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I am currently studying in the Netherlands and therefore have a temporary residence card. I am on a Zimbabwean passport and recently returned home. When i returned to the Netherlands i flew into Frankfurt first from south Africa and then connected to Netherlands. Upon arrival in Frankfurt i went through immigration but i have just noticed now that they did not stamp my passport in Frankfurt or in Amsterdam. Is this going to be a problem? I am in the process of applying for a transit visa for the UK and am concerned that my transit visa be denied because of this. Any information would me much appreciated!

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Not all Schengen countries stamp passports of residence permit holders; this depends on national practice. Germany (along with, for example, Switzerland and Slovenia) doesn't stamp passports of residence permit holders.

And being that you have a valid residence permit, that is what dictates how long you can stay, so you will have no problems exiting or re-entering Schengen in the future.

As for the UK, they're not a Schengen country, and so don't care about what Schengen stamps you have or don't have.

  • I can confirm - flew through Germany 15+ times and never got a stamp. – JonathanReez Jan 28 at 21:05
  • @JonathanReez Same in Switzerland and (IIRC) Slovenia. France, Sweden and (IIRC) Hungary, however, do stamp Schengen residents – Crazydre Jan 28 at 21:07
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According to the rules as written you should have gotten an entry stamp when you crossed the external Schengen border in Frankfurt.

However, based on anecdotal evidence, it is not uncommon that border guards won't bother with stamps for travelers who have residence permits. That would be completely reasonable, were it not for the rules saying otherwise: The main purpose of the stamps is to enable checking whether the traveler complies with the appropriate length-of-stay rules, but those don't apply to you as a resident. (Or, to be precise, they don't apply in a form that can be enforced by looking at entry/exit stamps).

It is fairly well known that this happens in practice, and I cannot think of a reason why UK authorities would hold the sloppy practices of German border guards against you. It's not as if it would make sense for you to have sneaked in without being inspected, since you do hold a residence card.

If you desire to have complete peace of mind, though, go to whichever agency in the Netherlands deal with border control (if you don't know which, start with the local police) and ask for help with having your documentation corrected. Have boarding cards, tickets, etc. from your latest arrival ready as documentation. At worst you may need to spend a day going to the right office, so you might want to weigh that against the minuscule chance that not having the stamp would actually create trouble.

  • Thank you for your helpful reply! much appreciated. – Megan Wright Jan 28 at 20:52
  • This answer is wrong. Formal legislation is one thing, but stamping passports of residence permit holders, in reality, is a matter of national practice. Accordingly, Germany doesn't stamp residence permit holders. – Crazydre Jan 28 at 21:01
  • @Crazydre: What do you think is wrong about this answer? You don't appear to contradict it. (Except that you seem to have a rather cavalier attitude to Germany deciding to ignore the explicit requirements in the Schengen rules, but that is politics...) – Henning Makholm Jan 28 at 22:16
  • @HenningMakholm You claim OP should've got an entry stamp, but per internal practice in Germany, that's not the case (FWIW the Bundespolizeipräsidium has informed me of this). You also imply (however vaguely) that there's anything to get "fixed". THere isn't, because the German border officer did nothing wrong per German operational guidelines. – Crazydre Jan 28 at 23:25
  • @Crazydre: I claim the Schengen rules say that the OP should have gotten an entry stamp, which they do. That Germany for some ineffable reason has an "internal practice" of ignoring what the Schengen Borders Code does not mean that the Borders Code does not say what it says, or that the German border guard who follows an "internal practice" of violating the Borders Code is not in fact violating the Borders Code1. – Henning Makholm Jan 28 at 23:29

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