I recently acquired a second valid US passport. Here is everything you need to know about a second passport.

Features of a Second Passport:

  1. It functions just like any ordinary US passport.
  2. It is only valid for two years.

Reasons To Get A Second Passport:

  1. Diplomatic Disputes and Political Tension. You may not want countries know that you have visited certain other countries. The best known example of this is the Arab League boycott of Israel. If you have evidence of having visited Israel (an Israeli passport stamp, an Israeli security sticker, or entry/exit stamps from certain Egyptian/Jordanian land borders), you will most likely be denied entry into numerous Arab countries such as Lebanon or Kuwait. Another example is the dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. Azerbaijan will deny you entry with evidence of having visited the disputed territory. By getting a second passport, you can travel to both sides of the dispute without issue.
  2. Visa Processing. Oftentimes when applying for a visa, the embassy or consulate will take your passport for a period of time. This can last up to a few months. A second passport allows you to travel internationally during that period. This is why I got my passport – my Spanish student visa takes a month to process, but during that time I am planning to visit Guatemala.

Invalid Reasons To Get a Second Passport:

  1. You are forgetful and may lose your passport.
  2. Your passport is about to expire. In that case, you would apply for a replacement.
  3. You are running out of space in your passport. In this case, you would apply for a replacement.

How to Apply:

  1. Fill out the DS-82 form, which is used to renew your passport.
  2. Obtain all the documents needed to renew your passport (this includes your current valid passport)
  3. Write a letter or statement explaining the need for a second passport.
  4. Mail documents to the US Passport Authority.
  5. Wait and hope they accept your application.
  6. Receive your passports. NOTE: The two passports will come in two separate packages and could arrive on different days.

Other Things to Know:

  1. Make sure to enter/leave a country using the same passport. Otherwise, you might be criminally tried for illegally entering the country.
  2. The second passport has a different passport number from your original passport.


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