Passport stamps are more than a formality, they are precious memories for all the passionate travelers and something we gladly show off. Before takeoff, photos can be seen online of a passport and boarding ticket. Some strive to receive a certain amount of stamps without knowing that you don’t receive them on every border on the globe, for a variety of reasons. Let’s prepare you for these situations.
If you’re traveling to these countries or hopping around to various countries in one trip, unfortunately, you will not receive a passport stamp.
Schengen Area countries
This term refers to 26 European countries – 22 of them are members of the European Union, while 4 of them are not. If you come outside of the Schengen Area, you will receive one stamp upon arrival to the first Schengen country only. Here is the full list of Schengen countries:
Denmark (excluding Greenland and Faroe Islands)
Netherlands (excluding Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands)
Norway (excluding Svalbard)
Spain (with special provisions for Ceuta and Melilla)
In addition, you don’t get stamps in these countries which are not Schengen Area members, but have open borders with it:
Monaco (not while entering but if you visit City Hall they will stamp your passport)
So if you’re interested in doing a European tour to obtain multiple passport stamps, you will not be able to. In a recent trip I flew from the U.S. to Barcelona, once in Barcelona I took a separate flight to Nice, France. When we arrived in Nice there was no customs process or passport stamp. We also did not need to get to the airport as early as we did for the Barcelona to Nice flight because it’s considered a “domestic” flight. Sidebar, this is based on your airline because EasyJet was fine but Vueling (Spanish airline) was very slow to check bags. They had two agents for a very crowded flight. We also took a tour to Monaco but we were able to ask for a passport stamp in Monaco’s city hall.
USA to Canada
Depending on your nationality or passport, you may get a landing slip as you travel between these two countries. Supposedly you can ask for a stamp but I did not know until after entering Toronto and I am not sure this is true.
If you are a citizen of the EU, Andorra, San Marino or Monaco, you don’t get a stamp.
In the following countries, you receive a landing slip instead of a passport stamp:
*When it comes to Israel, they do not issue stamps, because many other countries do not recognize Israel as a country, and having an Israeli stamp in your passport would be a problem.
The rumor has it that Australia is also abandoning the practice of issuing passport stamps for foreigners.
Also, many countries do not stamp the passports of their own citizens after they are back from abroad (unless they ask them to, in which case the authorities are usually obliged to do it).
Finally, another situation when you usually won’t get a passport stamp is when you are entering island countries during a cruise.
I know, I know counting stamps in your passport brings you back to those happy days of traveling. If you haven’t received one for any reason, you can check the nearest tourist office, where you can get a touristic stamp. This always works on islands, and when it comes to mainland countries – good luck with it! Have you encountered this and were you bummed or did not care? Comment below!
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