We often get questions about whether or not country X allows people to travel there with a new passport and a visa in their old passport. But is there at least one country where either:

  • Short-term visitors cannot visit the country with a visa in their old passport, or
  • Timatic's database explicitly prohibits visas in old passports

If all countries allow traveling with a visa in an old passport, travelers could safely travel everywhere in such a manner without worries.

1 Answer 1


Not sure this is exactly what you are looking for but there is at least one country where someone effectively wasn't allowed to enter with a visa in an old passport. I don't have the reference at hand and I am not sure about the country anymore (it was one of the Baltics country) but here is what happened (IIRC):

  1. An Indian citizen flew to the country and presented himself to the border.
  2. He was denied entry because his “valid visa” wasn't in his “valid passport” and the airline was fined for bringing him there.
  3. The airline fought the fine through the national court system, which referred it for a preliminary ruling to the EUCJ.
  4. The EUCJ ultimately ruled that it was in fact allowed by the Schengen Borders code (if you read several languages, you will notice some slight differences between the different versions that might be the source of the problem).
  5. The whole article was overhauled later on I think.

It's not current anymore but it does mean that you can't assume it will obviously be accepted everywhere all the time.

  • Here's the case: curia.europa.eu/juris/…. However it seems to me that in this case the border guards were clearly wrong and no such law existed in the first place.
    – JonathanReez
    Apr 26, 2017 at 11:41
  • @JonathanReez Yes and no, I hesitated to add details about that to the answer. That no law existed in the first place is the logical interpretation of an EUCJ ruling and the kind of details I personally love to write about. But I would dispute that border guards were clearly wrong. As I wrote, the text in some languages did imply as much and we are not talking about an individual one-off mistake but potentially about a systematic interpretation of the rules that might have impacted a number of people before anyone fought it in court.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 27, 2017 at 6:09
  • I don't know whether Timatic reflected it at the time but if you give any weight to the interpretation on the ground and secondary sources like that, then it was a case if being effectively prohibited from using a passport in an old passport.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 27, 2017 at 6:13
  • Ok, assuming this was the case, is there at least one country that currently disallows people with visas in old passports? We certainly know that all major visa issuers (China, Schengen, US, UK) are fine with it as of now.
    – JonathanReez
    Apr 27, 2017 at 6:15

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