This question is actually borne more out of curiosity than anything else. But recently, I applied for a visa 'D' for exchange studies. Normally when you apply for a visa, you just come back after the elapsed time as stated by the embassy.

Mine took a while so I could bring the passport back but in the visa page, the embassy staff stamped it with a remark "Visa 'D'" as well as the date that the application was submitted. I was just curious as to the reasons for doing so since I can see no other benefit to it aside from informing another embassy that I am in the process of applying for a visa?

Unless the visa sticker is to be pasted over this stamp?

  • 3
    What country/visa is this? (I presume Schengen.) Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 9:27
  • 3
    I don't know about Schengen, but Russian embassies (at least the one in Bern) put a big rectangular stamp in the passport, before pasting the visa on top of it. I was told that this is partially to prevent fraud in case someone decides to peel the visa off
    – Crazydre
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 13:24
  • @jpatokal you're right! It's Switzerland!
    – h21
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 14:10

4 Answers 4


This is a security measure. The stamp is given when your passport is returned to you when your visa application is still being processed, in order to ensure that the approved visa is placed in the same passport. It's not necessary when the consulate holds your passport during the entire application process and only returns it at the end.


Yes, like you guessed, the purpose of this stamp is to announce that there has been an application of this visa by this passport holder. I will explain my Schengen and other tourist visa experiences.

  • Spain embassy stamped my passport with embassy name, date, visa C, and later paste visa sticker to cover this. Kept passport with them for whole duration.
  • Hungary stamped passport, gave me back, asked to make sure nobody else use this page for any stamp or anything. Said will paste sticker if visa granted, otherwise will strike the stamp text with hand drawn line, and words Refused. Kept passport.
  • German embassy did not care, no stamp, kept passport for German and Austrian visas.
  • Phillipines embassy stamped, gave me passport back even if I did not want it back, did not cover the stamp with sticker later, pasted it on opposite side.

So, yes, this stamp announces your interaction with embassy, although its upto each country/embassy that how much they care about it.

  • 7
    Didn't know Philippines was a Schengen state.
    – user13044
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 8:45
  • 1
    @Tom I think he is just clarifying regarding embassies, why they stamp passport in initial stage
    – Ali Awan
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 8:50
  • 1
    @AliAwan - he made a mistake, I pointed it out, ain't no big thing to rush to his defense about :)
    – user13044
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 9:15
  • 3
    Oops.. Edited..
    – DavChana
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 12:45

Your passport may also receive an "application in process" stamp if you are in the country and applying for a change. For example, Japan lets you change things without leaving the country. They stamp "Applied" and the date when they take your documents, and you can now officially overstay your visa on the grounds that you applied in a timely manner and immigration's delays are not your fault.

They tend to only do this if your application appears to be in order and there is a high probability of it being approved. Don't leave it until the day before.


The stamp is there to save space for a future visa. Long-term Schengen visas take up a full page and the consulate wants to make sure they'll have enough space to glue-in the visa once it's finished processing.

Obviously it doesn't guarantee some other government won't put a stamp there, but at least it makes it less likely.

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