What can I do to prevent passport stamps being put on blank pages?
I'm running low on blank passport pages which are sometimes needed for full page visas such as those issued by Armenia, India, and Vietnam.
When I crossed the border into Turkey the other day I got my visa-on-arrival and stamp, but instead of putting it on a partly used page, which I have many, the guy at customs and immigration put them on a previously blank page. Now I have one fewer!
What can I do to prevent or at least reduce the chances of this happening?
It's worth remembering that there's likely to be a language barrier and it's always best to be ultra-nice to these border officials.
Has anybody heard of any trick such as sticking bit of paper in your passport, either blank, or looking a bit like visas? I have noticed that nobody ever stamps a page that has a remnant of something once stapled in there in Japan. There is a kind of stub that had its major part torn off along a perforation. Might I be able to emulate this somehow or would that even be worse making the blank pages invalid for full page visas due to having holes from staples? I know some things can get very picky when it comes to customs and immigration.
NEVER intentionally damage or modify your passport - it's an offence in most countries.
I hate those staples and arriving card (don't remember the name though) in Japan. And most visas I've ever seen are full page, including Japanese visa.
@LưuVĩnhPhúc: Yes it depends what you think of as being the actual "visa". It turns out that many people count the post-stamp-sized stickers, or even the ink stamps as visas. And perhaps they are even technically correct. But for what it seems at least you and I intuitively think of as "visas" then perhaps you are right (-:
If your passport gets too full, you can get the State Department to expand it by adding in more pages... up to a certain point. The father of a friend of mine is in the import/export business and travels a lot, and he showed me his passport once. It was thicker than a large paperback novel, and he said it had reached the maximum size that the binding process allowed, so they issued him a new one as a "continuation" to the old passport. Now he has to present both together. :P
@MasonWheeler: I can? When was this coordination between the Australian and US governments reached?
Oh, are you Australian? Not sure then. But the Australian government must have *something* they do for travelers when their passports get full. Try asking the relevant agency.
@MasonWheeler: I have checked. They don't, unfortunately. And Australian passports may well be the most expensive in the world. )-:
Why not just add instructions appended to the application that you would like them to spare some of the fully blank pages, if possible, for exactly this very reason? Regardless of legalities around modifying passports, honesty and transparency generally seem like the best options for virtually anything and, at the very least, won't hurt more than if it were just sent in without them, as the worst that can happen is they don't regard it and stamp the blank page anyways.
If you have a brand new passport, then keep all the pages together with an elastic band, and only release new pages when the old ones are full. This has kept things nice and orderly for me so far - the only place anyone took off the band was Taiwan where they at least stamped only the next page and not some random mid-passport place.
If your passport is already in use, then a full page post-it note works fine and leaves no residue - write on it "Reserved for Visa" if you think that will help. Make sure the sticky part of the post-it is towards the outside of the page so it's not so simple to just stamp underneath it.
OA (@hippietrail) kindly found an example in the wild that had anecdotal success in Russian/English speaking regions: