When Two Passports Are Better Than One

August 26th, 2010 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on When Two Passports Are Better Than One

passportsHolding two passports calls to mind images of Matt Damon as Jason Bourne from the movie series shuffling through a handful of alternate identities as he runs and fights his way through Europe and part of America. Action thriller plots not withstanding, the truth is that there are instances when it might be beneficial for the world traveler to have a second passport.

Is this even legal? Absolutely. Unlike Mr. Bourne, who had a different passport for every country, we”re talking about multiple documents of the same nationality. There are a couple different instances we can think of where a second passport would be handy.

The first is be if you plan to travel through Asia, where they measure waiting times for visa issuance in years rather than weeks. When a series of visas are required to travel, the first one can literally begin expiring before the last one is approved. Having a second passport allows you to have two irons in the fire at once.

A second example is if you are in one foreign country (Russia) and decide to take a side trip to another (China). China requires you to leave your passport, sometimes for weeks, at the Chinese embassy in Russia while they decide if you are a threat to the very fabric of their society, and whether or not they should let you in. This makes it difficult to do things like rent or car or even travel freely in Russia while the Chinese anal exam proceeds. Got an extra passport? Problem solved.

American law makes it legal for you to apply for an additional passport called “second limited,” which expires after two years rather than the usual ten. Other than that, they”re both the same. The link below provides instructions to complete the process.

TravelDocs.com

The Jetsetter Team

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Flickr / drukelly

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