So, your passport is about to expire. No worries: we at Travel Visa Pro can assist you, whether you need one in a hurry or there’s plenty of time until your next trip. But what should you do once you actually have that new passport smell under your nose? There may be a few things you’ve failed to consider.
Your new passport won’t be valid until you take a pen and sign that page with your John Hancock. Obviously, you should check that all the information on the document is accurate; although they are double and triple checked, sometimes things fall through the cracks. If you don’t plan to move in the next ten years, go ahead and fill out the appropriate address.
2. Update Personal Information for Travel
Your new passport, without exception, will have a new number, expiration date, issue date, etc. The only thing that remains the same is your name and birthday. Some airline websites keep your passport information recorded and automatically forward it to carriers when you book a flight. By the same token, some international ferry and train tickets require information like your passport number be received in advance; getting a new passport book can mean these tickets are now invalid, and may have to be reissued.
3. Transfer Visas
If you’re currently holding a long-term visa or even if you recently applied for a tourist visa, all these documents need to be transferred to the new passport. This means returning to the consulate or embassy of each respective country (or local immigration office, if you’re living abroad) and requesting that service; US passport agencies cannot legally transfer visas. Usually there’s a fee for this service as well.
4. Protect Your Data
US Passports are actually quite sensitive machines: bend the cover too much or get it wet and you may need a replacement. In addition, all are equipped with RFID (radio frequency identification). Though this makes it much easier to get through immigration faster, there have been some concerns about security, most of which can be alleviated by investing in an RFID-blocking passport cover.
5. Keep it Safe
Getting a replacement passport isn’t cheap, and if yours is stolen, abroad or at home, chances are it’s going to be at a time when you need it the most, resulting in hefty fees and time lost. Even when you’re in another country and required to keep international identification on you at all times, be mindful of your surroundings.