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Scanning of external harddrive on POE

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I'm curious to find out if all external hard drives and computers and things are scanned at POE in the USA?

I've travelled to the USA on vacation before, however the next time I travel I'll be on my K1. I took my external hard drive with me as it had everything I wanted to take (and I am leaving my laptop here for the folks to use.)

I'm just wondering if they are scanned at POE on a visa? I can't imagine why they would be if they aren't the rest of the time, but who knows...

What has everyone else found when they travelled?

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England

My husband brought a usb memory stick, and a laptop with him at POE on his K-1 and they weren't scanned. Not sure if they aren't scanned every time but He's visited as well with his laptop and never been scanned or had any problems.

flag45.gif Damian & Kelly 1502.gif

Rugby, England >> Harrisburg, PA.

Summer 2005 -- Met on Pokerstars.com

June 15th, 2006 -- Met in Person

Feb 1st, 2008 -- Filed I-129F

May 2nd, 2008 -- Visa Interview = Approved. (91days)

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July 14th, 2009 -- AOS Approved!! (118days)

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No RFEs the whole process :) All done myself.

December 4th - 30th, 2009 -- Visited England

April 8th - 30th, 2010 -- Damian's Brother visits us here in PA.

January 19th, 2010 -- Damian got his PA license.

December 10th - 19th, 2010 -- Visited England

September 16th - 30th, 2011 -- Damian's Parents came to visit us here in PA.

June 1st, 2011 -- Mailed ROC to Vermont.

February 21st, 2012 -- 10 Year Green Card Received

April 14th, 2012 -- N-400 Sent to Dallas Lockbox

November 26th, 2012 – Damian Became a US Citizen!!!

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They have the right to inspect any media brought into the country. They rarely choose to exercise it.

Thanks. I had a feeling that they could. I can understand why they might well want to scan things, I just don't like the thought of a random person looking through everything.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Nigeria

They enact laws like that so then when they have someone that think is evil in their hands they want to be able to search whatever they have and not get hit with an illegal search lawsuit after. Not that the law stops the suit from being filed, it just helps prevent it from being successful.

This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada

I once had my laptop subjected to a brief inspection by Canadian customs officials upon returning home to Canada from visiting my USC now-wife, but never by the US CBP. I know they reserve the right to do so but I've never seen it done in quite a few flights and drives down in the last decade. When I PoE'd with my K-1 at a land crossing my car was full to the roof with stuff, including a laptop, USB stick, and a couple of memory cards, and they didn't show the slightest interest in any of it. :)


"It says wonderful things about the two countries [Canada and the US] that neither one feels itself being inundated by each other's immigrants."

-Douglas Coupland

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Vietnam

I'm not sure what you mean by "scanning" the hard drive. Do you mean examining the contents of the drive? Or, do you simply mean putting it through the x-ray machine?

They can perform any sort of inspection they deem necessary. This could mean a visual inspection. It could also mean using any sort of electronic scanning system they have available, including x-ray, radiation detectors, explosive trace detection, or anything else. I suppose it could even mean hooking it up to a computer and examining it's contents, but the odds of them doing something like this is very low. Unless you're smuggling kiddie porn or classified documents on that hard drive, there's very little chance of there being anything on it that would be illegal to bring into the US, so it hardly seems like it would be worth the effort to look at the contents of the drive. They would be far more concerned with whether there's a bomb inside it.

I keep a little 80gb external USB drive in my laptop bag, and I've been through dozens of airport security checkpoints with it. They always x-ray it, but they've never removed the hard drive to physically examine it, nor wanted to power it up and see what was on it.

12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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