As a follow-up to this question I asked a while back, a recent article on QZ claims

Despite holding valid visas and proof of being out of a restricted area for more than 14 days, some travelers are being denied boarding at Dubrovnik’s airport. They are receiving little explanation as to why, other than it is the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that is not granting them permission to travel to the US.

What is happening appears to be nothing more than a glitch, and travelers who have been denied visa clearance were eventually allowed on later flights (…)

As I mentioned in my previous question, this claim seems true, as it happened to a friend.

The article then quotes the CEO of APEX:

Joe Leader (…) believes European citizens leaving the Schengen areas and eventually heading to the US might not have their passport correctly scanned when leaving the Schengen area, even if they request a stamp, because that is not routine for European passports.

The lack of an electronic record delays the time CBP needs to verify the European citizens meet the requirements to travel.

How likely is it that this is the issue? I thought until EES comes into service, even Schengen area countries do not have an electronic way to check entry-exit records for other Schengen countries. Does the US CBP really have access to electronic Schengen exit records?

  • 1
    I suspect its one of those cases where government officials want to overstate how effective their controls are. Ask the TSA and they'll say the catch 100% of dangerous objects. Do an actual test (many have been done before) and it doesn't look so rosy anymore.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 20:51
  • @JonathanReez Which government official do you mean? Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 11:00

1 Answer 1


Based on technical possibilities and organizational practice, the explanation can't be true. There is no electronical register containing information about wether an EU/EEA/Schengen country citizen is currently within or outside the Schengen area, nor is a such register planned, nor would it be possible to keep such a register up to date the way border control is currently performed.

The planned EES register will only contain entry and exit records for third country citizens (non EU/EEA/Schengen).

Practice differs a bit from country to country, but passports of EU/EEA/Schengen country citizens are not necessarily electronically scanned at all when the bearer crosses an external Schengen border. Especially when leaving the Schengen area at a land border, my experience is that my passport is usually only visually verified and not electronically scanned.

The suggestion for EU/EEA/Schengen citizens to request a stamp when leaving the Schengen area is moot, as these passports must not be stamped even upon request. This is not quite clearly stated in the Schengen Border Code, but explained in the 'Practical Handbook for Border Guards', section 6.2 a).

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    What a brilliant and emphatic answer. Commented Aug 26, 2021 at 11:41

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