How much passport space??
Replies: 8 - Last Post: May 14, 2013 9:42 AM Last Post By: alanymarce
May 13, 2013 12:19 AM
How much passport space??I'm flying out to Rio in just over aweek - and just double checked space in my passport - and there is less than I realised!!
I have 2 full blank pages (facing each other), another almost blank page (just half a stamp encroaching onto it), and another half page.
My trip is starting in Brazil, I plan to to cross the Arg border at Iguazu and back again, then more Brazil, and then Bolivia and Argentina (potentially may enter Paraguay....), I then fly from Buenos Aires to Ecuador, and am volunteering on the Galapagos, so we are arranging a volunteer visa for there (allows me to have national park fees waiver etc)
So I'm guessing 12-14 normal stamps? Anyone know if the Ecuador volunteer visa needs bigger stamps/whole page? If not it seems the stamps should fit, but just, has anyone had problems with having few blank pages in S America? Am I best off getting a new passport (here in the UK we can book appointments for a 1-day service and I should have time for that?).
May 13, 2013 1:11 AM
1Hmm...tricky. I think you'll probably be OK - but obviously the only way to be certain to avoid trouble is to get a new passport done as a priority service, although you will pay through the nose for this.
I'm looking at my passport now - Brazilian stamps are pretty big, and Ecuador printed a visa stamp directly onto the page with a dot-matrix printer. Many border officials are fussy about not having overlapping stamps, others don't seem so bothered. My wife was short of space on our trip to South America and I had to ask lots of officials in my sweetest tones if they wouldn't mind making sure the stamps were nice and close to the edge of the page.
This issue depends on the degree of jobsworth-ness of the border officials you meet and how they choose to stamp your passport (I asked a Chilean guy to stamp near the edge if possible, and he gleefully whacked the stamp in the middle of a totally blank page - I know he understood me). I can't really imagine a foreigner being refused entry for having a full passport. There's always a bit more room, just as there's always a bit more toothpaste in the tube. No country will issue you a full-page label for a UK passport - this is usually when issues arise.
All in all, you'll most probably have no problems but there's only one way to guarantee you won't, and you already know what that is!
May 13, 2013 1:32 AM
2I remember wondering last time I went to South America (2 yrs ago) if the size of the stamps follow the inflation as they got larger for every year! Well, they didn't really but some countries like Colombia do have oversized stamps. Personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable with only 2 free pages in the passport, anyway it may work, at least no one of the countries you plan to visit require an unused page (like S.Africa). Btw, the passport must be valid for 6 months upon arrival in Ecuador, but I assume you knew that...
May 13, 2013 2:55 AM
3Yup thanks, it actually has over 4 years left on it, it's just full-ish. I do have a friend who was refused entry to Laos due to lack of passport space, but Laos has a full page visa plus extra stamps on another page.
polyglot I hear you on the stamp-in-the-middle-of-page woe. My worst one is a USA one - right across the centre of TWO blank pages. Thanks for that. I also had an argument with Turkish immigration once when she slapped the sticker wonkily in the middle of a blank page after me pointing specifically to a space on another page.
Hmm. I really wanted to properly fill this passport! It's a proper higgledy-piggledy jumble of stamps from the past few years. I guess this is not a time to be sentimental though. I have put a call in to the passport office for an appointment and awaiting a call back.
May 13, 2013 3:29 AM
4"No country will issue you a full-page label for a UK passport - this is usually when issues arise."
Gosh, I really made a hash of that one didn't I? What I meant - as you no doubt already know - is that countries in SA do not issue full-page labels for UK passports. All use stamps, except the Ecuadorian printing-thing.
Better safe than sorry, eh?
Have a great trip.
May 13, 2013 3:30 AM
5"No country will issue you a full-page label for a UK passport - this is usually when issues arise."
Gosh, I really made a mess of that one didn't I? What I meant - as you no doubt already know - is that countries in SA do not issue full-page labels for UK passports. All use stamps, except the Ecuadorian printing-thing.
Better safe than sorry, eh?
Have a great trip.
May 13, 2013 9:15 AM
6One of my passports is only one page off full and has caused me headaches. 14 stamps in 2.5 pages might be possible if every border guard obliges with your request to conserve space, but it would only take one or two renegades to mess the whole thing up. Personally I would just apply for a new passport, which is something you will have to do anyway.
May 13, 2013 12:39 PM
May 14, 2013 9:42 AM
8You would be better off with a new passport.
Something to consider - if you do a lot of travelling you should request a second passport (i.e. have two current passports at the same time). If UKPA accepts the request (you need to prepare a letter explaining why you want two passports) you can keep using the first until it's full.
Remember to request a 40 page passport.
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