I have been traveling for over a year with the goal of reaching Indonesia over land (and ferry where necessary) from my home country of The Netherlands. However I have encountered a problem in India. My passport got wet and some of the stamps are damaged and have "melted" and created imprints on other pages. The Indian e-visa & entry stamps are intact and readable, but slightly smudged. Some of the stamps from other countries are unreadable though.

I figured that I should not travel with a passport with water damage, since if border officials deny me on the basis of having a damaged passport, I could get stuck in no-man's land inbetween countries at land borders. So I decided to request a new passport at my country's embassy.

So now I have my invalidated passport with slightly damaged but readable Indian e-visa stamps and my new passport. Can I still cross the land border with this? I googled around and I can find some sources saying that you can use a visa from an expired passport with your new passport, if you carry both the expired passport and the new passport with you. I think this referred to the embassy visa though while I have an e-visa. The staff at my embassy said it should work but they can't be sure.

picture of stamp https://i.stack.imgur.com/eAO9Q.jpg

  • I agree with the embassy: it should be ok, but you never know for sure. This is India! – Giacomo Catenazzi Aug 8 '19 at 13:13

I did the crossing. They looked confused with the situation, fiddled with my passports for 2 hours, made phone calls and scanned them countless times but then they let me through in the end. Hope it is useful for someone.


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