When a head of state visits another country, is his passport stamped?

When a head of state visits another country, is his (or her) passport stamped? (That is, those that do this, I mean.)

I know, a U.S. head of state (or high-ranking official) will be using a diplomatic passport, instead of the boring blue one the rest of us schlubs carry. Dunno if other countries use these; I assume many if not most do. So, are diplomatic passports stamped? Corollary question: If you have a diplomatic passport, do you still need a visa?

I have an image of Clinton, Albright, etc. (and now Bush, Powell, etc.) getting a new little book every month because the old one is completely full, and throwing that one into a box with a couple of dozen previously filled-up ones. Similarly, I wonder about when Arafat comes to visit the U.N. or whatever. I assume he gets preferential treatment (no standing in line), but does he still have to show his passport to somebody and get a little stamp when he arrives and departs?

(And as I ask that question, I wonder what passport Arafat carries, since, as I understand it, Israel hasn’t officially signed off on Palestine becoming its own nation yet. I can’t believe it, I’m hijacking my own thread in the OP. Sigh…)

I couldn’t find direct cites to support the claims I’m about to make, but I’m sure they’re out there. It’s worth what you paid for it in any case. :slight_smile:

Yes, heads-of-state have passports, and yes, they need visas. (I’m not sure if heads of state get diplomatic of “official” passports) A couple of years ago, there was a furor about the US State Department granting Castro a visa. In '98 or '99 when Clinton was on his $50 million whirlwind tour of Asia, there was some discussion about his visa paperwork and diplomatic passport, something about it being less a “diplomatic mission” and more a taxpayer funded junket. For world leaders and celebrities, some airports, like Heathrow, have special reception areas where I doubt the phrase “full body cavity search” is used much. The only way to get rid of a troublesome person with a diplomatic passport (and the accompanying immunity) is to revoke his/her visa. If I recall correctly the conventions that establish the current system of passports and visas were established by mutual agreeement in Vienna in the early '60’s. I hope that’s enough info to help you find more concrete answers.

But they don’t need work permits (at least not in Sweden) even though all the people accompanying them do (if they come from outside the EU, that is).

As a rule, Royalty doesn’t carry a passport. See here how QE2 sneaks through customs. :wink:

Not speaking for all other monarchies, but the situation in the Netherlands is comparable: Beatrix can pretty much enter any friendly nation on appearance alone.
Our Prime Minister, Wim Kok (::: waits for laughter to stop :::), carries a diplomatic passport as mentioned above. As does the entire ministerial staff.

Thanks for the useful information so far. (At least, I hope it’s “so far.” :wink: Rather not have yet another plummeting thread to my name, don’tcha know.) The visa thing for Castro rings a bell; thanks for the reminder. I bet, though, that they’re more anal about Castro than, say, Tony Blair.

So, other than continuing to wonder if procedures are strictly followed for heads of state (for example, does Clinton have a stamp for Vietnam?), I’m curious about what happens to these old passports. I mean, I figure they’re controlled documents, so it’s not like you could sell them as collectibles or anything, even if they’re expired. But some of them would have extraordinary historical interest in a symbolic sense: Wouldn’t it be cool to see Nixon’s passport (or better yet, Kissinger’s) from the years the U.S. was re-establishing a relationship with China?

(Still wondering about the Arafat thing, too.)