Those stamps in your passport could ruin your next vacation

Some stamps in passports may result in you paying additional visa fees, or even being barred from entry. adobestock

Before you go to certain countries, the United States in particular, be sure to review the various entries in your precious notebook.

Are you traveling at your own risk? Unwittingly, you may find yourself at the center of diplomatic conflicts that escape you. It is sometimes difficult to know what may fuel the animosity of certain states towards each other. However, a gesture could save you from some unpleasant situations: pay attention to the stamps you put in your passport. Because certain mentions in your travel documents may lead you to pay additional costs, or even simply be prohibited from staying in a territory.

Difficulties in traveling to the United States after visiting Cuba

The information recently shocked many travelers. If you are a French citizen and you want to travel to the United States, you will have to pay attention to the territories you have visited before. For simple tourists, the usual regime requires you to complete an online document, the Esta, that is, a travel authorization that allows French citizens to enter the United States without a visa and stay for 90 days.

However, if you have visited certain countries in recent years, you are no longer eligible for Esta. This is particularly the case with Iran or Yemen if you have traveled there since March 1, 2011. But another state has recently been added to the list: Cuba, classified as of January 2021 by the US State Department as “terrorist supporting” country. Travelers who have been on the island since January 12, 2021 will no longer be subject to the Simplified Esta regime.

A decision that has a direct consequence. It will be necessary to apply for a visa at the American consulate before going to the country of Uncle Sam, and this, even if a visa has been previously accepted by the American authorities. However, as the British daily The Telegraph , several travelers were able to go to American territory, even having recently visited Cuba. The trick? Make sure your precious notebook is not sealed, but a separate document. Then it must be specified to the Cuban authorities, during border controls.

No more stamps in Israel since 2013

To anticipate potential problems for its visitors, Israel has since 2013 abandoned passport stamps. “The Israel Border Police gives the traveler a blue paper tag that they must keep during their stay”, explains France Diplomacy. Because the slightest mention of his time in the Jewish state can lead to a ban on staying in Lebanon or Kuwait.

If travelers are now free of any passport stamps, certain sticky situations remain, particularly for those traveling overland between Israel and Jordan. Stamps affixed in Jordan can clearly show the date of entry and exit from the territory. Again, ask the authorities, when possible, to seal another document.

Watch out for some tourist stamps

In 2020, the mishap made headlines around the world. A British woman was denied access to a plane to Thailand … due to an unofficial stamp in her passport. On one of the pages of her precious notebook was a souvenir stamp of her visits to Machu Picchu and the Vinicunca National Park in Peru. Mentions that made the Qatar Airways teams shudder during their stopover in Doha, Qatar. Result: her passport was declared invalid. The passenger had to urgently redo her travel document. And download the ticket of 1000 euros, the equivalent of the administrative expenses generated by her tribulations. Caution, therefore, for those who wish to collect stamps.


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