02hilliert
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EU Passport Stamps

Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:13 am

Hi guys,

I'm making my first visit from the UK to another EU country (excluding Ireland) for several years at the end of January. My question is, how happy are the immigration guys to stamp your passport on request?

I'm going to be flying to BUD and would like a Hungarian stamp in my passport.

Any thoughts?

Toby
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signol
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Wed Jan 07, 2009 9:58 am

I think most will stamp if requested, but it depends on how bored the agent is and how long a queue is behind you! Some years ago a friend asked for, and got, a stamp at Calais ferry port.
On return to the UK, you can ask for a stamp as well, and they'll scrawl something like "SR" on it - Stamp Requested (the exact wording may be different). Normally because the only time British immigration officers put a stamp in a British passport is when the holder is unde suspicion for something...

signol
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RussianJet
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:21 am



Quoting Signol (Reply 1):
Normally because the only time British immigration officers put a stamp in a British passport is when the holder is unde suspicion for something...

Haha, a nice theory, but no - that doesn't happen. Do you not think that might be a little obvious and counter-productive if somebody was 'suspected' of something?

Basically, as already said, you can always ask and there's a fair chance they'll oblige - just don't be offended if the answer is ever no. They are not obliged to do it. Just be nice and polite and you should be fine.
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EDICHC
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:55 am



Quoting Signol (Reply 1):
Normally because the only time British immigration officers put a stamp in a British passport is when the holder is unde suspicion for something

They will stamp any non-EU passport. No grounds at all for stamping a UK passport unless they are a UK Overseas citizen who does not posess the right of abode in the UK.
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RussianJet
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:59 pm



Quoting EDICHC (Reply 3):
They will stamp any non-EU passport. No grounds at all for stamping a UK passport unless they are a UK Overseas citizen who does not posess the right of abode in the UK.

 checkmark 
There are very limited circumstances where a non-EU/EEA passport might not be endorsed, but your summary there is basically spot on.
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signol
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:34 pm



Quoting EDICHC (Reply 3):

Thanks for the clarification. But can you think why the UK immigration will stamp a passport then write on the stamp? I'm sure I recall this from somewhere...

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RussianJet
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:42 pm



Quoting Signol (Reply 5):
But can you think why the UK immigration will stamp a passport then write on the stamp? I'm sure I recall this from somewhere...

In respect of EU/EEA/Swiss passports the answer is as follows:

EU nationals and obviously British nationals have the right to freely enter the UK. Having verified they qualify to do this by checking they have a valid EU/British passport etc, they are simply allowed to proceed with no endorsement in the passport.

To place a stamp in the passport could be interpreted as some kind of control or restriction being placed on the right to free movement, and therefore if a passenger requests a stamp it is necessary to signify in the passport that the reason it has been endorsed is because they specifically asked for it.

For other passports there are a large number of reasons a stamp may also have writing next to it, depending on what kind of endorsement it is and under what circumstances it was made.
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falstaff
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:56 pm



Quoting Signol (Reply 1):
I think most will stamp if requested, but it depends on how bored the agent is and how long a queue is behind you! Some years ago a friend asked for, and got, a stamp at Calais ferry port.

That is the story at the US/Canadian border in Detroit. Sometimes the Canadians will stamp my US passport if I ask. They will always ask why and give me a dirty look. More often than not they will stamp it. The US guys will not stamp for Canadians, or so I have been told.
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signol
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:16 am



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 6):

Thanks for clarifying that  Smile

signol
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iairallie
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Fri Jan 09, 2009 7:07 am

Not to be a wet blanket but all EU stamps are now the same. They just have different airport codes pretty boring.
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Lufthansa747
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:32 am



Quoting EDICHC (Reply 3):
They will stamp any non-EU passport.

Completely incorrect. My wife gets stamps maybe 30% of the time with the notable exception of AMS where it happens always and FRA where it happens never.

I don't know why you'd want one, I soon need my 4th passport while the 1st one would have been valid without filling it up with all sorts of stamps...
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RussianJet
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:11 am



Quoting IAirAllie (Reply 9):
Not to be a wet blanket but all EU stamps are now the same. They just have different airport codes pretty boring.

Incorrect. All Schengen stamps are the same design, not all EU stamps. UK stamps, for example, are completely different.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 10):
Completely incorrect. My wife gets stamps maybe 30% of the time with the notable exception of AMS where it happens always and FRA where it happens never.

Actually, in respect of Schengen countries you are correct - I am not sure of all the reasons why, but the endorsing of non-EU passports arriving into Schengen from outside seems, how can I put this, sporadic. In the UK however, as I mentioned above, there are only very limited circumstances where a non-EU passport will not be stamped on arrival.
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iairallie
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:44 am



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 11):
Incorrect. All Schengen stamps are the same design, not all EU stamps. UK stamps, for example, are completely different.

True but most EU countries have the same boring EU stamp.
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RussianJet
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:52 am



Quoting IAirAllie (Reply 12):
True but most EU countries have the same boring EU stamp.

Indeed - as I said, all the Schengen countries have a common format stamp (perhaps with the exception of the newly-joined Switzerland? Not sure what the state of play is there with stamps at the moment).
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ALexeu
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:15 pm

UK is not in Schengen, which means that you will have to go through customs and immigration when traveling from UK to Hungary.
 
RussianJet
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:35 pm



Quoting AlexEU (Reply 14):
UK is not in Schengen, which means that you will have to go through customs and immigration when traveling from UK to Hungary.

I think the OP is aware of this. However, the UK not being in Schengen doesn't mean his passport will be stamped - it normally will not, which is why he is correctly raising the possibility of asking for a stamp if he does in fact want one. Schengen has no bearing whatsoever on the rights of any EU national, UK or otherwise, to move freely around the Union. It merely determines between which EU countries checks are carried out on the border.
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sflaflight
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:26 am



Quoting IAirAllie (Reply 12):

True but most EU countries have the same boring EU stamp.

Yeah, the only difference is the port of entry abbreviations and the designated country letter(s) code in the EU circle of stars - I for Italy, F for France, HU for Hungary, boring!
 
RussianJet
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Wed Jan 21, 2009 10:39 am



Quoting Sflaflight (Reply 16):
Yeah, the only difference is the port of entry abbreviations and the designated country letter(s) code in the EU circle of stars - I for Italy, F for France, HU for Hungary, boring!

There are some further variations in Schengen stamps, although of course this doesn't vary between the countries using them, but they also show the type of port the endorsement was made in; most common is obviously an aeroplane for airport, but also a ship for a seaport and a train for an international rail crossing. Having said that, some countries obviously don't have seaports for example, so you will not see that format from such a state.

I still like the fact that UK stamps bear no relation whatsoever to the Schengen format, and couldn't really be more different if they tried.
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sflaflight
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:36 am



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 17):
most common is obviously an aeroplane for airport, but also a ship for a seaport and a train for an international rail crossing.

Oh yeah, I forgot as I mostly enter the EU by Plane. What about entering the EU by car. Do they stamp?

Quoting RussianJet (Reply 17):

I still like the fact that UK stamps bear no relation whatsoever to the Schengen format, and couldn't really be more different if they tried.

That's because the UK is not in the Schengen agreement.
 
RussianJet
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Thu Jan 22, 2009 11:38 am



Quoting Sflaflight (Reply 18):
That's because the UK is not in the Schengen agreement.

Er, yes - I think I know that. Read the whole thread.
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RussianJet
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:42 pm



Quoting Sflaflight (Reply 18):
What about entering the EU by car. Do they stamp?

Of course.
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LXM83
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:01 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 13):
perhaps with the exception of the newly-joined Switzerland

After joining Schengen, Switzerland's stamps now have the same design as the stamps of all the other Schengen countries.
 
RussianJet
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Thu Jan 22, 2009 7:11 pm



Quoting LXM83 (Reply 21):
After joining Schengen, Switzerland's stamps now have the same design as the stamps of all the other Schengen countries.

Thanks for that. I knew they obviously would be sooner or later, but wasn't aware whether the changeover in stamp usage had happened immediately after the joining date. Old-style visas are still valid.
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LXM83
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:23 pm



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 22):
Old-style visas are still valid.

Yes, it looks quite unusual, the old style Swiss visas together with the new style Schengen stamps...

However Switzerland now issues Schengen visas since 12Dec08, but Swiss visas issued before are still valid as you said.
 
Viscount724
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:24 am



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 20):
Quoting Sflaflight (Reply 18):
What about entering the EU by car. Do they stamp?

Of course.

Perhaps that's true where you enter the EU, but before Switzerland joined Schengen, it was very rare to even have to show a passport when crossing any of Switzerland's borders with EU countries (France, Germany, Austria, Italy). You usually didn't even have to stop, they just waved you through with rare exceptions. That was also true on trains (and boats) crossing borders. I was on a train 3 or 4 months ZRH-MUC-ZRH where you briefly enter Austria (for about 10 minutes) before entering Germany. I didn't even see any customs/immigration officers in either direction. A couple of them usually just walk through the train and only stop to ask for a passport if you somehow attract their attention.

Over 50,000 residents of France work in GVA. If they had to stop to have passports stamped (before Switzerland was part of Schengen) the border crossings would be backed up for miles. They still stop random vehicles to check car trunks to see if you have exceeded customs limits on purchases etc.
 
JFKMan
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:54 am

They stamped my passport in BRU and DUB when i traveled between the two. And I think I saw them stamping one EU Passport...
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Severnaya
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:13 pm



Quoting JFKMan (Reply 25):
They stamped my passport in BRU and DUB when i traveled between the two.

That's indeed correct as you're leaving the Schengen zone in BRU.

Quoting JFKMan (Reply 25):
And I think I saw them stamping one EU Passport...

Hmm, they never stamped my (EU) passport on the Europe/UK&Ireland routes, maybe the person asked for a stamp?
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RussianJet
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Mon Jan 26, 2009 2:42 pm



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 24):
Perhaps that's true where you enter the EU, but before Switzerland joined Schengen

.....which is what I said.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 24):
it was very rare to even have to show a passport when crossing any of Switzerland's borders with EU countries

.....which was entirely up to Switzerland and the countries surrounding it. As I mentioned in an earlier post, Schengen's outer border controls can be, to describe the situation generously, inconsistent.

Quoting JFKMan (Reply 25):
And I think I saw them stamping one EU Passport...

This would only be an acceptable course of action if the holder asked for the stamp in his passport, as detailed in previous posts.

Quoting Severnaya (Reply 26):
Quoting JFKMan (Reply 25):
They stamped my passport in BRU and DUB when i traveled between the two.

That's indeed correct as you're leaving the Schengen zone in BRU.

 checkmark 
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Viscount724
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:05 am



Quoting RussianJet (Reply 27):
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 24):
Perhaps that's true where you enter the EU, but before Switzerland joined Schengen

.....which is what I said.

You said that when entering the EU by car passports would of course be stampled. My comment was that this has not always been the case. For example, between Swtizerland and the EU I have never had a passport stamped in either direction when crossing the border by car in the 13 years I've lived here..

Obviously they won't be doing it from now on with Switzerland now in Schengen (for surface travel; not implemented for air travel until the end of March). But they will have to start stamping passports when arriving by air from non-Schengen countries, which they also have very rarely done in the past unless you're from a country where a visa is required.
 
RussianJet
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:32 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 28):
You said that when entering the EU by car passports would of course be stampled. My comment was that this has not always been the case.

Fine, what perhaps I should have said is that normally they should be stamped on any entry to Schengen, but as I said - controls in and out of Schengen can be patchy, and in addition there are probably local arrangements between Switzerland and surrounding countries that lead to the situation you describe.

[Edited 2009-01-27 02:33:43]
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gabrielchew
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Tue Feb 03, 2009 3:23 pm

Last month in Milan Malpensa (MXP), the guy refused to stamp my passport (UK) when leaving the country (en route to Singapore). In the past I've never had a problem expect once in Lativa. Also, Bosnia refuses to stamp, not sure why.
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RussianJet
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RE: EU Passport Stamps

Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:28 pm



Quoting Gabrielchew (Reply 30):
Last month in Milan Malpensa (MXP), the guy refused to stamp my passport (UK)

Which, as already discussed, he is perfectly correct and within his rights to do.
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