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Check The Date

Last summer I went to Iran for a visit. If you are born in Iran, even if you become a United States Citizen, the authorities prefer to see your Iranian passport when you enter the country. I entered in June, but kept extending the trip until the beginning of August. I had set up a job interview for two days after my arrival. On the day of departure, I arrived at the airport early, checked my bags, and spent some time saying my goodbyes to the family. Then it was time to go through security. The line was short and my turn came in a few minutes. “I’m sorry ma’am,” the man said. “You can’t leave.” “Excuse me?” “You can’t go.” This was Iran. You can’t leave could mean you can’t ever leave the country, or that you have done something and they are catching you and will take you to prison. “But why?” I asked. “Your passport is expired.” “Wait, I have my American passport. See?” “This one doesn’t have an entrance visa. I can’t let you leave.” I waited in the airport for two hours until they pulled my bags out off the plane, missed my interview, and had to stay two extra weeks. I will never let a passport expire again.

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Posted on August 23rd, 2013 by butterfly

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Oops. I meant they pulled my bags off the plane…

 

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