All photos courtesy of Standard News Photos
BELGRADE, Serbia–I was recently in Belgrade, Serbia. I arrived by train in Belgrade from Zagreb, Croatia. I noticed that the Croatian stamp went onto one of the last pages in the back. My passport was getting filled up with stamps and I was running out of free pages.
When you cross a border from one county to another, you are subject to passport control. Usually you will get two stamps: one stamp from the country you are exiting and one stamp from the country you are entering. The stamps are various sizes; some are smaller and some are larger. Sometimes you will need a visa, which is usually a paper stamp that’s glued onto a page.
Now when you are first issued a U.S. passport, it’s good for ten years, and your original U.S. passport has 24 pages for visas and the entry and exit stamps. If you travel a lot, all of the pages in your passport will eventually get filled with stamps, and there is no room for more stamps.
I don’t know what the consequences are if there is no room for a stamp. Perhaps they would just stamp over an old stamp? Could you be denied entry? It probably depends on how the passport control officer is feeling that day. But I’d rather not take the chance. So what to do?
Adding More Pages to you Passport
Here’s what to do. Go to the U.S. embassy or consulate , which you would normally find in the capital city of every country. You can look it up on google. Find the main entrance, which is usually well guarded, and go inside. You probably have to go through a metal detector. There is usually tight security at U.S. Embassies.
Tell them that you need to add more pages to your passport. This is one of the services provided by the embassy staff. The fee is $82, which you can charge to a credit card. They take VISA and other cards.
I googled “U.S. Embassy Belgrade” and got an address and map. The U.S. Embassy in Belgrade is located at 50 Knjez Milosa street, which was a 15 minute walk from where I was staying. So I headed down to the U.S. Embassy. I went inside and told them I needed more passport pages. The man behind the glass told me to sit in the waiting room, which was not crowded at all. It was air-conditioned and there was a big flat-screen TV to watch.
I was called after about 15 minutes. I had to fill out a form, pay the $82 fee and hand over my passport. Ten minutes later, I got my passport back with a bunch of new visa pages that were glued between pages 22 and 23. From start to finish, less than 30 minutes. Very speedy service from the U.S. embassy staff in Belgrade.
Now I’m all set for another few years travel until I will have to renew my passport.