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Like many travelers, I like collecting country stamps in my passport, and review them once in a while. I have visited a few countries on my current passport, and I've noticed an intriguing tendency.

Most countries seem content with the practice of stamping in the first viable spot they find, starting from the front of the passport. (Let's keep in mind it's a human border controller doing this, who won't necessarily care exactly where the stamp is, but that's the general process)

However, in the case of Georgia, they seem to consistently put their stamps on the last page; starting from the back instead. That's on both entry and exit, which I've done twice, by air and by land. So I have four Georgia stamps on the last page.

Is this some kind of habit or local procedure depending on the country? Do we know if there are countries known for doing this, or some unusual way, even anecdotally? Are there identifiable tendencies of some countries to proceed a certain way? I'm curious as to what could be the reasons behind this.

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    All countries in the Russia controlled east bloc stamped from the back. How many continue to do so as policy I am not sure, though I imagine older official might do so out of habit (and perhaps train newbies to do the same). – user13044 Aug 21 '16 at 2:25
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    @Tom that's valuable knowledge. I suggest putting your experience into an answer. – Gayot Fow Aug 21 '16 at 5:23
  • @GayotFow - thought about it as an answer, but it is an old policy and as I mentioned I am not sure which still do today, so not really an accurate answer to the OP's question. – user13044 Aug 21 '16 at 6:15
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    I have had three Russian passports; two of the old type (with bio page at the end) and one of the new type (with plastic bio card at the beginning). In the old type passports, all the Russian and Ukrainian stamps are placed at the beginning. In the new type passport, Russian, Ukrainian and Vietnamese stamps are placed at the end until 2014; and starting with 2015, Russian and Belorussian stamps are again placed in the beginning. There's also a Brazilian exit stamp placed at the end, but its matching entry stamp is somewhere in the middle. – ach Aug 21 '16 at 22:44
  • My passport is stamped very conservatively, literally several stamps per page. My wife's has one or two per page, despite us travelling together for most of them. I have about 3 pages full, she has 7 mostly empty ones. – Marshall Tigerus Jan 10 '17 at 16:59
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Yes. Every time I flew to Russia and Ukraine, both always stamp my passport on the last page, or on a previous one. Considering they all do that, we can safely assume there is a procedure.

I suspect this may be the case with more ex-USSR countries as you mentioned with Georgia.

Also at Helsinki airport they also stamp the last page, even though Finland was not part of ex-USSR. "Warsaw block" countries (Poland, Romania, Hungary) however do not do that at all.

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Morocco does that too, in this case I suppose it has to do with right to left way of reading.

I traveled to Morocco at least twice a year for a few years, I am now living there since a few years and traveling from there, every single stamp has been put at the end (at least thirty, a hundred if I count my wife's and my kids ')

  • I got one pair of Moroccan stamps in the middle of the passport. – Shuangistan Jan 11 '17 at 14:32
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According to a comment here on Travel.SE by @CMaster:

On a recent trip to Mexico, the officer at the border went through until they found a US stamp, and the Mexican entry stamp as close to that as possible. No idea why.

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    NL and Germany tries to do this too, to make it easier for fellow officers to track your border crossings and detect possible overstays. Their French/Italian/Spanish colleagues, however, don't give a damn and stamp whatever page they open - if they stamp it at all. – George Y. Aug 21 '16 at 2:38
  • @GeorgeY. Weird, I have German stamps on the first pages. – Jonathan Allard Aug 21 '16 at 6:37
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After checking my passports I can add Albania as a country doing this. It was communist but certainly not part of the Soviet influence sphere.

Furthermore, I confirm Morocco and the ex-USSR countries. An notable exception is my Nagorno-Karabakh visa which is in the middle of my passport.

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Tally based on answers received so far

Stamps on last page

The following countries place their stamp on the last page:

Former Soviet countries

  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • Georgia
  • Belarus
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Moldova

Other

  • Finland (ties to Russia, but not part of USSR)
  • Morocco (based on right-to-left writing?)
  • Albania
  • Mongolia

Does not stamp on last page

One could expect the following countries that they would, but they don't:

  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Hungary

Stamps in other interesting ways

  • Mexico: go through pages until they find a US stamp, stamp close to there
  • Kazakhstan stamped me on the second page, because the first one already had two US stamps (so the first blank page). Didn't expect them to stamp me at all, as officially they aren't meant to stamp visa-free passports, or I would've asked them to stamp on the first, partially-used page. – Crazydre Feb 25 '18 at 21:19
  • Uzbekistan stamped the visa itself (in 2016), so not at the back. Azerbaijan (2017) and Tunisia (2017) stamped at the back. Iran (2016 and 2017) does not stamp at the back (instead across from the visa). – Rebecca J. Stones Mar 20 '18 at 8:02
  • Also Egypt (2018) was not at the back. – Rebecca J. Stones Mar 20 '18 at 8:10
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From my personal experience, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine, and Mongolia all stamped on the last page of my passport.

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It seems that policies are changing. My stamps (from 2012 and/or 2013) from Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova and Armenia are all in the front. It doesn't seem to be a one-time-thing as I have eight stamps from Georgia (or they try to place it close to the old ones, I don't know).

The only stamps I have in the back are from Belarus.

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Timeframe 1970 to 1993:

Poland with Visa: any free page (first in the middle, next after previous in my first passport)

Poland and Czech Republic without Visa: last pages

DDR (East Germany) without Visa: first free page, with the next entry/exit stamps on the same page

West Germany entry/exit stamps: near exit stamp of previous country

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