My British Passport was almost rendered useless. It was the umpteenth time I had been questioned by the Israeli authorities. It was high time I had a second passport. Otherwise Israeli border control may detain me…
“Sir, why were you in Dubai?? Who were you with?? What was your purpose??”
It was another 10-minute interrogation I didn’t want to encounter again. I felt victimized.
I was actually in Dubai to play golf and buy gold, but that’s by the by.
What is a Second Passport For?
If you travel for business in politically unstable countries (and you have some dubious stamps), then a second passport can pull you out the proverbial sh!t.
Here are the 5 reasons why you should have a second passport:
- It’s convenient for extensive visa processing (where the visa is kept in the embassy for a number of days) and you need to travel elsewhere on a second passport
- To reiterate above, it’s valuable for business in various politically diverse countries. For example, you potentially require two passports for traveling in the Middle East. i.e. you cannot travel to Lebanon with an *Israeli stamp and you can’t travel to Israel with a Dubai stamp.
*Note: Israel no longer stamp passports.
- If you lose a passport/ it gets stolen, then a second passport can act as an emergency whilst you apply for another one
- Ensures visa-free travel (hence more freedom and peace of mind) if you secure a second passport from a more prosperous/ politically stable country.
- If you have a second passport from another country, you can also invest, bank and reside in that 2nd country.
Can You Have 2 Passports in the UK?
Yes. You can apply for a second British Passport. Please note, this is a totally different passport with its unique passport number.
9 Steps in How to Get a Second Passport (British)
1. You need to convince the British passport office that you’re a frequent business traveler i.e you apply for various business visas. Or, you travel to countries with political unrest.
If you encounter any of these two situations, then do take advantage of obtaining a second passport. As you’re unlikely to obtain a second passport to go backpacking/ holiday in dubious countries.
2. Apply online or through one of the passport interview centers in the UK, to make your appointment. You can choose from a number of locations in Great Britain. I chose Liverpool in particular.
3. Ensure you apply for a ‘1st adult passport’ and highlight you don’t want to cancel your existing passport.
4. There are a number of items the passport office requires, as proof of your British Citizenship.
- Certificate of Registration
- Birth Certificate
- Current UK Passport
- Passport Application Form
5. You also need a second passport request letter on headed paper. A person in a high profile position can draft one for you. From expertise, the Director of my client (very famous pharmaceutical company) wrote one on my behalf. They basically explain why it’s necessary and justify its needs.
Without the 2nd passport, I could potentially be detained by Israeli border control. Hence, unable to enter the country and serve my client.
6. You then require gathering 2 signatures of friends/ professionals you’ve known for at least 10 years. The application form/ pack will provide more detail.
7. Obtain two quality passport photos (signed on the back from your long-standing friends/ professionals).
8. Turn up for your appointment in time, with all the required paperwork and photos.
9. All going well, you should have your second British passport within a few hours.
Plan a Strategy For Your Two Passports
If I had to give some advice, plan well ahead with your stamps/ visas. It will make your life/ travel easier. And you can take advantage of some unique travel.
For instance, on one passport I have a 10-year American tourist visa. A few months later (after being issued with the US tourist visa), I was accepted for a long-term project in the Russian Federation.
Where do you think those Russian business visas are going to live? Alas, the beauty of two separate passports.
You now understand, that by obtaining a second passport, you spread your political risk. It takes a bit of legwork and good timing on your behalf i.e. you need to be in a particular situation, to be eligible to apply for a second passport.
Ultimately, it brings peace of mind, business/ project opportunities overseas and freedom to explore some incredible countries you may have otherwise had trouble entering…
Now I would like to hear from you.
Do you have any experience from attaining a second passport?
Have you encountered any horror stories traveling on the one passport to risky countries?
Let us know in the comments…