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I recently traveled from Denmark to Sofia in Bulgaria. I work in Denmark, but I am a non-EU citizen.

When traveling to Sofia, I got a passport stamp after exiting the Schengen area, but upon my exact day of re-entry, Bulgaria was admitted to the Schengen zone, so I did not receive an entry stamp.

So now I have an exit stamp showing that I have left the Schengen area, but no return stamp.

Can that cause problems for me down the line?

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    Not Bulgaria, but when I arrived at Heathrow Airport, they were astounded that anyone would request a stamp. They searched for an appropriate page with nothing too overtly American to stamp it on. The agent settled on an image of a ship and then wrote "By request" above it. Some countries do not stamp because having that country appear on your passport may be limiting, so they give a slip of paper. Did they give you a slip of paper? Apr 2 at 6:33
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    Do you have an entry stamp of Bulgaria in your passport? If yes, the missing Schengen re-entry stamp will be easy to explain away if there are any questions. Apr 2 at 6:41

1 Answer 1

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If you work in Denmark as a non-EU citizen, you will have an EU residence permit, and your passport should not be stamped when entering or exiting the EU. The officer who stamped your passport when you went to Sofia made a (hugely common) mistake in doing so.

None of this will present a problem for you, because you are not subject to the Schengen 90/180 rule.

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  • Bulgaria recently joined Schengen, so the stamp "exit from Schengen" when arriving in Sofia was correct until 31st of March 2024.
    – EarlGrey
    Apr 2 at 9:57
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    @EarlGrey Not for EU residents. Entry/exit stamps are for those without long-term residence.
    – Sneftel
    Apr 2 at 9:58
  • OP says "I work in Denmark, but I am a non-EU citizen."
    – EarlGrey
    Apr 2 at 9:58
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    @EarlGrey Which means they have an EU residence permit.
    – Sneftel
    Apr 2 at 9:59
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    Before Bulgaria joined Schengen, the 90/180 rule is enforced by Bulgarian stamps, even for non-EU nationals who are holders of a non-family permit. (The 90/180 rule still exists, but strict enforcement is essentially no longer there or possible.) Entry/exit stamps for non-family Schengen residence permit holders is technically required by the Schengen rules but in practice depends on the country. travel.stackexchange.com/questions/157743/… But there is no problem for OP in any case.
    – xngtng
    Apr 2 at 12:36

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