Immigration – be careful with their stamps in your passport
Your passport is your ultimate travel document. In the last years passports got more sophisticated with the embedded chips containing your biological data and much more. But making errors is human!
A friend recently travelled to South Africa and back. When he left Durban he got this stamp in his passport:
This stamp in his passport may cause him some problems especially when entering countries with severe immigration laws.
Such mistakes happen anywhere in the world. This one just looks funny. We strongly recommend to check the stamp immediately and in front of the immigration officer.
An often seen problem in the Philippines , especially when the immigration officer had worked already 6 to 8 hours: He/she does not really check the validity of your visa. During the day he/she had already stamped hundreds of passports and the 30 days limit for the visa waiver is present in the head like an “Earworm”. Then you risk to get only 30 days of free stay even if you had paid for 90 days at the embassy abroad.
This tourist visa (9A) is valid for 90 days, about 3 months.
This visa waiver stamp is valid for 30 days.
Valid for almost all countries is the rule that immigration law supersedes consular law. Or in plain English language: An embassy or consulate visa can be refused by immigration when you arrive. In such a case keep cool and listen. Sometimes there is just a misunderstanding and you enter after answering some questions.
Passport: Check the stamp immediately in front of the issuing immigration officer!
Check the entry date and the validity date. But also check the exit date. All these date stamps must be correct. If not, kindly ask the officer to stamp the correct information and cancel the incorrect stamp with an officially accepted cancellation stamp. It is also wise to note the name of the issuing immigration officer. One never knows what will happen at the next immigration office.
For more information about immigration and visa in the Philippines, read our “Visa page“.