I was once surprised to see a US admission stamp in a friend's US passport. However, I saw in another question that some Americans have their passports stamped often when entering the US, so this was not an isolated incident.

  • Is there an official source that indicates a purpose for these stamps?
  • Is there any rule for why these stamps are given out sometimes but not always?
  • Would these stamps always be given on request (e.g., for Americans who want to prove that they did not overstay in a foreign country)?
  • 2
    If you go thru the automated kiosk, there are no stamps. Otherwise if you get an immigration officer, it depends. Commented May 10, 2019 at 21:54
  • Don't know about USA, but India does stamp the Indian passports on each entry and exit. I have received many such stamps on my passport already.
    – noob
    Commented May 21, 2019 at 22:29

2 Answers 2


I had the same experience in on July 13 last year and submitted a question to CBP.

Response from CBP

Dear Paul,

Thank you for contacting the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Information Center.

CBP officers usually do not stamp US passports because many people travel frequently and the passports would quickly fill up. The CBP officers may stamp the passport at their discretion or if a person requests it.

Please reply to this email if you have other questions.

Thank you again for contacting our office.


My suspicion is such incidents happen when CBP officers who hitherto were processing noncitizens (whose passports must be stamped) are moved to process citizens and mistakenly do the stamping from muscle memory.

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  • From the answers and comments on the linked question I got the impression that it used to be common for US citizens to get their passports stamped on entering the USA.
    – Willeke
    Commented May 15, 2019 at 10:23
  • yup. Same in other countries. If you've handled a hundred people needing a stamp in a row, that hand just wants to move and do its thing :) We had it happen in Amsterdam several times, before they created the Schengen desks where nobody gets stamped at any time.
    – jwenting
    Commented Sep 23, 2021 at 7:17

Would these stamps always be given on request (e.g., for Americans who want to prove that they did not overstay in a foreign country)?

No, according to https://stuff.mit.edu/people/stransky/us_entry_passport_stamps.html (mirror):

Ports of entry I've used with no stamp received, even after asking:

  • Laurier, Washington
  • San Ysidro, California
  • El Paso, Texas
  • Detroit Tunnel, Michigan
  • Falcon Dam, Texas
  • Heart Island, New York
  • West Berkshire, Vermont

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