My strangest immigration question ever….

I spent a night in Doha last night on the way from Cairo to Bangkok. I booked the airports ‘Meet and Greet’ service who collected me as I left the aircraft and took me to their special lounge just to the right of immigration.

It was a super restful experience, and when I went for the eye scan with the young Immigration Officer, his only question was..

‘Are you a Buddist?’

I misheard him the first time, and when I explained ‘No’, he asked ‘Then what are you?’

That did stump me; I was baptised a Christian, but no longer a believer, I explained this to him.

Noting that he had an open can of RedBull and a packet of sweets on his desk, I commented that he must have been keeping his energy up. At which point he offers the sweets to me, with an enormous grin. And when I say that I am too fat already – he replied ‘then I won’t stamp your passport’! Sweet taken!

So a weird immigration experience, but  an absolute delightful one with a super nice immigration officer.

So, what’s your weirdest immigration question?


  1. I was asked at JFK US immigration “have you ever been to Indiana?” – not sure why that was relevant but you don’t like to ask – I find US immigration the most hostile in the world

  2. Nearly all the question behind the US immigration card, probably best one “are you seeking entry to egnage in criminal or immoral activities?”. Who would ever answer yes? Dumb questions.

  3. Officer asked me what brought me to London. I said I was there to see my boyfriend and he asked how I met him. I didn’t mind the question but was surprised he asked me that.

  4. When i was working for the UK’s financial services regulator and coming to Canada to meet with government officials, I got asked whether I planned to buy any shares in Canadian banks when I was in Canada. When I said I wasn’t, the officer asked “Why not?”

    @Kevin – I bet you were one of the first people off the plane and they wanted a sense of how long they would have to stay and/or how long the queues would get. I once got asked that landing in Singapore after midnight when I was the first person to reach the counter ( having been in first on a 747, I genuinely had no idea).

  5. I was asked getting back to the US from Canada once: why so many pairs of shoes if you went only for a weekend?
    Other time, coming back to the US from Lima, from visiting my sister, official asked me why did I go there, I told him I went for my nephew’s confirmation. He replied: what’s that? I said: you’d know if you were catholic. LOL.
    Seems like somehow they find a way to ask stupid questions!

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