I will be traveling to Germany soon, my first time in Europe. I'm American and currently have 1.5 blank pages in my passport, which is otherwise completely full. I have read some places that 2 blank pages are required to enter the Schengen zone, but I'm not sure if this is true. Can anyone clarify this, and also advise me of any other considerations I should make regarding this? I am trying to decide if I should renew my passport before my trip. I plan to travel in Schengen for 3 months, and then 1-3 non-Schengen countries thereafter. Thank you for your help.
To get an official valid answer I would address that question to German embassy in your country.
Certain visas require two full pages, hence the requirement, but I’ll assume you are entering with a tourist visa and it’s possible to enter with less than two blank pages. Was able to enter with 1.5 pages left on my last passport 2 years ago (I also had 2 expired 2 page work visa in it so the border official was much more interested in that than the number of blank pages).
Since you plan on continuing on to an unknown number of counties (1-3) with unknown additional requirements I would recommend just getting it renewed if you have the time.
Delta sent me a reminder to have at least one blank page. Unlike your expiration date, no one on this side checks and makes a boarding judgement, so as long as there is plenty of room for an entry and exit stamp you will be fine.
Just a quick note on Schengen, since you brought it up.
You mention 3 months in Schengen. Do you know that it is 90 days, not 3 months? And that arrival and departure days count?
During your 1-3 non-Schengen country days, will you be returning to Schengen at all, even to change planes on the way home? If so, that counts too.
I do not know if this will help (it might): When we were close to running out of pages in our passports (back when we used to do three big trips a year), I very, very kindly asked if stamps, etc. could be put on pages that had already been used (but still had lots of blank space on the page). No one never said no. Most of the more recent stamps from our travels seem to not have as many cute images as the old ones, as many have gone more (seemingly) computer applied vs. the old rubber stamp/pad.
But, humorously, when we renewed our passports, we opted for the additional-pages model ............ I gotta tell you, it feels as though one is carrying an unabridged dictionary in the ole neck money wallet (okay, an exaggeration, I admit) !! VERY thick...duh, of course, more pages. But, seriously, where the standard passport has a bit of bend (flexibility) to it, the larger one does not. We are not traveling at the same pace now (we have a puppy now), so if I had a "do over," I would go with just the standard one.
If you have time to renew well before your trip, it might be worth it, just on the off chance you wind up in an additional country or two that you had not planned to visit......things happen! You will also have that renewal behind you, so you will be good to go for future trips.
I thought that you could get a replacement passport - not renewed - if the passport got full. Don't they still do that?
Thank you all for your replies, and for the helpful information about Schengen.
I'm specifically wondering if there is a Schengen rule that would require a visa-exempt, American tourist to have 2 blank pages in their passport in order to enter through Germany.
I deduce this is probably not the case, but I have read elsewhere that it is, so I just want to be sure. Can anyone answer this?
I think that MarkK in the first answer had the best suggestion if you want an absolute cast iron guarantee.
A sort of side point, the UK stopped using landing cards earlier this month, and at least one poster has reported the UK no longer stamps US passports, just uses electronic records. I would expect the Schengen Area to do the same soon, if they haven't already. That would remove any requirement for blank pages. And if your passport is not stamped, it doesn't fill up in the first place.
I wouldn't know if non-EU passports are stamped, as I have an EU passport which is never stamped in Europe and is frequently used but wonderfully empty.