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stilltravelingat62 Jun 5th, 2012 08:58 AM

Need blank passport page for France?
When going through customs of any country, including our own, the agents seem to enjoy stamping all over the place. If I know the language, I ask them to please stamp on a specific page with other stamps, sometimes they do/sometimes not. But mostly they just stamp all over and there's nothing I can do about it. I had one empty page left on my most recent trip, but the Hungarian agent took my passport away and returned with a stamp on that page. I need my passport for Canada in July and can ask them to stamp elsewhere leaving only that one stamp on my last page. I'm going to France in Sep and wonder if I need to send in my passport and pay for new pages, hoping it will be returned in time for that trip or will France let me in with the one-stamped page?

Ackislander Jun 5th, 2012 09:07 AM

Why do you care? They certainly don't.

I would think that they might look at you like you were nuts if you asked that. Half the time I have entered Europe recently, they haven't stamped my passport at all. I certainly wouldn't presume to tell an immigration inspector how to do her/his job!

Gretchen Jun 5th, 2012 09:16 AM

I'm with Ack. What possible difference can it make. Or is this just a homage to self for the amount of travel you do!! LOL

Jojonana Jun 5th, 2012 09:19 AM

This is one bizarre question! I'm not sure I understand where this is coming from! Why would France not let you in with the one-stamped page?

jamikins Jun 5th, 2012 09:20 AM

Why do you need a blank page?

adrienne Jun 5th, 2012 09:35 AM

I don't really understand the question. Are you asking if you can enter France with no blank pages in your passport? Of course you can. As you say, the immmigration officials stamp all over. I have one page with about 10 stamps on it. They certainly don't care.

A problem would occur when you need separate pages for certain countries. When I was going to Egypt I read that I needed 2 blank passport pages for Egypt visas (double entry) so I put post it notes over 2 blank pages and wrote reserved on the post its. Unfortunately, I didn't get to go to Egypt.

DDA Jun 5th, 2012 09:37 AM

Our daughter recently had to have pages added to her passport. The French embassy in DC told her when she got her visa that if she did not, she might soon be denied entry . I agree that stamping haphazardly uses up more pages than need be, and if you travel a lot, you run out of pages sooner. Not much you can do about it though. I would send in your passport for new pages. Our daughter sent her passport to the US Embassy in Paris while she was living in France and had it back in a week. Not a big deal.

suec1 Jun 5th, 2012 09:52 AM

I have heard of this too, in fact I have similar concerns for an upcoming cruise where I'm not sure how many countries may be stamping. I don't know the answer either - I won't ask it here though for those of you that had to make your snide little comments - plus there are no immigration officers logging on!

adrienne Jun 5th, 2012 09:57 AM

My French stamps are co-mingled with my German stamps, all on the same page.

I believe visa requirements for passports are different from non-visa entry into European countries.

annhig Jun 5th, 2012 10:04 AM

a problem highlighted in a magazine article i read recently is that a number of countries [eg Sri Lanka] require you to have a passport that has at least 6 months until it expires before they will let you in and South Africa requires you to have 4 blank pages.

it is hard work keeping up with these arbitrary rules,and a worry or travelers like the OP and suec.

however, suec, as you are going to be on a cruise, your cruise company should surely be able to help you with the requirements of the countries you are visiting.

stilltravelling - for the reasons set out above I don't think that this is a silly question at all.

why not look at the french immigration website and see whether it specifies needing a plain page? or ask the airline?

stilltravelingat62 Jun 5th, 2012 02:28 PM

Thank you for those who kindly responded to my reasonable question. I will look at the French immigration website as advised. And for those of you who apparently never use up their passports, please be advised that there are many countries that require at least one blank page for admission and also require you have at least 6 months left on your passport. I was just hoping that France was not one and that I could save the expense of adding pages (they do not do it for free, you know) and also not worry about its return in less than 6 wks. I do not think it impolite to kindly ask the customs agent to please stamp on a certain page; I do not demand or ask rudely and I do not know why you would assume I do.

Gretchen Jun 5th, 2012 05:20 PM

I've been here for a good while and never saw this question. You have certainly plowed new ground. Given that our passports are often not stamped (already mentioned) these days it seemed as if it might be an esoteric--or even a troll question. AND in that vein, We all learn.

PamEwing Jun 5th, 2012 05:32 PM

Most countries require that you have 2 - 4 blank pages in your passport.

Jean Jun 5th, 2012 05:50 PM

My boss travels a lot, and he was told by passport control in Frankfurt (where he frequently goes on business) that he should get pages added to his passport. His passport wasn't due to expire for a couple of years, so he didn't think he had much choice. We sent it in (expedited service both directions) and got it back within a couple of weeks.

nytraveler Jun 5th, 2012 06:26 PM

Someone most travel a LOT to fill up all the passport pages. I too have found that they often don;t stamp - or stamp on a page with multiple other stamps - often making both illegible - and no one seems to care. I know there are some countries with specific requirements - but mine was certainly never stamped going to Canada - either air or road.

julia1 Jun 6th, 2012 12:13 AM

I haven't run into the problem of needing a full page/two pages/or more for entry to countries in Europe, France included. Looking through my passport, I see many entry/exit stamps for France sharing pages with other European countries.

However, it's somewhat common in Africa and a valid concern for those who travel widely and/or often. South Africa requires two blank pages. Flipping through my most recent passport, I note that Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia each used 1-2 pages. Visas for Iran and India also took up full pages, plus they each required an additional page for entrance and exit stamps. Visa for Turkey plus entry stamp consumed a full page, as did Dubai. Etc, etc, etc...

I have had extra pages added to my last two passports because I simply won't consider travel outside my own country without at least a few blank pages remaining. The same idea of being prepared for the unexpected comes into play with the six-months-validity consideration, which is a common requirement for entry to many countries. Why expose yourself to the possibility of being refused entry (or of the airline refusing to transport you) if you ignore (or are ignorant of) passport requirements of the countries you are visiting?

It's certainly a valid and reasonable question...

kerouac Jun 6th, 2012 12:14 AM

Blank pages are only required for getting visas.

In any case, France stamps passports less and less -- it is even disappointing.

Phread Jun 6th, 2012 12:31 PM

I'm going to S Africa and then Botswana this summer and as a French citizen, I do not require a visa, but each country requires 2 blank pages. It adds up quickly.

apersuader65 Jun 6th, 2012 02:33 PM

We had to ask for stamps at CDG in March 2011, my niece and nephew had newly issued passports and their first trip couldn't begin without that stamp! A simple request to be stamped as a souvenir was all it took. Our first trip my wife and I were in one line, our sons in the adjacent line. We got stamps, they didn't.

kybourbon Jun 6th, 2012 02:42 PM

>>>In any case, France stamps passports less and less -- it is even disappointing.<<<

My sister-in-law was disappointed that her passport wasn't stamped when she went to France in April. It was her first trip out of the country. Although my passport doesn't usually get stamped in Italy, I thought perhaps hers wasn't stamped as she was traveling on a private jet and flew into Le Bourget airport.

lincasanova Jun 6th, 2012 03:49 PM

Anyone vaguely THINKING they may be traveling more in the future, when you order your new passport,order the "book" which is fatter and already comes with the extra pages, thus saving you about $80 if you need to add them later. They will only want to know why.. and planning on traveling a lot is a valid reason.

Extra pages used to be free but now they cost an arm and a leg. I will never renew my passport without asking for the fat one again.

adrienne Jun 6th, 2012 04:15 PM

I only see the book offered on the web site. There is no option to have the standard passport or the book - only the book.

lincasanova Jun 6th, 2012 05:47 PM

In Spain you have to request it or they send you one ( or at least they USED to) that is a third the size of my Spanish husband's.

VolCrew Jun 6th, 2012 06:04 PM

stilltravelingat62, be careful; there is so much misinformation in these responses. Certainly, blank pages <i>are</i> required for some countries.

As the US State Dept website site says:

<i>Question: How many blank visa pages do I need to travel? Answer: Some countries require your passport have two (2) to four (4) blank visa/stamp pages. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement in not met. See Add Extra Pages for how to request more visa pages. </i>

The State Dept site goes on to recommend that US citizens traveling to France contact the French Embassy or a French Consulate for the most current information.

I recently had pages added to my US passport. When you complete the additional pages form, you have a choice to get the standard 24 additional pages or 48 additional pages. Standard processing time is three weeks. In order to expedite, you must show proof of the upcoming itinerary.

As julia1 advises, it is an unnecessary risk; get the extra pages.

stilltravelingat62 Jun 25th, 2012 09:47 AM

Thanks for the advice. I had decided to just get the extra pages since I have over a year left on my passport. I had no idea you could get add'l pages in both a new and current passport (thanks,lincasanova and VolCrew) so now I will look into this further. Instead of paying for add'l pages for just a year, maybe I should just get a new passport with add'l pages.

Patty Jun 25th, 2012 10:49 AM

The 2 blank pages required by South Africa must also specifically be visa pages. They can't be blank amendment/endorsement pages so even if you think you have some pages left, check to make sure they're actual visa pages. People have been denied boarding for this.

The new RFID double size passports are 52 pages (vs the 28 page standard one) of which 41 are actual visa pages.

Extra pages can also be added at US embassies aboard and the turn around time is often the next day. This is done through the American Citizen Services section which may have different hours than regular embassy hours. Unfortunately, it's still $82.

I don't think I'd go through the expense of adding extra pages to a passport with only one year plus left considering it's often useless in the last 6 months.

I've actually found most immigration agents to be pretty careful about keeping stamps together and not randomly stamping on blank pages. Most of the time I'm surprised at how considerate they are. That's not to say I haven't had a couple of rogue ones :)

lincasanova Jun 25th, 2012 12:34 PM

I agree with Patty 100%.

With only one year left, and not being valid in many countries 6 months before expiration.. get a new passport but ask for the BOOK passport that already has the extra pages " because you will be traveling extensively in the next few years".

Patty Jun 25th, 2012 01:44 PM

Out of curiosity I checked my passport for my last 2 entries into France and they stamped me in and out both times at CDG (December and March). The March ones were stamped right over a used Kenya visa and some old CDG stamps taking up no new space.

stilltravelingat62 Jul 9th, 2012 01:13 PM

Thanks again everyone! I am going to apply for a new Book passport.

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