Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Health and Fitness > Coronavirus and travel
Reload this Page >

ALWAYS check your passport stamps are legible

ALWAYS check your passport stamps are legible

 
Old Aug 2, 2021, 6:55 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Programs: BAEC Gold, Singapore Airlines Gold
Posts: 30
ALWAYS check your passport stamps are legible

I guess I am pretty experienced but nearly got caught out by this so thought worth a mention - everything feels new in pandemic times!

I have just made it to Brazil from the UK. Due to coronavirus, Brazil does not allow entry if you have been in UK during previous 14 days. So, I did the following itinerary:

16.07 LHR - LIS22.07 LIS - MAD - MEX[Internal flights]31.07 MEX - PTY - GRU
I had no problems until check in at MEX, when agents were first unsure what to do because I entered Mexico on 23.07, but then because my Portugal Schengen entry stamp was barely legible. In fact, the "16" was the only part readable.

Fortunately I had all my boarding passes for the whole trip plus required documentation for entering Portugal (passenger locator form and declaration of stay), all in electronic format.

The check in supervisor checked and asked permission to photograph all these documents. She even asked if I had a hotel booking in Portugal (I did not as I stayed with a friend). After thoroughly checking everything she eventually decided to let me board but warned me not to lose any documents.

For reference, on arrival in Brazil I was asked absolutely nothing about my travel history. Just welcome and got directed to request an extension at the Federal Police if I intended to exceed the 90 day allowance per year you get at the airport (as I'm pretty close to this).

As an aside you cannot do this at the Federal Police office at the airport, which "only deals with criminal matters." They are however used to enquiries it seems as the pleasant agent I spoke to handed me pre-prepared slip of paper with the details of the relevant office...

Moral of the story - keep all documents and always always check passport stamp is legible!
not2017 likes this.
twoclicks is offline  
Old Aug 2, 2021, 9:11 am
  #2  
nrr
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: jfk area
Programs: AA platinum; 2MM AA, Delta Diamond, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 10,291
Years before COVID, When I started to use my EXTRA page US Passport. there were lots of blank pages; it would seem reasonable (to me) that "passport stamping agents" would stamp pp pages in sequence, a few times mainly in CDG even though my last stamp was on page 6, the CDG agent stamped on page 30 nearly in the corner of the page, on my departure from the EU they couldn't find my entry stamp--they let me out anyway. [About 6 months later I found the "missing" entry stamp.]
nrr is offline  
Old Aug 3, 2021, 9:19 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Mexico City
Programs: Hyatt Explorist, Hilton Gold, Marriot Gold, IHG Silver, Choice Platinum, Wyndham Gold
Posts: 3,761
I always check, especially when one time I had my passport stamped EXIT and I was actually entering the country. They had to find someone to cancel it and then stamp again with the correct ENTRY stamp.
Global Adventurer is offline  
Old Aug 3, 2021, 11:39 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: New York
Posts: 774
Originally Posted by Global Adventurer
I always check, especially when one time I had my passport stamped EXIT and I was actually entering the country. They had to find someone to cancel it and then stamp again with the correct ENTRY stamp.
wouldnt your itinerary showing your arrival etc kind of negate that running around and prove to whomever that the agent made a mistake?
michael1023 is offline  
Old Aug 3, 2021, 11:50 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Mexico City
Programs: Hyatt Explorist, Hilton Gold, Marriot Gold, IHG Silver, Choice Platinum, Wyndham Gold
Posts: 3,761
Originally Posted by michael1023
wouldnt your itinerary showing your arrival etc kind of negate that running around and prove to whomever that the agent made a mistake?
No. Passports need to have official stamps so they can calculate the dates for your departure and confirm you were authorized to even be in the country. I don't rely on what if this or that. Don't need any issues.
not2017 and michael1023 like this.
Global Adventurer is offline  
Old Aug 3, 2021, 12:09 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 131
Interesting. The only place I've traveled where the stamp needed to be legible was Morocco, and that was only because on your first entry the stamp includes a unique number that becomes your ID number they use to look you up every time you enter and exit.
mxracer95 is offline  
Old Aug 3, 2021, 12:23 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Mexico City
Programs: Hyatt Explorist, Hilton Gold, Marriot Gold, IHG Silver, Choice Platinum, Wyndham Gold
Posts: 3,761
In my case, it was a big deal. So much so two immigration officials told me that stamp has to be corrected and only ONE person in their business office had the authority to cancel it with a "cancelled stamp" and sign it, and then another person would need to re-stamp it with the correct entry (not exit) stamp. This was in Dubai.

In the US those stamps highly sought after and agents have been bribed to get them.
not2017 likes this.
Global Adventurer is offline  
Old Aug 3, 2021, 6:25 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Danville, CA, USA;
Programs: UA 1MM, WN CP, Marriott LT Plat, Hilton Gold, IC Plat
Posts: 15,586
It is a good reminder but I am not going to do that. I will just avoid Brazil until the restriction is lifted (not that I would visit now anyway given the current situation).
Boraxo is offline  
Old Aug 4, 2021, 6:47 am
  #9  
bpe
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Japan/Thailand
Programs: AS, UA
Posts: 1,200
What happens if you go to a country that doesn't stamp your passport? Like Israel where they use slips of paper, using automatic gates in some countries, crossing US land borders with a passport card, entries and exits not matching due to multiple citizenships, and probably many more examples (maybe not all are possible right now of course).

The only time that I can remember getting a bad stamp was flying into Italy several years ago, where the date was visible but everything else was so faint that it was basically nonexistent. But when leaving from France that trip the immigration agent just opened to some random page and stamped it without looking for the entry stamp. Either he saw the entry record on his computer or maybe just didn't care.
not2017 likes this.
bpe is offline  
Old Aug 4, 2021, 6:54 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Dubai
Programs: Bonvoy Gold, QRPC Gold
Posts: 144
Originally Posted by bpe
What happens if you go to a country that doesn't stamp your passport? Like Israel where they use slips of paper, using automatic gates in some countries, crossing US land borders with a passport card, entries and exits not matching due to multiple citizenships, and probably many more examples (maybe not all are possible right now of course).
To add to this, in Saudi Arabia the entry and exit stamps are in Arabic and the dates use the Islamic Hijri calendar (this at least used to be the case when I was traveling there pre-covid).

Ro
RohanDXB is offline  
Old Aug 4, 2021, 7:33 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: HEL
Programs: lots of shiny metal cards
Posts: 14,016
Originally Posted by RohanDXB
To add to this, in Saudi Arabia the entry and exit stamps are in Arabic and the dates use the Islamic Hijri calendar (this at least used to be the case when I was traveling there pre-covid).
So do several other Islamic countries. Luckily Japan uses Western dates, not the Emperor-linked calendar (which is widely used domestically)

Originally Posted by bpe
What happens if you go to a country that doesn't stamp your passport? Like Israel where they use slips of paper, using automatic gates in some countries, crossing US land borders with a passport card, entries and exits not matching due to multiple citizenships, and probably many more examples (maybe not all are possible right now of course).
Nothing happens. Using e-gates, your entry gets registered, as it is also when entering Israel or the US overland (I guess) The stamp is often just a souvenir, which some countries sadly don't give anymore, even when asked (Korea and HongKong comes first to mind)
WilcoRoger is online now  
Old Aug 4, 2021, 7:46 am
  #12  
bpe
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Japan/Thailand
Programs: AS, UA
Posts: 1,200
Originally Posted by WilcoRoger
Nothing happens. Using e-gates, your entry gets registered, as it is also when entering Israel or the US overland (I guess) The stamp is often just a souvenir, which some countries sadly don't give anymore, even when asked (Korea and HongKong comes first to mind)
Well the country you enter knows of course and nothing happens when you leave, but what if you need stamps to prove where you have or haven't been as OP describes?
not2017 likes this.
bpe is offline  
Old Aug 4, 2021, 8:34 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Mexico City
Programs: Hyatt Explorist, Hilton Gold, Marriot Gold, IHG Silver, Choice Platinum, Wyndham Gold
Posts: 3,761
Originally Posted by bpe
Well the country you enter knows of course and nothing happens when you leave, but what if you need stamps to prove where you have or haven't been as OP describes?
This is the main reason for stamps and electronic records. There's several databases in the US and Internationally that maintain ALL your travel records no matter where you go. It's good to keep all your records yourself for immediate proof. The burden is on the traveler. I have kept every document of my travels since I've been traveling to help prove where I was on any given day. I've been asked for the departing boarding pass on my arrival back into the same city. Most people trash them. I keep them all for one year. And the hotel invoices indefinitely. That's just me because I'm basically a full-time traveler and don't need any issues.
Global Adventurer is offline  
Old Aug 4, 2021, 12:37 pm
  #14  
nrr
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: jfk area
Programs: AA platinum; 2MM AA, Delta Diamond, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 10,291
Originally Posted by Global Adventurer
This is the main reason for stamps and electronic records. There's several databases in the US and Internationally that maintain ALL your travel records no matter where you go. It's good to keep all your records yourself for immediate proof. The burden is on the traveler. I have kept every document of my travels since I've been traveling to help prove where I was on any given day. I've been asked for the departing boarding pass on my arrival back into the same city. Most people trash them. I keep them all for one year. And the hotel invoices indefinitely. That's just me because I'm basically a full-time traveler and don't need any issues.
I'm a leisure traveler, but fly 100,000 BIS miles/year (less now with COVID). Re saving documents, I'd "drown" in paper if I saved what you save. My alternative is to "print" all docs first to a PDF (via CutePdf) and store them in GOOGLE DRIVE (as well as locally on an external drive on my PC). A typical boarding pass use 100 KB of storage--mainly "text" docs are frugal in their disc usage. Google charges $20/year for 100 GB (beyond their free 15 GB).
Boraxo and not2017 like this.
nrr is offline  
Old Aug 4, 2021, 2:54 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Mexico City
Programs: Hyatt Explorist, Hilton Gold, Marriot Gold, IHG Silver, Choice Platinum, Wyndham Gold
Posts: 3,761
Originally Posted by nrr
I'm a leisure traveler, but fly 100,000 BIS miles/year (less now with COVID). Re saving documents, I'd "drown" in paper if I saved what you save. My alternative is to "print" all docs first to a PDF (via CutePdf) and store them in GOOGLE DRIVE (as well as locally on an external drive on my PC). A typical boarding pass use 100 KB of storage--mainly "text" docs are frugal in their disc usage. Google charges $20/year for 100 GB (beyond their free 15 GB).
That's too much work!!! As long as I have room to store everything, I'm fine. Eventually, I'll get rid of my travel documents from 2007. lol But, I'm saving some, as they are memories that can be passed on. ha ha
Global Adventurer is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.