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I have a question about having not been stamped in my passport at the US border. I am a non US citizen and arrived to JFK airport last year with a B1/B2 type visa. A woman officer standing at the lines asked me where I was from and then told me to use the APC machine.

So after filling all the steps at the APC machine a white little paper with my photo and info was printed which I gave to the officer who was standing thereby. He did not even look at my passport or the paper I gave to him and just let me in to the baggage claim.

I was so confused cause I knew for sure I needed a stamp in my passport, that's why I returned back to the same officer and re-asked if I needed a stamp. On this he started kidding me like "GO GO HOME GIRL" and smiling (meaning that I did not need tge stamp). So what else should I have done? I collected my baggage. After that I'm still confused and nervous about the fact that I don't have an entry stamp. How do you think will I have any problems when I travel to US again while entering

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    Assume that an electronic entry was noted and when leaving the same will happen. Therefore there should be no problem. In the future this will become more commonplace in the world. – Mark Johnson Jan 27 at 13:13
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    Why do you think you need a stamp? – phoog Jan 27 at 13:14
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    @phoog It used to be at least the way things were done, if not a requirement, for quite a long time... Things have now changed, but not so long ago it would indeed have been weird not to have a stamp... – jcaron Jan 27 at 14:19
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    @jcaron perhaps, but in the face of an officer saying that a stamp is not necessary, statements like "I knew for sure I needed a stamp in my passport" and "that was concretely the fault of the officers" could use some justification. – phoog Jan 27 at 14:42
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    IIRC there are some countries (france springs to mind) where the border control are known for being lax about stamping passports, then blaming the passenger for their own laxness later. So I think it's reasonable for a passenger to be concerned when they were expecting a stamp and the border gaurd refused to provide one. – Peter Green Jan 27 at 23:56
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The USA (as well as many other countries) are moving away from passport stamps to digital entry records.

You can look up your USA entry record here: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/

It will tell you when you entered, how long you were granted entry until, what status, and when you left. It’s good to occasionally check to ensure it’s correct.

For other countries, you can usually find the government database by googling “countryname entry record”. For Canada such a search yields: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/agency-agence/reports-rapports/pia-efvp/atip-aiprp/thr-rav-eng.html

Sometimes you need a physical entry stamp even when its become optional at the airport. For example, Japan has moved to electronic passport entry but visitors still need the visitors passport stamp for JR Rail Passes and duty free. There’s a secondary station at immigration in japan where you can request a stamp but it’s an extra step. For Canada, for example, I’ve had to ask for a stamp even at a manned booth. If you really need a stamp, then ask the officer when he or she still has the passport in his hands as it becomes difficult for them once they clear the screen for the next visitor.

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    I've just checked and everything's correct. So it means it's ok that I don't have a stamp?:) – nknk Jan 27 at 13:37
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    @nutsakiknadze yup! – RoboKaren Jan 27 at 13:47
  • I had a similar experience in canada , is there a website for canada too ? – Novice_Developer Jan 28 at 7:59
  • @Novice_Developer that would be a good question in its own right. – phoog Jan 29 at 0:18
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So what else should I have done?

Trusted that the officers were correct, or asked to speak to a supervisor who might have been able to explain the system in more detail and with more seriousness than you seem to have gotten from the officer.

How do you think will I have any problems when I travel to US again while entering[?]

As amply explained elsewhere, you will not.

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Given that the entry stamp has some value to landlords and small shops who do not pay staff to keep up on immigration changes, I would have asked them to do the formality of the stamp, framing it as a souvenir of your travels. Entry officers may do this as a courtesy if asked.

If you happen to live near a land border with Canada, the border is festooned with sleepy little border crossings where a state highway meets a provincial road. An officer there might be more inclined to indulge a vanity request for a paper stamp. Just don't go too small, or you may face a TV camera instead of an officer.

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  • You definitely won't get a stamp when you enter the Northwest Angle. Offhand I can't think of anywhere else along the US-Canada land border that the crossing isn't simply closed when unstaffed. – Michael Hampton Jan 29 at 0:04

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