What happens if you're trying to get on your return flight but your passport does not have entry stamp?

For instance, let's say you are dual citizen and have two passports. You enter your destination (a country that is not any of your citizenship countries) using your passport A, but then you lose that passport during your stay. So you decide to get on your return flight using your passport B. You go to the airport and they see your passport does not have any entry stamp. What happens in that scenario? Can you get out of it by just paying a fee or something or what will happen?

Another theoretical example would be you entering a country not through official/legal entry points, but then trying to leave through official/legal entry points.

What would happen in such scenarios? How different would the process/outcome be among different countries?

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    Who is the "they" who you expect to be checking your passport? Airport staff who are concerned about whether you'll be admitted to your destination, or exit immigration staff who might be trying to catch overstayers? Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 0:54
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    I believe I mean the exit immigration staff in the destination country. Let's say you have visa-free access using your passport B to your origin country, in this scenario, and that's not an issue.
    – Harry
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 1:02
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    After the introduction of the Entry/Exit System (EES), where the entry is stored electronicly, the biometric data of the traveller with Passport B will be checked to see if it matches the biometric data of the person who entered with Passport A (which they will have). Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 3:10
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    "Can you get out of it by just paying a fee or something or what will happen?": It depends on the country and on the reason for the lack of a stamp. In some cases, nothing would happen because there's no exit immigration control. In other cases, you could lose the citizenship of the country you're leaving because that country forbids dual citizenship.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 6:01
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    This question is too broad. There's dozens of different answers depending on the country and the specifics.
    – MJeffryes
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 10:48

1 Answer 1


This will depend wildly on what country you're in and what the specific circumstances are. Some countries like Singapore don't physically stamp passports anymore, everything is electronic. Others like the Schengen countries in Europe don't have any internal border controls, so not only are there no stamps, there aren't (usually) even any ID checks.

But in general, if you try to leave a country and present different travel documents than what you used to enter, this will almost certainly be flagged by the system and you'll be asked to explain.

If your old passport expired, but you have it with you, they can connect the dots easily and it'll be fine. (Although many countries insist on 6-month validity specifically to avoid this scenario, and you may be have been required to transfer any visas to the new passport as soon as you got it.)

If you lost your old passport and have a new one, you'll likely be asked to show a police report, but will probably be OK. (Again, you may have been required to transfer the visa as soon as you got the new passport.)

And if there's no record of you entering at all because you swum across a river, well, you're going to have some explaining to do, and are likely to get deported as an illegal immigrant.

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    "and are likely to get deported as an illegal immigrant" -- even that varies by country. Some countries will be happy to see you gone and paying for your own flight out and will not particularly care at that point. Some countries may demand payment of a fine, or make a note to refuse future entries, or worse. It depends on the country, the length of the unauthorized stay, and any number of other factors that can't really be addressed in a vague theoretical question like this one.
    – mlc
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 1:27
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    I got fined in Bali for overstaying my visa. The passport was stamped with a 7 day visa, and I left on day 8. Not sure if there's an electronic copy too, but Bali certainly check your arrival stamp when you depart. I thinkt he fine was next to nothing (£20 or something), but might be worse if you dont have a stamp at all! Avoid any issues and use the same passport to leave the country as you did to enter it. You can depart one country under one passport, then present another passport on arrival to the next country though, that should be fine if that's what you are trying to do. Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 9:48
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    @GavinCoates You might have been fined because your stamp showed you overstayed, but nothing guarantees you would have been fined without overstaying but without stamp. I would be surprised if they don't have an electronic system they can fall back to if there is no stamp, especially for a country like Bali that sees a lot of tourism.
    – bracco23
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 11:47
  • I wonder what would happen if you just play dumb at the exit control and say you have no idea why there is no stamp. After all, you aren't obligated to check that the stamp had been placed into your passport. And, of course, border control officers can make mistakes too.
    – Aleks G
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 15:15
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    @mlc: And then you have countries like the US, where there are no real exit controls, just APIS (basically, the airline sends a list of passengers to CBP, and then CBP reconciles this list with its own immigration records and updates everyone's I-94 to reflect their departure - you never talk to a CBP officer on the way out of the US, and they generally don't stop people unless there's a warrant for that person's arrest or something of that nature).
    – Kevin
    Commented Nov 1, 2022 at 18:53

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