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A friend commented on my Facebook that the Cambodian visa isn't stuck permanently into the passport and suggests I could go there then peel off the visa so the blank page can be used for another visa.

But isn't this illegal? I know I'm not supposed to alter my passport but I've added some post-it notes that have not caused any problems. Surely this is not the same thing right?

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I am pretty sure the answer here will differ from country to country. – user141 Sep 1 '13 at 10:07
Added that it's for Australians in this case. – hippietrail Sep 1 '13 at 10:11
@MarcelC.: Ah that one makes more sense. This question isn't about how to peel off the sticker though - that's would just be "peel it off". This question is about whether peeling it off is permissible or not. – hippietrail Sep 1 '13 at 15:12

Yes, tampering with the passport is illegal. Post-it notes for obvious reasons not, as you say. If you alter the information in your passport, then you do something wrong.

If the stamp on your Cambodian visa is not 100% on the sticker but also partly on the page, it will be even more apparent. This guy here got caught with it.

After all however, it seems that the country that put the visa there might have the biggest issues with you removing it. I would think that they know your passport number and that you got a visa before. If you ever want to go back to the country you will have a big issue at immigration when the visa is missing.

Have you tried to call the Australian embassy and ask for advice? It takes only 10 days to get a new passport in Bangkok, and if you pay more, you can get one with 64 pages. Having only 3 pages left is a good reason to get a new one. I do that all the time, I have a stack of old passports at home.

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Yeah I'll reserve the new passport route as an option if I have to. 10 days is 2/3 of the visa-on-arrival time you get for Thailand, I have maybe two days left, not to mention the expensive price of an Australian passport compared to what citizens of many other countries have to pay. I only have 3 entirely blank pages but heaps of room for stamps. I'm wandering without much plan on this trip so I don't have to enter any particular country if there are obstacles. I think I'm on passport five by the way (-: – hippietrail Sep 1 '13 at 13:55
The fact that a guy at border control let him write an apology letter is not necessarily proof that it is illegal, he could have been a power playing civil servant. He wouldn't be the first. I don't know the final answer, but there are countries who give you loose visa's to prevent other countries not allowing you entry, because of some international dispute. There idea is that you remove the visa from your passport. I would definitely seek a more authoritative answer (being a consulate of your home country). Would be awesome if you could share their answer with us here – user141 Sep 1 '13 at 20:43
@Globetrotter You are probably right. It would be technically better to say "Depending on the country, you might face issues at immigration if they discover what you did". However from all the horror-stories that I have read about and my own experiences, "issues at immigration" is something that I would try to avoid at all cost, specially in developing countries, that's why I chose a maybe not technically correct, but stronger language. – uncovery Sep 2 '13 at 2:56
@hippietrail You probably know this but: That's the overland time, would have been a full month if you flew in. There is a whole mini-industry doing "visa runs" - so you could do one, then hit the embassy next day. (I imagine they would give you a temp document anyway, which you could use if there was a delay, beyond 10 days.) – hunter2 Sep 2 '13 at 5:13
Good point @Globetrotter. I have also had things left stapled in my passport in Japan that months or years later were pulled out by nonplussed officials in some other country. I wonder if you can ask any country to put a visa on a separate piece of paper? I wonder if the guy who pulled out the crap Japan left in my passport committed an offence? – hippietrail Sep 2 '13 at 7:11

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