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Passport stamp

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A passport stamp is an inked impression in a passport typically made by rubber stamp upon entering or exiting a territory.

Passport stamps may occasionally take the form of sticker stamps, such as entry stamps from Japan, South Korea, and Sri Lanka. Depending on nationality, a visitor may not receive a stamp at all (unless specifically requested), such as an EU or EFTA citizen travelling to an EU or EFTA country, Albania,[1][citation not found] or North Macedonia.[2] Most countries issue exit stamps in addition to entry stamps. A few countries issue only entry stamps, including Canada, El Salvador, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.[citation needed]

Argentina, Australia, Hong Kong, Israel, Macau, Cuba, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, and Singapore do not stamp passports upon entry or exit. Some of these countries or regions issue landing slips instead. Australia does not issue any form of physical evidence of entry or exit as a matter of course at the primary line, but will provide entry and exit stamps upon request to a supervisor. Argentina and Singapore send digital entry receipts containing conditions of entry via email. Visas may also take the form of passport stamps.[citation needed]

Because there is no national authority, Antarctica does not have a passport stamp. However, the various research stations there may provide souvenir ones on request.[citation needed]


Japanese entry and exit stamps from 2012, showing QR codes, as well as the airport of arrival and departure, Narita International Airport.

Border control officials often place stamps in passports as part of their immigration control or customs procedures. This endorsement can serve many different purposes. In the United Kingdom the immigration stamp in the passport includes the formal "leave to enter" granted on entry to the country to a person who is subject to immigration control. Alternatively, the stamps activate and/or acknowledge the continuing leave conferred by the individual's entry clearance. Other authorities, such as those in Schengen member states, simply stamp a passport with a date stamp that does not indicate any duration and this stamp is taken to mean either that the person is deemed to have permission to remain for 90 days within a 180-day period or an alternative period as shown on their visa, whichever is shorter. In Japan, the passport entry sticker also contains a QR code that allows the immigration official to electronically collect information related to that entry.[citation needed]

Most countries have different stamps for arrivals and departures to make it easier for officers to quickly identify the movements of the person concerned. The colour of the ink or the style of stamp may also provide such information.[citation needed]

Depending on the immigration authority, such stamps are also affixed on other documents that a traveller has to present such as their landing card, boarding card, etc.[citation needed]

In many cases passengers on cruise ships do not receive passport stamps because the entire vessel has been cleared into port. It is often possible to get a souvenir stamp, although this requires finding the immigration office by the dock. In many cases officials are used to such requests and will cooperate.[3][4] Also, as noted below, some of the smallest European countries will give a stamp on request, either at their border or tourist office charging, at most, a nominal fee.

Overview of passport stamps of countries[edit]

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