Most travelers cherish their passport stamps, even the seemingly nonchalant business road warriors. A new passport, void of stamps, feels empty, as if you’ve been stripped of your traveler validity … but … sometimes certain stamps in your passport can cause some issues.
Yes, there are stamps from countries that can prohibit you from visiting another country, requiring some creativity to get around, and certain visas that cause questions, but recently for me, one stamp in particular in the lower right hand corner of one page has been causing issues.
The stamp in question is from my arrival in Taipei, Taiwan. The first problem this stamped caused was upon entry into Incheon, South Korea and a day or so later upon arrival in Guangzhou, in Mainland China. The issue was not that I had visited the Republic of China while enroute the People’s Republic of China … the issue was this … the stamp had been marked “VOID” upon arrival.
I do have a valid stamp from my arrival in Taipei, but everyone glances over that and seems to focus on the one marked void for reasons beyond my control. The reason it was stamped VOID? Apparently the passport control officer in Taiwan didn’t stamp it on the right page … is there even a right page? I have seen agents stamp random pages, my back cover page, the intro-page over text … so what the heck is the wrong page?
Twice now upon entry back into the United States, where I am from and my passport is from, I have been sent off to a brief secondary screening by Customs and Border Protection due to the VOID stamp from Taiwan.
Have you experienced an issue with a stamp in your passport causing you some troubles? If so, share your stories in the comments.
Yes! My Israeli stamp!
I want to take a flight from Istanbul to Asia on Saudia Air and can’t tell – or get a straight answer – if I can even transit (not leaving the airport).
For a trip to KSA consider a duplicate passport. The U.S. offers it, as do a few other countries. Your stamp would prohibit you from entry into KSA.
Last time I went to Israel, about a year ago, they gave me a loose ticket. No stamps in my passport, no problems should I want to go to one of the countries that don’t like Israel.
I also have a stamp marked “VOID” from Taipei (Taoyuan) Airport, had it for the last 9 years but I don’t remember having any real issues with it (although it’s been a while since I travelled anywhere due to the pandemic). The reason I got it (on a departure stamp) was because I missed the Tax Refund desk and went through both security and passport control before asking the staff where it was. Thankfully the member of staff I spoke to was very helpful and escorted me all the way back to the Tax Refund desk (stamp was voided when going backwards through passport control). After getting my refund, with my flight boarding time dangerously close, I was escorted to the front of all the queues (picking up a new valid stamp on the way) in order to catch my flight!