Do I have enough passport pages for my Africa trip? DRC/Kenya/Tanzania
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Aug 20, 2012 6:54 PM Last Post By: Phooner
Apr 13, 2012 8:55 PM
I have my visas for DRC and Kenya and am about to get the one for Tanzania.
After I get my Tanzania visa, I will have only 5 blank visa pages left in my US passport (I'm not counting the Amendments and Endorsements pages), but they are non-consecutive. Only two blank pages will be adjacent (assuming Tanzania puts their visa in the other double blank pages--I currently have 2 sets of adjacent blank pages).
Do you think I will get hassled at any point? My Internet research on the subject has not been definitive. I have seen passport pages with stamps all over the place, but none of mine are like that. In fact, two of my "filled" pages only have one small stamp on each. I've only been to three countries (and Antarctica), but it seems like customs people like to waste space when they stamp.
I'm just wondering if I should bothering paying the $82 (up to $142) it takes to get additional pages before my trip.
Apr 14, 2012 4:44 AM
1Hi Brandon - In general you will need at least one blank page for each country's visa. I know that Tanzania will in fact require a blank page and then and least some space on the page adjacent or immediately following/preceding for other stamps (arrivals/departures). I seem to recall that Kenya has similar requirements. Sorry no info about the DRC but expect at least enough space to stamp in the visa so looks like you are may have enough but it all depends on the particular immigration officer.
Again no info on additional pages - must be a US thing, ( my new Australian passport has 32 pages, all hollographically numbered and you can not add (or delete a page without invalidating the document)). Maybe you need to check with INS and the Kenyan and Tanzanian embassies. Sounds like a great trip, good luck
Apr 14, 2012 11:24 AM
2Are you planning to use the passport again after this trip? If so, there's really no question--just buy the extra pages. Why wait?
If the passport is on the verge of expiring, you need to decide how lucky you feel. You also need to consider being more assertive with border officials. Usually (not always) they cooperate with requests to put stamps in particular places. This is particularly true if you've made an effort to greet them politely, complement their country, ask about their day, etc.
FWIW, I always buy USA passports with all additional pages inserted from the start. It was different back in the good old days when added pages were free, but those days are never coming back.
Apr 14, 2012 3:06 PM
3Thanks for the responses and the advice.
My passport expires in two years but, no, I'm not planning on any other trips before then. I guess I'm leaning toward getting the extra pages simply because it's my first trip to Africa and I'd like to avoid as much hassle as possible. Now I'll try to find out if extra pages takes the same time (4-6 weeks) as a new passport application. At the very least, I'd love to be able to not spend the $60 expedited fee (but I doubt it).
Apr 14, 2012 3:18 PM
4Last I checked you could get pages added in embassies, too. I had it done once in Nairobi. Still have to pay, but it was a lot faster....like same-day. Check into that and maybe report back here.
Apr 14, 2012 7:41 PM
5I've gotten extra pages at embassies three times. Always same day walk in while-u-wait service, but I know that some embassies require you to make an appointment and/or will take a few days.
Check the specific web pages for the US embassies in the countries you will be visiting to see what their procedures are.
Apr 15, 2012 2:21 PM
Jun 28, 2012 4:49 PM
This is Brandon again. Not sure how I ended up with two usernames.
Anyway, I've decided not to get more passport pages. I've google image searched passport stamps and I can't find an entry or exit stamp for Kenya, DRC, Rwanda, or Tanzania that takes up more than the little quarter box on a passport page.
I have all my Visas and four and a half empty passport pages. That's a total of 20 empty boxes (for 10 entries and 10 exits).
My total entries and exits are only 12:
I will literally have 8 empty boxes left. 7 after U.S. customs upon my return. Can anyone explain why I would possibly need more pages for this trip?
Aug 20, 2012 6:54 PM
8Quick update here.
I'm glad I did not get the extra pages. After going through Kenya, Rwanda, DRC, Rwanda again, Tanzania, and then Kenya again I still have two full blank pages left in my passport along with 9 empty "boxes" on various pages. I would have felt very stupid paying $82 (and probably an extra $60 expedited fee) for nothing.
I don't know if I was entirely clear in my initial post. I was worried about space for entrance/exit stamps. I already had two of my visas and expected the third to take up a full page--so visas were not my concern. As it turned out, entrance/exit stamps didn't take up much room at all (as I was guessing). In fact, Kenya put 3 of their 4 stamps on top of the Kenya visa!
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