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I recently (after January 1st) traveled from Sweden to Croatia and the Croatian authorities drew two diagonal lines on the exit stamp that the Swedish border authorities put in my passport. Could you please help me understand what this means? Why didn't the Croatian authorities stamp my passport instead? Could this cause any problems?

I have a Swedish residence permit for my studies, if it matters.


Update: I came back to Sweden from Croatia. The Swedish border control authorities stamped my passport again with an entry stamp.

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    How did you travel to Croatia? By air or by land?
    – user71659
    Jan 19, 2023 at 18:02
  • I travelled by air
    – Anri
    Jan 20, 2023 at 14:18

2 Answers 2

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Technically, this is probably a duplicate of this question. However, the specifics make it worthy of a new answer. As that answer states, the double parallel lines indicates that the exit from the Schengen region has been cancelled.

So, why did they do that?

As of January 1st, 2023, Croatia is a part of the Schengen Area, which in a simplistic sense means that there should be no immigration checks between those countries. When travelling between two Schengen countries, it is much like a domestic flight between two states in the same country.

Seemingly, for some reason likely related to this change being very new, you passed through immigration when leaving Sweden, and you were given an exit stamp stating you were leaving the Schengen region on that date.

When you passed through immigration in Croatia, rather than giving you a new entry stamp for the Schengen region, they instead "cancelled" your exit that occurred in Sweden. Thus, you never left the Schengen region leaving Sweden, so there is now no need to give you a stamp to say you entered it in Croatia.

At this point you are physically in the Schengen region, you have a valid entry stamp (from when you originally entered it in/on your way to Sweden), and no exit stamp (by virtue of the one you received being cancelled). I.e., you are in a perfectly valid situation, and there is absolutely nothing to worry about!

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    Nothing to worry about for the original poster here, since they hold a Swedish residence permit. Someone coming along in the same situation who had entered Sweden on a Schengen visa would need to understand that their "Schengen clock" is still ticking now even in Croatia in terms of maximum length of stay and possible overstay, right? Jan 17, 2023 at 11:55
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    @StephanKolassa Indeed Jan 17, 2023 at 12:10
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    Is it standard to use parallel lines for this? If I wanted to cancel something, I would draw two non-parallel intersecting lines (X), not two parallel ones (| | or =). Is this some sort of standard?
    – terdon
    Jan 17, 2023 at 16:35
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    @terdon Yes, this is a standard so that every border guard can know what it is, a X usually means refusal of entry (like in the UK), the Schengen one is a bit different (image), but it is recognizable as a cross/X Jan 18, 2023 at 6:08
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    @VicenteOlivertRiera Schengen Border Guard Handbook, §8.4.b (entry refusal stamp), §8.6 (OP stamp) Jan 19, 2023 at 8:26
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To complement @Doc answer which is spot on

Croatia is actually in a transitional period to fully abolish internal border controls

Since Jan. 1st, internal border controls are indeed abolished for land and sea crossings

For internal air controls (Croatian Accession decision)

As regards checks on persons at internal air borders, they shall be lifted from 26 March 2023 and the provisions referred to in paragraph 1, to the extent that they regulate the abolition of checks on persons at internal air borders, shall apply as of that date

This has been done to make the change along with the switch to airlines' summer calendar, to both give them, and the airports, time to prepare, to not disturb their operations right away and to pack all the big changes into a single timeframe


So, until March 26, 2023, all flights to Croatia leave and arrive in the non-Schengen area of the airports, as they always did previously.

Everyone will pass, on departure, exit and, on arrival, entry immigration, and have the same treatment if you are required to be stamped on Schengen area entry/exit

From March 26th onwards, all flights will now leave and arrive in the Schengen area of the airports, which will exempt you from immigration controls, the same way you could go to any other Schengen-member state.

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    The OP confirmed he traveled by air, so this is the right answer. Due to the delayed implementation of Schengen by air, he departed Sweden, passing through exit border control where they stamped his passport. When he arrived in Croatia, the Schengen entrance border officer determined he did not in fact leave the Schengen area, so the exit stamp was cancelled.
    – user71659
    Jan 20, 2023 at 17:46

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