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Travel with Residence Card - Success Stories

Immigration to European countries, don't post UK or Ireland related topics!

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guido
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Post by guido » Sun Oct 28, 2012 8:36 pm

EUsmileWEallsmile wrote:@guido, this thread may interest you.
Many thanks for pointing this out to me EUsmileWEallsmile.

I might as well share a story..

I have traveled with my wife three times to Amsterdam (air travel) when she still had her "Residence Card of a Family Member of an EEA National" (EEA2 route). The first two times we did not have any issues, but on the third time..

When we approached the immigration officer in Amsterdam the first thought that crossed my mind was "Cr*p, you forgot to take your marriage certificate". "Ah well", I thought,"It went alright the previous two times!" When the immigration officer looked at my wife's Residence Card he seemed unsure what it exactly was. I tried my best to explain to him on what grounds my wife was permitted to enter The Netherlands. He seemed to recall something similar as he was completing some of my sentences. He turned to his colleague, holding up my wife's passport, to seek a last reassurance it seemed and asked, in a confirmation seeking way, "she is alright to enter right?" His colleague turned, had a glance at her Residence Card and replied "Nah, that is for the UK only".. my heart sank..

Luckily the immigration officer was not convinced by his colleague's reply and very kindly asked us to follow him in order for him to make a phone call to his supervisor. When he got off the phone the first thing he asked was "do you have a marriage certificate on you?" .. Arghh.. "No" I replied "I usually do, but this time I forgot". He asked what the purpose of our visit was and I explained to him that a relative had passed away and we were here to attend his funeral. He rang his supervisor again and came back after five minutes and said "thats fine". RELIEVE!

He wished us luck and give his condolences and we were on our way.

The immigration officer was very polite throughout and very helpful. It also seemed to help that my wife already had a old Schengen Visa in her passport, some previous entry/exits stamps and a old stamp she received from a local Dutch police station, which we had to get the first time she entered The Netherlands a while ago (I cannot remember what the exact reason for that was, I think it said in a accompanying letter after the first time she got a Schengen Visa).

ice_172003
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Post by ice_172003 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:17 pm

well it's reassuring that other did go with ryanair and more or less managed to get in without problems. Me (polish) and my husband (turkish with RC of EEA Family member) are going home to my parents for Xmas but i brought ticket very last minute normally i get visa for him just for my peace of mind but it was too late this time to get it (didn't know i will be off for xmas) anyway now I'm all worried what am i going to do if ryanair refuse him boarding or even worse Polish authorities will. Should i carry print out of directive with me as well or only our marriage certificate also do i need english translation of our marriage certificate or polish original will be enough???

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:40 am

sylvia532 wrote

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone on this forum had experience travelling to Spain with their EU spouse on the UK Residence Card without previously obtaining Shengen Visa.

I am an EU national and my husband is a non-EU national (he holds a Residence Card). In 2009 we called the Spanish Embassy to ask whether or not my husbands needs to apply for a visa when travelling with me to Spain for a week holiday. The man replied (very abruptly) that he DOES need a visa even when travelling with me because 1. the UK is not a Shengen country and 2. my husband holds a Pakistani passport. I felt at that point that it can't be correct but we decided to go to Greece instead (Greece embassy confirmed that he does not need the visa when travelling with me to Greece).

I checked the Spanish Embassy website a few days ago and this is what I found:
6. Under Directive 2004/38/EC and according to Real Decreto 240/2007, 16 February, family members of an EU/EEA national in possession of a valid UK Residence Card specifying its condition as a family member do not require a visa to enter Spain when travelling with the EU/EEA National or joining him/her in Spain. Otherwise, a visa will be still required (Real Decreto 1161/2009, 10th July 2009). For spouses and/or children of Spanish Nationals the above condition applies provided that the marriage and/or birth is registered according with the Spanish Civil Register (original Libro de Familia). Please note, that the UK Residence Permit must state literally that the holder is a family member of an EU/EEA National. If not, a visa is required.

I understand that this update on the embassy website means we're ok to travel to Spain without a Shengen visa. Does anyone agree? Has anyone entered Spain on a UK Residence Card?

Would be grateful to anyone who shares their experiences

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:51 am

EUsmileWEallsmile wrote:sylvia532 wrote

Hi everyone,

I was wondering if anyone on this forum had experience travelling to Spain with their EU spouse on the UK Residence Card without previously obtaining Shengen Visa.

I am an EU national and my husband is a non-EU national (he holds a Residence Card). In 2009 we called the Spanish Embassy to ask whether or not my husbands needs to apply for a visa when travelling with me to Spain for a week holiday. The man replied (very abruptly) that he DOES need a visa even when travelling with me because 1. the UK is not a Shengen country and 2. my husband holds a Pakistani passport. I felt at that point that it can't be correct but we decided to go to Greece instead (Greece embassy confirmed that he does not need the visa when travelling with me to Greece).

I checked the Spanish Embassy website a few days ago and this is what I found:
6. Under Directive 2004/38/EC and according to Real Decreto 240/2007, 16 February, family members of an EU/EEA national in possession of a valid UK Residence Card specifying its condition as a family member do not require a visa to enter Spain when travelling with the EU/EEA National or joining him/her in Spain. Otherwise, a visa will be still required (Real Decreto 1161/2009, 10th July 2009). For spouses and/or children of Spanish Nationals the above condition applies provided that the marriage and/or birth is registered according with the Spanish Civil Register (original Libro de Familia). Please note, that the UK Residence Permit must state literally that the holder is a family member of an EU/EEA National. If not, a visa is required.

I understand that this update on the embassy website means we're ok to travel to Spain without a Shengen visa. Does anyone agree? Has anyone entered Spain on a UK Residence Card?

Would be grateful to anyone who shares their experiences
The law changed and Spain accepts residence cards from all EU and EEA states.

sylvia532
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Post by sylvia532 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:18 pm

Thanks EUsmileWEallsmile for your reply!!
We're planning to travel to Spain Lanzarote in the first week of February.
So far, we've been to Greece (Rhodes) in 2009 and Cyprus in 2012 on UK Residence Card without a visa.

I would like to share my experiences. I must admit that travelling to Rhodes was a bit of a nightmare but we eventually managed to enter Rhodes. We flew from Glasgow and fortunately did not experience any problems when leaving the UK. Problems started when we got off the plane in Rhodes. The immigration officer looked first at my passport (Polish) and told me to go through despite me telling him that my husband and I are travelling together and I'd prefer to wait for him. He said that he can't let my husband through as he doesn't have a Shengen visa. I then showed the immigration officer information we had obtained from the Greek embassy clearly stating that my husband does not need a visa to enter Greece. He looked at it and laughed as the info was in English and he couldn't read English. I showed him our marriage certificate and he requested to see the proof of booked accomodation and return flights which I did show him. Despite all that we were taken to a small room where several officers were looking for info on their computer database. At that point I was fuming! Informed them that I demand their names if they refuse to let us in as I'm intending to make a complaint. Finally, a senior officer turned up with a big smile on his face and let us through. It was so good to speak to a polite individual who actually knew what we're talking about. They of course stamped my husband passport but at that point I had no energy to argue with them, I was just happy they let as go. ON our way back we did not encounter enormous obstacles, however, the officer took agggeeesss checking the RC and kept waving my husband's passport and shouting to other officers in Greek "Pakistani passport". Very strange and unpleasent experience. He also stamped my husband's passport. We travelled to Rhodes in 2009 so I hope the immigration officers have been given some training since....

We then travelled to Cyprus in April this year. Didn't encounter major problems, although we held up the queue a few times as the officers tended to take their time when checking my husband's passport and RC. Surprisingly, the only time I got annoyed was back in the UK! My husband was asked to fill out a landing card by a women who was telling each person in th queue when to come up to the immigration officer's desk (don't really understand what was her role there as anybody knows that you wait until the immigration officer is free in order to come up and show him/her your travelling documents). My husband filled out the landing card and we came up to the desk where I mentioned that he shouldn't have been asked to fill it out. The immigration officer looked at me very amused, pointed at my husband's Pakistani passport and said "with this he has to fill it out". Then thought for a second and said "unless he has the Residence Cad". I said this is exactly what he has. She then changed her attituded and politely said that the person who asked my husband to fill the landing card has no idea about immigration rules. I ignored her comment and we went through. Until this day I don't know what is the point of having that oblivious woman working there and deviding the queue (or whatever she was doing).

This is my experience. I'm hoping that our holiday in Spain will be stress free and that we come across immigration officers and airline staff aware of EU legislation. I will write about my experience.

craxy1102
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Post by craxy1102 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:29 am

Hey guys,

Just wanted to share a experience with you with travelling with my EEA2 for the very first time.

I was travelling with my wife to Germany for Christmas. I did not have time to apply for the German visa, so me and my wife tried to enter Germany on the account that I was a spouse of a EEA national, entering for a short stay in the country.

WHILE LEAVING THE UK
================
The airline told us that we are boarding the flight on our own risk, as they were not aware of any rule that a non-EEA could enter a EEA country without a visa. (Even though the embassy said we could) I told the lady, we would take our chances.
While entering Germany, my wife was quizzed a little bit, but no major hurdles and we entered Germany without a problem. We showed him our two passports and marriage certificate.

WHILE ENTERING BACK INTO UK
======================
While leaving Germany, the custom officer stopped us for a long time, trying to determine why I was in the country without a visa, and why was my passport not stamped when I entered the country. He also said he had never seen a EEA2 RC ever in his life, and then he went on to take the passport to his colleague, and they whispered a little bit, and he said he had never seen this type of UK RC before, but his colleague confirmed it was legit. He then asked my wife a few questions, etc.
When entering UK, ofcourse there were no problems.

Hope this helps.
===================
EEA2 application sent: 22/07/2012
EEA2 Application received : 23/07/2012
Sent 1 letter and 1 phone call in mid-September
COA: 16/10/2012 (Dated 11th October 2012)
RC Recieved : 13/12/2012 (Dated 28/11/2012)

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:24 pm

craxy1102 wrote:Hey guys,

Just wanted to share a experience with you with travelling with my EEA2 for the very first time.

I was travelling with my wife to Germany for Christmas. I did not have time to apply for the German visa, so me and my wife tried to enter Germany on the account that I was a spouse of a EEA national, entering for a short stay in the country.

WHILE LEAVING THE UK
================
The airline told us that we are boarding the flight on our own risk, as they were not aware of any rule that a non-EEA could enter a EEA country without a visa. (Even though the embassy said we could) I told the lady, we would take our chances.
While entering Germany, my wife was quizzed a little bit, but no major hurdles and we entered Germany without a problem. We showed him our two passports and marriage certificate.

WHILE ENTERING BACK INTO UK
======================
While leaving Germany, the custom officer stopped us for a long time, trying to determine why I was in the country without a visa, and why was my passport not stamped when I entered the country. He also said he had never seen a EEA2 RC ever in his life, and then he went on to take the passport to his colleague, and they whispered a little bit, and he said he had never seen this type of UK RC before, but his colleague confirmed it was legit. He then asked my wife a few questions, etc.
When entering UK, ofcourse there were no problems.

Hope this helps.
Thanks for posting this success story.

What airline did not recognise the residence card? The main thing was that you boarded.

The German IO on entry was correct not to stamp your passport. The IO on leaving was not correct to hold you up.

It is worth noting that one never needs an exit visa (see article 4 of directive).

Good to see that you didn't have any issues entering the UK.

craxy1102
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Post by craxy1102 » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:58 am

it was lufthansa
===================
EEA2 application sent: 22/07/2012
EEA2 Application received : 23/07/2012
Sent 1 letter and 1 phone call in mid-September
COA: 16/10/2012 (Dated 11th October 2012)
RC Recieved : 13/12/2012 (Dated 28/11/2012)

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:18 pm

craxy1102 wrote:it was lufthansa
Well, the main thing is that you boarded of course. I'm glad you stood your ground.

MarksGrace
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Post by MarksGrace » Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:32 pm

hi I just want to share my experience in using my RC a few times after receiving it... I got my RC last November 2012... as an UNMARRIED PARTNER OF AN EU (IRISH) NATIONAL...

First trip is to IRELAND... we were told by the Irish embassy that I needed a tourist visa to go to Ireland and they only accept RC's with "FAMILY MEMBERS OF EU NATIONAL" and to ask ukba if its the same with the RC that they issue, I was told by the ukba that it's the same, I would have applied for a visa to be sure but because of time restrictions we decided to rely on my RC... we drove to Ireland for xmas and surprise surprise NO IMMIGRATION OFFICER at the port not sure if they checked my passport when we handed our ticket though... going back was a breeze too passport was checked but all's ok.

Second trip is to BULGARIA around January 2013... we were held up at the check in desk by the easyjet staff who rang her supervisor to check if my RC is acceptable and was asked if my partner and I are travelling together ... which we are together with our son... we brought our sons' birth certificate just in case they ask for proof of our relationship... we were allowed to board the flight... in Bulgaria the immigration officer asked me LOADS of questions like where we're staying, for how long, what's the purpose of our stay and then STAMPED my passport with my return date to the UK as well... I knew he wasn't supposed to do that but with a tired baby I just didn't complain....

GOING BACK TO THE UK... A lady in Gatwick asked me to fill out a landing card because I am not EU... I filled out one but was told by the immigration officer that I don't need to do that in the future as long as my partner and I are travelling together.... :D

FEB 20 my son and I went home to the Philippines for a long holiday and we will go back to the UK with my now HUSBAND around June... I hope all goes well....

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:48 pm

@MarksGrace, Good stories, thanks for posting.

As an point of information, for the UK, you do not have to fill a landing card irrespective as to whether you are travelling alone or with partner. You have a residence card.

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:46 pm


too old
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Pakistan

Post by too old » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:05 pm

Thanks to all the members of the this thread who been posting and educating us about the whole process. would any one please shed some light on this, what if i am going back to my non EU home country alone with a residence card. will i need to prove to the airport officials on my way back to UK that who am i and how did i get my RC. ? does it matter if spend more than a month or any amount of time less than 6 months?

Thanks A lot

szandi1990
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Post by szandi1990 » Fri May 17, 2013 10:34 am

hi guys,

My husband hold a residence card, and I am a Hungarian citizen. We are planning to go and visit my family... Does he need a visa, or are we fine travelling?

Adel123
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Post by Adel123 » Sat May 18, 2013 3:32 pm

Hello all

I have read most of the posts regarding my situation, yet I am a bit confused.

I am a non EEA family member, I got my EEA2 Residence Card in my passport and I am married to my Belgian wife.

she will be in spain from 20 to 30 June. I can't spend 10 days in spain, so I am planning to go there somwhere between 20-30 (say 22-27 June)

so, do I need to apply for schengen visa ? what I am thinking of, is it considered as joining my wife, thus i can use my RC? can you guys please advise.

Thanks

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Sat May 18, 2013 4:11 pm

szandi1990 wrote:hi guys,

My husband hold a residence card, and I am a Hungarian citizen. We are planning to go and visit my family... Does he need a visa, or are we fine travelling?
You should be fine travelling, but complication if entering your own county may be that they want to see that you've lived in another member state first.

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Sat May 18, 2013 4:12 pm

Adel123 wrote:Hello all

I have read most of the posts regarding my situation, yet I am a bit confused.

I am a non EEA family member, I got my EEA2 Residence Card in my passport and I am married to my Belgian wife.

she will be in spain from 20 to 30 June. I can't spend 10 days in spain, so I am planning to go there somwhere between 20-30 (say 22-27 June)

so, do I need to apply for schengen visa ? what I am thinking of, is it considered as joining my wife, thus i can use my RC? can you guys please advise.

Thanks
In theory, there is nothing wrong with what you propose, but you may be expected to sow that you are joining spouse.

Adel123
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Post by Adel123 » Sat May 18, 2013 4:15 pm

would her tickets to spain, copy of her passport, marriage certificate and evidence of living together in the UK (bills ..etc) will suffice in your opinion? is there anything else I should show ? any EU laws..etc?

thanks a lot :)

EUsmileWEallsmile wrote:
Adel123 wrote:Hello all

I have read most of the posts regarding my situation, yet I am a bit confused.

I am a non EEA family member, I got my EEA2 Residence Card in my passport and I am married to my Belgian wife.

she will be in spain from 20 to 30 June. I can't spend 10 days in spain, so I am planning to go there somwhere between 20-30 (say 22-27 June)

so, do I need to apply for schengen visa ? what I am thinking of, is it considered as joining my wife, thus i can use my RC? can you guys please advise.

Thanks
In theory, there is nothing wrong with what you propose, but you may be expected to sow that you are joining spouse.

askmeplz82
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Post by askmeplz82 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 3:54 pm

EUsmileWEallsmile wrote:
Adel123 wrote:Hello all

I have read most of the posts regarding my situation, yet I am a bit confused.

I am a non EEA family member, I got my EEA2 Residence Card in my passport and I am married to my Belgian wife.

she will be in spain from 20 to 30 June. I can't spend 10 days in spain, so I am planning to go there somwhere between 20-30 (say 22-27 June)

so, do I need to apply for schengen visa ? what I am thinking of, is it considered as joining my wife, thus i can use my RC? can you guys please advise.



Thanks
In theory, there is nothing wrong with what you propose, but you may be expected to sow that you are joining spouse.

When i went to poland with my wife i had to apply for Schengen visa even though i had residence permit as family member of eu national

and i thought they don't stamp the passport in the airport but they did both entry and exit

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:00 pm

askmeplz82 wrote:
When i went to poland with my wife i had to apply for Schengen visa even though i had residence permit as family member of eu national

and i thought they don't stamp the passport in the airport but they did both entry and exit
What is wife's nationality? Who made you apply for the visa?

askmeplz82
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Post by askmeplz82 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 3:41 am

EUsmileWEallsmile wrote:
askmeplz82 wrote:
When i went to poland with my wife i had to apply for Schengen visa even though i had residence permit as family member of eu national

and i thought they don't stamp the passport in the airport but they did both entry and exit
What is wife's nationality? Who made you apply for the visa?

My wife is Polish. They said i need VISA even if i'm going with my WIFE together and hold EEA2 5 years resident permit .

Correction: entry and exit stamp in POLISH AIRPORT not UK

i thought they don't stamp in any EU country

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:24 pm

In general, EU citizens cannot benefit from directive 2004/38/ec in their own country. If, however, they lived in another member state, then they may in certain circumstances benefit.

It may be that the people who advised you to obtain a visa (you don't say who) were misinformed or had not got the whole picture.

Residence card holders do not have their passports stamped, but if you had a visa, they may not have noticed it.

thatluckyguy
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Shoddy experience at Genoa

Post by thatluckyguy » Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:15 am

Here is my situation in a nutshell :

My wife is a Polish citizen settled in UK for the last 7 years.
She has UK residency. I am an Indian citizen with an Indian passport.

We were married in London in Oct 2012. In May 2013 I moved permanently from India and joined my wife here in London and in June 2013 I applied for a UK residency card as a EEA spouse. I was promptly given a 5 year UK residency card by UKBA valid till 2018. The residency card clearly states " RESIDENCE CARD OF A FAMILY MEMBER OF A EEA NATIONAL"

5 days ago we booked a holiday to Italy (Genoa). Flying via Ryanair from London Stansted Airport to Genoa Airport in Italy and then back via the same route. My wife and I were traveling together on this holiday.

My younger brother works in Amsterdam and I may visit him in the future by myself. So while checking in at the Ryanair check in counter in London I asked the staff if, at a future date, I was flying Ryanair to a EU destination (likely Amsterdam), by myself and if my wife was NOT with me, would I be denied boarding? She said yes, Ryanair would NOT let me travel to a EU destination from UK if my wife did not accompany me on the trip.

Question : Was she right ? Can I not travel to a EU country by myself ?

Next, when we landed into Genoa airport, the lady at Genoa Passport Control saw my UK residence card and then STAMPED my passport with the date of entry. I then went to the Passport Control Office behind her desk where a few men in uniforms were looking important and busy and said 'This lady stamped my passport. My passport is not to be stamped as I have a UK residency card' and everyone became very aggressive and I could make out they were making racially insulting statements among themselves about me (I understand a bit of Italian and pretended not to then) and kept saying "You have Indian passport. We stamp Indian passports. Don't argue!" Even the seniors there joined in harassing me and did not let me finish a sentence. After about 10 minutes my wife was in tears and we decided not to argue and just head out of the airport.

When we left Genoa today (27/10/2013), another officer at departure passport control stamped my passport with the date of departure.

After this ugly little incident, as we were exiting the airport, a customs officer suddenly stopped us and questioned me on the purpose of my visit, how long we were going to be in Italy, how much funds I had and if I had any credit cards with me. He then took both my wife's and my passport and left and came back after 10 odd minutes and allowed us to leave. I felt very harassed by this, esp when I saw no one else stopped by this officer from the entire plane of 200+ people.

Question : Can I be stopped and questioned in this manner by officials in the EU at the airport ? What are my rights in this case ? What is my best recourse in such situations where we are being intimidated by people in uniform ?

I would really appreciate some clarity on these 2 questions as I am unsure what the EU law on these incidents are and any clarity will help tremendously.

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:53 pm

You need to be accompanying or joining EU family member in order to benefit from visa free travel.

Your passport should not have been stamped.

Ayyubi72
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Post by Ayyubi72 » Sat Nov 02, 2013 11:41 pm

Passport should not be stamped, but if it is stamped, its not the end of the world really, :wink: .

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