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The concerned person, a Dutch citizen, is going on a bus tour in former Yugoslavia, travelling Germany-Austria-Slovenia-Croatia-Bosnia-Montenegro-Albania-Macedonia-Kosovo. They only hold a passport and not a national ID card.

By law, Bosnia, Kosovo and Montenegro are to stamp Dutch passports on entry and exit. Thus, at the Bosnian-Montenegrin border, the person should get both stamps, at the Montenegrin-Albanian border a Montenegrin exit stamp, and at the Macedonian-Kosovan border a Kosovan entry stamp.

In your experiences, is laziness/a lax attitude about stamping EU passports at these particular borders common? I know it's a common issue at the Croatian-Bosnian land border, and we're trying to establish whether the person should verbally ask the officers to issue one whenever they collect the passports from the bus passengers.

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    Does it matter? I've been in and out of Bosnia, with and without stamps, dozens of times. Nobody ever investigated whether I'd overstayed.
    – phoog
    Feb 6, 2018 at 21:31
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    @phoog Just like with foreigner registration, you're fine without most of the time, but if you get the wrong officer, you're screwed (had an acquaintance get briefly imprisoned and deported from Serbia for not having an entry stamp at the exit checkpoint. They were Australian). So we'd rather everything is done as per the book.
    – Crazydre
    Feb 6, 2018 at 21:36
  • On Croatia-Slovenia border your passport can be stamped twice (on exit). So be prepared for weirdness on non-EU border control posts.
    – M. Dm.
    Feb 7, 2018 at 8:35
  • I just drove from Albania to Montenegro and there was a pretty big wait at the border. An officer waved us to the rightmost lane where there were two officers, one with a clipboard, who may have been writing down the vehicle registration numbers of the cars that passed by. They didn't look at us very closely and they didn't stop any of the cars that had been sent to that lane. They certainly didn't see what passports we held. The car has Swiss plates. Perhaps I'll be fined if I return to Albania, but I tend to doubt it.
    – phoog
    Aug 13, 2023 at 16:31
  • @phoog Once when I took a bus Kosovo-Montenegro, the Albanians went by the driver's passenger list, and only collected documents for those with non-Albanian/Yugoslav names. AFTER the entry to Albania though, the conductor collected documents to be presented on entry to Montenegro hours later. Equally when I went Macedonia-Montenegro most recently, Macedonian police collected everyone's docs for exit, then we didn't get them back from the driver until in Montenegro
    – Crazydre
    Aug 13, 2023 at 17:20

1 Answer 1

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They may be lazy to stamp any passport, not only EU. I personally prefer to ask to stamp the passport if the border offices forget to do it. In my own experience, I had to ask to stamp my passport at Albanian-Montenegrin border.

While some people suggest that its OK, I would advise always to check that passport was stamped and was stamped with the correct stamp. A few months ago when entering Portugal the border offices stamped my passport with an exit stamp instead of entry stamp. It was pretty hard to explain the Hungarian border officer why I am trying to exit the EU if I have an exit stamp dated a few days ago but no new entry stamps in the passport.

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