Why you should NEVER put a novelty stamp in your passport

BEFORE you decide to add a souvenir stamp to your passport when on holiday, you might want to think again.

Tourists could find themselves banned from their flight and having to pay hundreds of pounds for an emergency passport to board if the fake stamps are spotted inside.

Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin, and the city of Ciudad Mitad del Mundo in Ecuador – where the equator runs through – offer novelty stamps for tourists to commemorate their trip.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Japan, the Antarctic Heritageand the Welsh village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, which is famous for having the world’s longest place name, also offer souvenir stamps.

A British tourist found out the hard way last year, after she was banned from flying due to the souvenir stamp in her passport.

Sixty-year-old Tina Sibley, originally from the UK who currently lives in Spain, had flights booked to Phuket from Madrid in February 2020.

However, when trying to board her flight, she was stopped – because she had a souvenir stamp from Peru after visiting Machu Picchu.

She warned on Facebook: "Do not get these tourist stamps in your passport!

"I’ve just been denied boarding my flight to Thailand because of them. I’m gutted! Apparently they can invalidate your passport and immigrations are getting strict."

While the British Embassy said her passport was still valid, calling it "rubbish," she had to get a new emergency document and book another flight, costing her £1,000 altogether.

Despite the warning, the UK government state that carriers have "no requirement" to check any other stamps in the passport other than the one needed.

They state: "For UK nationals travelling to the UK, they need to present a valid UK passport. There is no requirement for carriers to check other stamps in the passport, including novelty stamps, if they are satisfied that the passenger is a genuine UK national."

However, what can make a UK passport invalid is if there is anything spilled onto the pages, or any missing pages.

Other countries are also likely to be stricter.

In Taiwan, a woman was denied entry after her daughter added a Hello Kitty stamp to her passport, while anyone travelling to the US must only have "foreign countries place stamps or make notations or additions to this passport".

Israel have stopped stamping passports due to the problems they pose if travelling to another country.

Destinations such as Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE are likely to ban any arrivals with an Israeli stamp in their passport.

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The UK passport is more powerful since Brexit, according to the annual Henley Passport Index, although still falls behind Germany and France.

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