Last year, I traveled to the UK for a conference. Upon entry, my passport was stamped confirming my entry via immigration.
Upon my exit, surprisingly (and something I'm been wondering about ever since) I went through no immigration. The direction to board flight led me straight to flight check-in, then we boarded the flight.
Below is my entry stamp. Stamped within my Visa stamp, really?
I went to the Netherlands this year, got stamped, in and out. Entering ZA, I got stamped. Even leaving and returning to my home country (Ghana), I got both stamped. I find the stamping a standard procedure/protocol.
Yet, with the UK, I left the country without being stamped. I don't know if that was part of the plan or I missed something or what?:
- Does the UK have a policy of not stamping when people leave the country?
- Was that a mistake on my part?
- Obviously, my stay period has expired, and on paper, I'm "not supposed" to be in the country, but without the UK exit stamp, might that affect my visit or travel visa application to UK one day in the future? Because if stamping is mandatory, and I don't have one, then I will be hot if asked, "How did you leave the country without the stamp?"
- In this case, those who could have determined if I overstayed or not, was the Airline
- My visa was for a stay up to 29/30 days or so. But I stayed only for 7 days
- Flight used throughout was Emirates and passed through Dubai on transit
- Origin was South Africa.
- Destination Airport was Heathrow
For comparison, below is my Netherlands stamps, both in an out.
I came across this result, and one of the answers pointed out, its "No real reason now for UK exit stamp." Really? I see a strong reason to, otherwise, stamping me in is of no real reason then.
One commentator also added: "A loophole which no doubt has been exploited by some foreigners." No idea how someone will exploit that!
And considering this instance, it can lead to some questions.