2nd Passport: Do You Really Need a second US Passport?
With all the paperwork and bureaucratic hassle it is to get one travel document, why would anyone even want a 2nd US passport? For frequent travelers, it’s a matter of practicality. For those visiting countries that have poor relations with each other, it may be the only way you’re granted entry.
2nd US Passport for Visa Seekers
Let’s say you’re traveling to China during one of the three major holiday periods, the largest migrations of people on earth. Naturally, hotels, train stations, and airports will be full to the brim with travelers waving passports and tickets. You’re on a tight schedule and would rather apply for your visa to Vietnam before checking into your comfortable hotel room.
Have you spotted the problem? If you turn your US passport over to the Vietnamese Consulate for your visa, you’ll be unable to check into your hotel, not to mention run the risk of traveling without some form of international ID. In this case, a second US passport is a necessary expense for the peace of mind that comes from knowing even if your visa application is delayed, you’ll have a backup travel document capable of getting you to next destination.
2nd US Passport for Israel
Although this option doesn’t strictly apply for travelers to Israel, having an Israeli stamp in any passport can cause Americans to be denied entry to other countries in the Middle East. Some countries bypass this by having their immigration checkpoints simply stamp a piece of paper and place it inside passports (in previous years, Cuba and now Israel), but unless you’re completely uncertain this will happen, you had better expect a stamp that has the potential to cause problems.
Fortunately, an application for a second US passport may be accepted if you can prove you’ll be traveling to one or more of these countries. By keeping the controversial stamp in one document and presenting another to immigration, you’re sneakily – but legally – traveling like a pro.
Sounds great! How can I get one?
The application process for a second US passport is the same for those applying for a new one. However, while your primary passport is valid for a decade, the second passport is only valid for four years.
Do you currently have two US passports? How are they working for you?