If you travel frequently, you may be eligible for a second passport – here’s how to go about getting one.
Some visas can take up to 30 working days (see Visas: Access granted) and many countries may not allow access to those who have travelled to a “hostile nation”, meaning you don’t want that stamp in your passport. Therefore, the need for a second passport is becoming more commonplace.
It is possible to get a second passport, but they are not readily available. Follow our step-by-step guide on how to apply.
Note: This passport is not a replacement or a renewal; both passports are valid.
1. Check if you are eligible
You must be aged 16 or over and have a valid reason for needing a second passport, though it is not guaranteed that with one, your application will be accepted.
You must provide a letter from your employer when submitting the application, stating why you need a second passport. If you want to query your eligibility, call the Passport Advice line on 0300 222 0000 (Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, or 9am to 5.30 pm on weekends and bank holidays).
2. Pick up an application form
Your local Post Office will have a passport application form – fill this out as if it is your first passport that you are applying for.
When answering questions on whether this is your first passport or not, answer with ‘Second Passport Application’, and put the same in the “additional information” section.
You will also need to provide:
- A counter signature from a non-related individual who you have known for at least two years, and that works in a recognised profession.
- Two passport photos, one of which must be signed by your counter-signatory.
- A signed letter from your employer (someone senior, such as a director or manager) explaining why you require the second passport. This letter must provide evidence that the requirement is not a one-off; the passport agency will not grant second passports in these instances.
Scans, faxes or photocopies of these documents are not allowed, neither are electronic signatures.
You will have to pay the same fee that is required for a first passport. The price can vary but it is usually around £80. You can pay this by cash, cheque or by filling out the credit/debit card form at the back of the application.
The fee is non-refundable, even if your application is rejected.
4. Wait for a reply
Once you have sent off your application, you can track its status online. You must wait three weeks before you can track its progress.
When your application has been processed, supporting documents (eg birth certificate) will be returned to you free of charge via second-class post. If you are successful, your passport will follow.
Same day service?
If you need a second passport in a hurry, you can use the Passport Office’s same day service. You will need to make an appointment at the embassy by calling the Passport Advice line, and attend that appointment with documentation ready. If your application is accepted, your passport should be ready no more than four hours from the end of your appointment.
Tips for securing a successful application
Be prepared: Make sure all documentation is correct and send the application off with plenty of time.
Check your eligibility carefully: Consider whether a second passport is essential to you. As a passport lasts for ten years, second passports are for those who travel frequently enough to fill their first with stamps and visas within half or a third of this time.
Megan Grace Hill