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-   -   Border "no mans land" (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/travellers-questions-dont-fit-anywhere/border-no-mans-land-61146)

stevo52 7 Jan 2012 15:06

Border "no mans land"
 
Does anybody know what might happen or have any experience where you leave a country for which you had only a single entry visa and where visas can't be acquired at the border only to be refused entry at the next country leaving you stranded between the two borders.

For all of my years travelling I've never heard of it happenng or encountered it myself, but as I look at some trips where I'll chance getting into one or two countries that I should but won't have a carnet for, it seems worth asking about.

Tiffany 7 Jan 2012 20:25

Hi Stevo
In my experience, the guards at the border post of the country you are leaving will usually check your passport before they allow you into no-man's land, to ensure that you have a visa for the next country. Often you don't even notice they've checked before they're waving you on.
I have seen people not allowed through because they didn't have the visa :(and have also had it questioned myself and then had to show them my second (or buisness passport) to prove I have the visa in that one before they let me leave the first country.

I also know of two Italians who left Kyrgyzstan, arrived at the Chinese border, had the correct tourist visas, but they hadn't got the paperwork to allow them to ride their motorbikes in China. They had no idea about all the bureacratic hoops that are necessary to take a vehicle into China.

They were unable to go back into Kyrgyzstan, and so had to proceed to Beijing on public transport (3,400 kms) to try and sort things out, leaving their bikes at the border post. I have no idea what happened in the end, but when I crossed the same border post a year later, there was no sign of their bikes although someone else's BMW was wrapped up and looking lonely in the corner of the customs yard.

If you need a carnet for the next country it could prove to be a similar or the same situation.

Hmmm, hope that's not too gloomy an answer for you - maybe someone else has a more cheery response.:innocent:

pbekkerh 8 Jan 2012 01:30

Not on a motorbike but there was a man who got stuck and was living in a french airport for more than 10 years

estebangc 9 Jan 2012 12:32

Quote:

Originally Posted by pbekkerh (Post 362168)
Not on a motorbike but there was a man who got stuck and was living in a french airport for more than 10 years

That's real bad luck if you add that French airports are usually voted among the worst ones to sleep in! doh

I was crossing from Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan and there was a British girl who had her visa dates mistaken (she did not notice that before). She was offered to wait for 3 days in no man's land till the valid date! Only time I have ever tried to brive, subtly in my veeery poor Russian, but the Kazakh chief was the only one honest there (the rest, bastards and corrupt). In the end, after several long attempts, he just stamped the passeport and let her in (only a kiss in his cheek in exchange, no kidding!).bier

ta-rider 9 Jan 2012 14:05

Hi,

The country where you came from has to take you back but think they cant force you. Hapened to me in Angola, because the boarder of the congo was allready closed but then i decidet to stay in nomansland for a night because this was the savest place. But dont want to live there for 10 Jears ;)

LG, Tobi
Riding the rough west coast through Africa part 3

Scrabblebiker 9 Jan 2012 22:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by pbekkerh (Post 362168)
Not on a motorbike but there was a man who got stuck and was living in a french airport for more than 10 years

This was actually someone without papers and who had been expelled from his own country (Iran) for his political views. That makes it a case very different from the average traveller.

It was a very bizarre story and the Tom Hanks movie "The Terminal" was loosely based on this man.


...Michelle
www.scrabblebiker.com

markharf 9 Jan 2012 23:29

I met a Danish rider who had been stuck overnight in a Central American no-man's land due to his refusal to pay a bribe for entry. He and his partner tented overnight, but when he woke up he brushed at an itch on his head and was bitten by a scorpion! Furthermore, he was unable to convince the guards to expedite him through the border in order to get to a hospital.

I forget how it all ended, but I did see the photos: little scorpion, squashed flat--and he got a good story to tell at the pub in Colombia, where we met. Is there a moral to this story, aside from zipping the tent up securely at night?

Mark

Chris of Japan 10 Jan 2012 13:15

I had a bit of trouble at the Kazakh-Russia border. My multi-entry Russia visa was somehow rendered invalid by a trip into Mongolia where the border officials stamped me out ON the visa instead of next to the visa in my passport. I went back into Russia by the same Mongolian border, so they must have overlooked their own mistake.
A few weeks later going from Kazakhstan to Russia, the Kazakh guards told me my visa was no good, but let me try anyways. The Russians, however, were adamant that I go back a thousand kilometers to Almaty to get a new Russian visa (even though there was only a day left on my Kazakh visa!). After hours of negotiations, they accepted that it was their own officials' fault and let me through.
I got run over by a Lada the next day...

stevo52 31 Jan 2012 18:10

Quote:

Originally Posted by ta-rider (Post 362350)
Hi,

The country where you came from has to take you back but think they cant force you. Hapened to me in Angola, because the boarder of the congo was allready closed but then i decidet to stay in nomansland for a night because this was the savest place. But dont want to live there for 10 Jears ;)

LG, Tobi
Riding the rough west coast through Africa part 3

Is that an international law, that the country you've left must let you back in? And where would you stand from there?

Nath 7 Feb 2012 00:40

This happened to me crossing from Tajikistan to Kyrgizia. The Kyrgiz sent me packing, and weren't interested about how I might re-enter Tajikistan. I suspect that the country you've left is probably obliged to cancel your exit stamp in such a situation, though in that case I didn't find out as there was no way I was backtracking.

I got in touch with the (nearest) British embassy (because there is no embassy in Kyrgizia), who somehow arranged for me to be let through to get a new visa at the next important city, though only a day and a half after I arrived at the border.


In case you're wondering, the reason behind my troubles: When I applied for my Kyrgiz visa in Kazakhstan, I was criminally hungover/still pissed up and forgot to tell them I wanted a double entry visa. When I collected my passport I saw they'd ticked the box 'Single Entry' with biro, but because I was again hungover/still drunk from the night before, I did the polite English thing of asking them was it a double entry visa liked I'd asked for (I hadn't), and when they smiled and nodded and then pretended they didn't understand English in response I chose just to give up and accept what I'd got. When they didn't bother giving me an entry stamp when I entered the country I thought I was onto a winner, but the border I left through gave me two stamps. Coming back the same way the border officer was very friendly and pleasant right up untill he spotted I only had an already-used single entry visa, at which point he got very angry and frog marched me back into no-mans' land.

Moral of my story: Always have a working mobile phone. Even if you're in the middle of nowhere you'll probably still get a signal and it might prove indespensible. There may be other lessons hiding in there to do with not drinking too much or deliberately attempting to flout immigration laws, but that sounds quite boring to my mind.

Nath 7 Feb 2012 00:49

And also, for what it's worth, my "No mans' land" experience was a crucial part of the story of how I got together with the girl who is now my wife.

francs 7 Feb 2012 09:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by stevo52 (Post 365399)
Is that an international law, that the country you've left must let you back in? And where would you stand from there?

Yes. You would be deported (home or "last coutry").

letsdo1 9 Feb 2012 11:03

This happened to me unfortunately due to a civil war. Luckily i had a double entry visa so i could make a u turn out of no mans land.

stevo52 13 Feb 2012 14:17

Thanks. I guess it seems that the last country will have to let you back in if all else fails. I just can't see the the Senegalese or Kazaks deporting you on a plane back to your own country having arrived at a land border!

Linzi 13 Feb 2012 17:15

No Man's Land.
 
We, years ago I, British, was backpacking in Canada. My, I think 3 month, visa was about to run out. I knew that I could get another 3 month visa if I left Canada and returned immediately, it would be a separate visit.
I got a lift in a car from the hostel in Banff with a couple of guys just out for a drive to the US border and back as there was nothing else to do!!!!
At the border I said "Bye" to the immigration officer there with a grand backdrop of limitless pine trees. I crossed the no man's land, looking up and down the hundreds or thousands of miles of this band of short grass cutting across the forests. (my belongings were still in Banff).
At the US side I presented my passport, with no luggage, and answered the question of how I was travelling with, "hitch hiking". This turned out to be illegal in this state, Idaho. OK, "walking", I tried. 90 miles to the nearest town. Ah hm.
I had to walk back to the Canadian side without a US stamp to re-enter Canada. I had been refused a stamp into the US.
At Canadian side I told my tale and was told I couldn't enter Canada without visiting another country. Hm, Grrr. The officer had red hair and was of Scottish descent. He renewed my visa due to me being Scottish. Wow. I don't know what might have happened if he hadn't been flexible with the regulations, after all he put his name to a second visa without the clearly needed spell out of the country. I'm not quite so naive now.

International borders can be serious. Lindsay.


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