I applied for a Norwegian visa in my home country through a third-party visa application center that handles all the visa applications for the Norwegian Embassy. I got the visa, but now my passport has two sets of staple holes in it.

The person who handled my application at the visa application center stapled together the "front" cover of my old and new passports when sending the application packet to the embassy.

Do these holes now mean that I will have to get a new passport? Would a passport with 4 staple holes be acceptable in immigration at airports?

  • 2
    I assume you mean the cover, and not any of the actual pages. Then it should not matter.
    – Tomas By
    Nov 11 '18 at 20:04
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    FYI I stapled together the front page and the last page of my two passports. I must have traveled to at least fifteen different countries with that without a problem. The fears from passports with minor damage is way overblown. Nov 11 '18 at 20:41
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    Sorry for the confusion. What I meant to say is that I have 4 staple holes in the front cover of the passport in the machine readable zone. Nov 11 '18 at 21:11
  • It's worthwhile to point out here that passports from some countries print the biometric data page (with the machine readable zone) on the inside front cover of the passport, but others print that info on the next page after the cover (so the cover sheet itself has no personal information on either side). I suspect the Norwegian passport is the former, so staple holes in the cover go through to somewhere on the biometric identification page. Nov 12 '18 at 2:04

This happened to me as well and also via a third-party visa processing center (VFS in my case).

There was a staple punched on the first page, which has my photo. The holes were in the machine readable zone (MRZ), which made me even more upset that my passport wouldn't be accepted.

Turns out, it was all for nothing. No issues whatsoever at any airport or scanning machines. It turns out, the holes are small enough (and the readers are not that sensitive) to make a difference when reading the passport digitally.


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