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Passport checked between countries?

Does anyone know if your passport (USA) is checked and stamped when traveling between countries like Croatia to Hungary to Austria to Italy to Malta, etc. etc? I am thinking of flying to Zagreb (cheap airfare from the US) and just traveling around Europe. Not exactly sure where I am going yet, but know I would like to go to Budapest, and eventually to Malta via Italy. I don't have a lot of pages in my passport so I don't know if I should get new passport now, or be ok with the 5 pages I have. I know when I went from Spain to Portugal and back no one checked my passport and it didn't get stamped.

Thanks!

Posted by
15829 posts

From Croatia, not a member of the Schengen Treaty Zone, to Hungary, which is, you will get your passport checked and stamped. But since Austria is also a Schengen country, you'll just see a sign, "Welcome to Austria" perhaps. Same Austria to Italy. I think you will have to fly to get to Malta, but it will just be like a domestic flight. Your passport will be checked, but only to see that it is you and matches the name on the boarding pass.

Posted by
1529 posts

Assuming you are American, here are the US State Department information for Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Malta, Italy. They all list the details.

Note the validity requirements. You mention how many pages you have in your passport, but if you have at least six months left before expiration ( a requirement for Schengen countries).

Posted by
5022 posts

It would help if you listed your country of nationality as well as country of residency, that makes a big difference for even a first border crossing. I say this because you note your location as Spain in your profile, so we can add in how long you might have been "in-country" as well.

That said, passport stamps should not be an issue, valid passport or need for a visa may.

Posted by
12195 posts

Hi,

Going between Hungary and Austria you won't even be asked to show your passport. My last experience is a bit dated, ie, in 2015 when the controller came around, only Hungarians were asked to produce their passports.

Tourists like me, obvious to the controllers, were ignored regarding the passport check. In 2010 my first experience crossing this Austro-Hungarian border, my passport was checked but no stamp.

Posted by
12212 posts

Do keep in mind, that in Hungary and many (all?) of the old Russian occupied countries that the carrying of your passport at all times is a legal requirement.

Posted by
41 posts

If you are taking the train from Hungary to Austria, you will be required to show a passport to Austrian officials.
We did not have to show passports on the return trip.

Posted by
4219 posts

Christy - I think you have old info. This isn't the case in recent times and was only during the migrant crisis. As Austria and Hungary are both Schengen countries, there is no passport control at this border. That said, officials do have the right to check passports at any time pretty much anywhere.

Posted by
996 posts

As long as you have six months viability on your passport, 5 pages should be fine with the above listed countries. Travel within the Schengen countries doesn't get a stamp any longer. But your passport can be checked at any time during a border crossing, so make sure that it's available for those moments!

If you take multiple trips outside the Schengen zone? That may change the number of pages you need free.

Posted by
41 posts

Emily- that's good to know, thank you! This was our experience last summer. Once we crossed into Austria, officials boarded the train and asked for passports from all passengers.

Posted by
55 posts

To piggyback on this post: The State Dept link says 1 page per stamp. Does ths mean same page for in and out of one country or 1 page in and 1 page out. Quite honestly, we have never bothered to look at the stamps and we have travelled quite a bit. On looking I see pretty much a helter skelter approach to the stamps....

Also wondering if this shutdown impacts getting new passports?

Thank you.

Posted by
12195 posts

That depends on the guy doing the stamping.

You may have the "in" stamp on one page (say it's empty, except for that one "in " stamp. Then the guy stamping the "out" stamp may do that on the same page but not necessarily. S/he could stamp the 'Out" on another page. I always look at the stamps to see if I got good clear stamp.