop is allowed". Doesn't talk about the allowed laptop to be the one that was bought in US. The laptop you carried from India can be counted in that too. He would want to detain my personal laptop and also frighten me of putting some complaints about my not helping me in his tasks or "mis-declaring". Would pretend that I lost my customs slip (when he had it with him).

I am sure many ppl go through this pain (atleast 5-10 went thru in front of me). When the whole office is working together how can you escape ?


  1. Hey, just saw an old comment on my salsa blog. Join the orkut community at:

    I hope you enjoyed last night. Send me your email, so I can add you to the mailing list.

  2. I had to go through this torture when I was returning from the USA 3 years ago. Shame on the Indian customs officials. If this is the way they say welcome to returning Indians, it's no wonder brain-drain is happening.

  3. so how much you had to pay ? fortunately for me, this never happened .. may be because i was always carrying only one laptop ... beside they might have read that google is a rich company and you must be in position to bribe him.... very disgusting and sad.... these rascals should be punished ... who will bell the cat...

  4. I am not sure, what can be done against them, I am quite sure the whole office is aware of this.

    It can't be the case that they stop like 12 ppl every flight from US to India and they end up showing no money collected from Customs.

  5. welcome to India!!!