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I'm wondering if I fly to Frankfurt Main from Spain and stay overnight in a hotel outside the airport and then fly out of the EU the next day, does my passport get stamped? I have residency in Spain but not a EU citizenship. I already know that if I don't exit the airport after my flight from Spain and just go directly to my overseas flight, passport does NOT get stamped. However, now I'm not sure if the same things happens if I stay overnight in Frankfurt (meaning I exit the airport and come back the next day).

follow-up question: does this apply to every city in Germany that has an international airport, or just FRA?

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  • What's your status in Spain? In general, Germany should stamp your passport.
    – Relaxed
    May 23, 2021 at 17:05
  • Hi I have non-lucrative residency in Spain (six month minimum stay per yr, no work permit).
    – polarBEER
    May 23, 2021 at 18:20
  • In principle you should get stamps then. You never got one since you have that permit? Anywhere (Spain, Germany, or any other Schengen country)?
    – Relaxed
    May 23, 2021 at 18:22
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    @Relaxed as has been discussed elsewhere on this site, many Schengen countries refrain from stamping passports of those with residence permits. I suppose Germany is one. Regardless, Germany's practice, whatever it is, probably does not depend on whether the traveler leaves the airport before leaving the Schengen area, nor on which checkpoint the traveler uses. See travel.stackexchange.com/q/157743/19400, where Germany is indeed in the "don't stamp" list.
    – phoog
    May 23, 2021 at 20:43

1 Answer 1

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On the first day, your flight from Spain should land in the Schengen area of the terminal and you should simply walk out of the airport without any passport check. That ought to be true in any Schengen airport, in Germany and elsewhere. If for some reason (unusual airport layout or operational issues) you do end up in a non-Schengen terminal, you might have to cross a check point but still shouldn't get a stamp (it has happened to me a couple of times on departure).

You would then go through passport control when leaving the Schengen area. Leaving the airport or how long you spend in Frankfurt shouldn't play a role at all and you should be treated the same whether you come straight from a Schengen flight or from outside the airport.

Whether that means you will get a stamp depends on the type of residence permit you have and how thorough border guards are. Most third country nationals residing in the EU should get stamps but some don't (e.g. family members of EU citizens) and some countries do not apply that rule consistently or even systematically omit to stamp passports for all residents. If you know for a fact that you wouldn't get a stamp if you did not leave the airport then it should be the same when coming from your hotel.

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  • I’d note that back when I was a permanent resident of the EU stamping was also 50/50. Seemed to depend on the border guards mood.
    – JonathanReez
    May 23, 2021 at 17:21
  • Hello, thanks so much for the thorough response. This issue has always been confusing to me. So Germany is NOT like the US. It does stamp passports upon exit but it doesn't if you're a resident in a EU country. Do I understand it correctly? Is all of Germany like this? I would assume so but for some reason Frankfurt was recommended to me.
    – polarBEER
    May 23, 2021 at 18:16
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    @polaatx No, that's not quite correct. They should stamp passports on entry AND on exit, even residents. People who do not get stamps are EU citizens, their family, and a handful or others (diplomats, airline crew…) If you didn't get a stamp, it's because they made a mistake or couldn't be bothered (which, as Jonathan noted, is common and doesn't matter much in your situation but is still a mistake). Is there a reason you don't want a stamp?
    – Relaxed
    May 23, 2021 at 18:24
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    If you are trying to avoid being documented as out of the country then you should seriously rethink this as your financial records will show that you are out of the country, and you will presumably need to make criminally false declarations of residency to the tax office.
    – Lll
    May 24, 2021 at 7:25

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