I'm aware both scenarios are common, but which is most common? Does anyone have any experience? Does it vary between different border crossings?

I'd much rather they stamped the visa, so that no additional space is wasted.

Like in this Image http://img.click.in/classifieds/images/148/23_2_2014_16_15_24_hfcosv8748i9js0qj2hjmu64a4_1k2hq73s5y.jpg

7 Answers 7


For me, he stamped the page preceding the visa double-page, and he took some effort to open specifically that page, so it seems intentional (that was in April/May 2016).

You shouldn't be too worried about saving space, most border agents stamp across whatever is there without caring once the passport gets kind of full, and you can always get a new one. I have not heard of any case where there were immigration issues because the passport was 'full'.

  • 3
    It's generally impossible to get a new visa from a consulate unless there is adequate blank space in the passport. The usual requirement is one or two completely blank pages. (They can't very well cover up entry and exit stamps with a visa sticker, after all.)
    – phoog
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 1:06
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    Some countries require you have one or two blanks pages in your passport when you arrive, such as South Africa.
    – user13044
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 3:41
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    Yup, one reason why I want to keep my passport neat. South Africa requires one page, Namibia two. Although I currently don't travel with my passport a lot (I mostly go to places where my ID Card is sufficient) this will Change in the years to come. @Aganju, the two countries I mentioned will deport a Person with less pages than needed. Even if otherwise admissible
    – Crazydre
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 5:14

I’ll admit that ‘two’ is a small number of data points but it is still larger than zero, so here goes:

I entered (and exited) Russia twice. Once by train from Helsinki (inbound on the Saint Petersburg train, return on the Moscow train) and once from Belarus with detours to Helsinki (inbound coming from Prague, returning on a Saint Petersburg–Helsinki train). In all four occasions (one of which being Belarusian immigration) the entry and exit stamps were stamped onto the visa.

It makes sense because the visa allocate space for the stamps if you look at it properly.


I've travel a lot from Russia, and I saw many foreigners going through the border, and I can say that border guards usually are trying to save the place, stamping the nearest to the visa page in passport.

Stamps on Russian borders usually are small enough to get two on one line of the page, so I think that you wouldn't lose much space there, but still, probably, one page will be stamped.

  • OK, so they don't normally stamp on the visa itself? Like in this Image (this is what I would prefer) img.click.in/classifieds/images/148/…
    – Crazydre
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 16:45
  • Never seen such technic. May be at first time you can try to ask to stamp the visa. But if it is a multi-entry visa, they definitely will stamp on a page
    – VMAtm
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 18:52
  • It's a single-entry Transit visa I'm entering on
    – Crazydre
    Commented May 22, 2016 at 23:46

UPDATE: On the Allegro train, by default, they placed the entry stamp on a separate page - I saw it happen to a Spanish citizen who was checked before me.

However, I politely asked the officer, in broken Russian, to stamp the visa instead ("pozhaluista shtamp na visa, niet drugoj stranitsa"), and she was perfectly OK doing so.

Same thing when exiting for Kazakhstan.

Below is a picture of my visa with stamps

enter image description here

  • 5
    You might want to blur/black your personal details from visa photo?
    – DavChana
    Commented Oct 22, 2016 at 7:31

I have three single entry visas (newest is from 2016), traveling with train from Helsinki and with plane. In each case, entry stamp was placed on the next page, and exit stamp was placed on the visa.

  • Very weird ô.o As I wrote above, I got my entry stamp from Helsinki (it was the old days, the Sibelius train) onto the visa …
    – Jan
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 17:30
  • Guess I'll try to observe how the border guard does it with other passengers by default, and if necessary ask politely if they could please put the stamp on the visa
    – Crazydre
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 22:22
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    @Jan After lots of online Research, it would appear the "traditional" way is to stamp both entries and Exits onto the visa, while the "modern" way is the one Ville-Valtteri described. However, they can be flexible about it (see my answer)
    – Crazydre
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 16:11

I think it matters if you have a single or multiple entry visa I have travelled 4 times:

2010- Single visa, Both stamped on the visa
2015- Double Entry, First entry and Last Exit only stamped on visa
2016- Single Entry- Both on visa
2016- Double- Not on visa


I have travelled to/from Russia more than a dozen times in the last few years - on USA passport and on British passport. Every single time the stamp went onto the visa itself.

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