Brexit For Members

Brexit: Can British residents in Norway stop their passports from being stamped? 

Frazer Norwell
Frazer Norwell - [email protected] • 15 Apr, 2022 Updated Fri 15 Apr 2022 08:55 CEST
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Is there anything that can be done to prevent Norwegian border officials from stamping your passport? Pictured is a passport. Photo by ConvertKit on Unsplash

The passports of British residents in Norway are being stamped by border police, even when residence cards are presented. So, can anything be done to prevent this?

What's happening at the Norwegian border?

British nationals in Norway who have legal residence in Norway are having their passports stamped at the border, even when they shouldn't be. 

Due to Brexit, British nationals who are not residents of an EEA country will need to have their passports stamped when entering and leaving the EEA. Those without residence are limited to stays of up to 90 days every 180 within the Schengen zone, of which Norway is a member, and stamps help keep track of this. 

Those who can prove they have legal residence at the border mustn't have their passports stamped. Despite this, Brits in Norway are still having their passports stamped, even when presenting proof of residence. This can make it look as if they may be overstaying the limit put on Schengen visits post-Brexit. 

The Norwegian Police Directorate, responsible for police at Norway's borders, told The Local that border officers stamped passports as a precaution if they were unsure of the proper procedure

Can anything be done to stop this? 

The Norwegian Police Directorate has advised that UK nationals should "bring the appropriate documentation when crossing the border".

However, British nationals may roll their eyes at this advice as many who have crossed the Norwegian border have had their passports stamped even when they've presented their residence card. 

Some readers who have previously been in touch with The Local about passport stamping have said that they have tried explaining why their passports shouldn't be stamped while presenting their documents, including residence permits, to border officials with mixed results. 

"I've been through passport control on many occasions – sometimes they stamp, sometimes they don't. I always show my residence card! I've tried to argue when they try to stamp – but they never listen," Nigel got in touch with The Local previously to say. 

"On one occasion, I was travelling with my British wife – She was stamped, I was not. We used different passport desks. On another occasion, my wife argued with the passport officer – who asked her colleague. The colleague said, 'of course, you don't stamp'. The training/information/routines are not consistent," Nigel added. 

Ultimately, you may have your passport stamped regardless of whether you present the proper documentation and make a case for why it shouldn't be stamped. For many, whether they have their passport stamped will depend on the officer they meet at the border. 

Does it matter? 

Many will be wondering what effect having their passport stamped will have, considering that there seems to be little that can be done to prevent it. 

Luckily, having your passport stamped incorrectly won't have any negative impacts, provided you carry your residence permit when you travel. 

Your residence card proves you have legal residence, trumping any passport stamps. 

The UK government website that issues advice for living in Norway, also says that passport stamping shouldn't be an issue

"If a passport is stamped, the stamp is considered null and void when you can show evidence of lawful residence," the government has said on its website.

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Frazer Norwell 2022/04/15 08:55

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