Second Passport advice needed please

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This topic contains 24 replies, has 16 voices, and was last updated by  JohnnyG 25 Sep 2018
at 00:54

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  • JohnnyG

    Second passport advice needed please.

    My current passport runs out beginning of March 19, I have visas for Sierra Leone where I have just visited again. I intend to go out again in October. The visa runs until Feb 19 but for the Oct visit my passport has to have at least 6 months to run.
    I have been told I can renew my passport early and it will be fore 10 years and whatever months is left to run on the current one.
    As I have never had to have 2 current passport before what happens when I travel, I assume I have to show both, is that correct.
    Will I face any issues at LHR, CMN or FNA,
    Any help would be appreciated as the passport office is permanently engaged and I have received conflicting advice and there is nothing that I can find on Gov uk


    IIRC, when i last renewed a passport ‘early’, the original (current) passport was cancelled as soon as the new passport was issued, with the additional months from the previous passport simply added to the new passport – so you only have one valid/live passport at any one time.. that was a few years ago and things may now be different.


    The main issue I have is that the visa will be in the original one, if that was cancelled would I still be able to show it.


    and this from suggests that you carry the old passport for the visa which remains valid;

    “Unexpired visas
    Send your previous passport with the visa attached to it with your application. Your previous passport will be returned to you.

    You’ll be able to use the visa if you carry both passports”.


    “You’ll be able to use the visa if you carry both passports” – now there’s a statement…

    Without question, I would check with the country you are hoping the new passport will validate the visa in an expired passport. I am pretty sure, a USA visa can not be carried forward on an expired passport.

    There is no issue in having 2 UK passports, you only need a letter from your employer or professional advisor if self employed, explaining why you need a second passport and managing your visa situation is a valid reason.


    I would second Martyn’s suggestion to contact the Sierra Leone High Comission in London and I’d go further and ask them for a letter stating that you can travel with your new passport and your visa in your old passport and carry with you to the airport.

    Whilst I understand this is normal practice for many countries, you will have to pass some scrutiny at check in and a ‘computer says no/yes’ type assessment operated by someone who may or may not be familiar with the requirements for entry. The easiest decision for such a person to make is ‘no’, as it avoids a potential heavy fine on the airline if you were denied entry to Sierra Leone.

    Apart from the obvious inconvenience of missing your flight, the airline could take the view that you forfeited the ticket, too, by failing to present valid travel documents.

    I am looking at the worst case here (and it may be that you sail straight through without a problem), but given the potential impact on your journey, I believe a bit of proactive risk management is justified, since the possession of such a letter would be clear evidence that you had the right to enter and would reassure the airline. In risk management lingo, it is known as eliminating the risk.


    Just posted as a cautionary tale and in a separate reply, as this is not just for the OP.

    If you have two UK passports (per Martyn’s comment) be careful how you manage them. I’ve had two for years, for visa purposes (i.e. I can travel on one, whilst the other is being processed).

    Due to my mess up, a passport officer at Doha saw both mine and got very concerned, calling her superior, who took a quick look and said ‘don’t worry, they (UK) are allowed to have two, let him through’.

    She was embarrassed and apologised, but I felt bad for her and said don’t worry, you are protecting your country’s border and it’s better to be safe than sorry, which went down quite well.

    The point being it is easy to forget that different countries have different rules and wise to be careful and show only one passport.


    Certainly follow up Martyn’s suggestion with Sierra Leone.
    Previously had the same situation with an Oz visa and asked their Immigration who said the old visa in the (disused) passport was valid so carried both and no problem except the airline had to swipe the old passport to prove I had the visa.


    I concur with FDOS and the need to manage appropriately (being careful to use the same one in and out of a country).

    It is also useful if you travel to regions where some countries squabble with each other (I imagine entering Saudi with Qatari stamps in may be an issue at present (that needs sorting) & we won’t mention the other country) to keep one ‘clean’

    application for a second one is easy but pricey


    I currently have 2 UK passports. One is used primarily for travel to USA and Canada, and is kept clean. Also used for EU trips where no stamps are applied. My other well worn is my Visa passport, sent off for visas, and for visits to middle east or other such places. Used this once at Eurotunnel, and a keen eyed police officer noted my Saudi visa, he did not see until told it was an invite from MOD in Saudi. I am sure a US officer would make more of it if inclined.
    Just remember which one has your valid ESTA etc. A post it note on an empty page does the trick.
    Application for second is fairly simple, an employers letter is usually all that is required, and the fee.


    I was refused boarding a about 8 years ago on a QR flight to from T4 to CAN, check in insisted for China that i could not go with my China visa in a passport other than the one i was flying in. a lot of back and forth and eventually i could only get checked to Doha where they took the same stance but did move me onto a HK flight instead where i just crossed into China on foot. It was frustrating as hell but i did actually get into my China home about an hour faster !

    I have been using my old passport with China and Vietnam resident visas for past 9 months now and travelling on the new one and not had a problem


    Thanks everyone for your, as always, insightful suggestions.

    I will write to the SL High Commission, explain the situation and hopefully get a solution to the situation.

    I will let you know the outcome.

    Once again thanks


    I have a US visa in my old UK passport and so long as you carry both with you its fine. The main thing is to make sure you enter and leave a country on the same passport, which is only an issue if you have 2 valid passports or are a dual national with 2 different passports. I believe the main rule is that the visa validity is irrespective of the passport validity.


    (I imagine entering Saudi with Qatari stamps in may be an issue at present (that needs sorting) & we won’t mention the other country) to keep one ‘clean’

    I’ve entered the UAE and KSA post blockade, without any probs and my passport had Qatari visas in them (expired VOE singles).

    Recently, I did see a poor guy having histrionics as Etihad denied boarding at check in because he had a ticket from AUH to somewhere else, connecting to Doha. They wouldn’t budge, just said we will refund you our flight and you’re on your own.

    My ME colleagues make the journey via Oman, I’m unsure of the mechanics of ticketing.


    @ AST…..Israel are (or were) very accomadating re passport stamps. Immigration will stamp a removable piece of paper for passengers who would prefer not to have the stamp permanent.

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