Tired of waiting for visa approvals? Get a second passport!

By Chris Chamberlin, November 22 2013

Australian business travellers may be surprised to learn that citizens can hold two Australian passports under certain circumstances.

Visa applications can involve a fair amount of waiting time, particularly if corresponding by snail mail – a second passport would allow round-the-clock travel, even during these times.

Consider this nightmare situation: your passport is out of your hands for a few days, and you receive that phone call.

The boss says you’re needed on the next flight to Auckland, Hong Kong or Los Angeles for an important business meeting, so if you only have one passport, you’re in hot water!

While you could try to reschedule or might consider begging the appropriate embassy or consulate for your passport back, if it’s also happened before, you might just have a stronger case for a ‘concurrent passport’ application.

Though an incredibly helpful tool, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advises that the “granting of a concurrent passport is to be very tightly controlled and only approved where all other options have been exhausted.”

Nevertheless, there are two main reasons that such a request could be considered.

As mentioned, travellers facing lengthy and/or costly delays when obtaining visas for other countries may be eligible, with concurrent passports to hold a maximum validity of three years when DFAT is provided with “no defined end of travel”.

Secondly, some countries won’t allow travellers to enter if their passport bears an entry stamp or visa from countries where diplomatic relations do not exist – an issue often plaguing travellers who have been to Israel.

Having a ‘clean’, unstamped passport might be your best bet in this situation, and is also a valid reason to apply.

Other exceptional circumstances may be assessed on a case-by-case-basis, with all applications for a concurrent passport carrying the full application fee of the existing passport type (Ordinary, Frequent Traveller or Emergency).

If this all sounds like too much effort, there’s always the option of an APEC business travel card, which avoids the need to apply for visas to many countries once approved.

Get the latest updates for business traveller and frequent flyers: follow @AusBT on Twitter.

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2011

Total posts 220

I doubt this happens to too many people but some countries WONT let you travel with two passports in your possesion, such as Saudi.
If they find the second passport on you then you are in a world of hurt.
This can mean having to travel to a place such as the Emirates and leaving one of your passports in a bank safe.

Dear DFAT,

I'm writing to request a concurrent passport to be used by Mossad to facilitate the "clean up" of our diplomatic quagmires in Russia, the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and other places yet to pose a problem to us. 

Yours sincerely,

Joe-Public-Ignorance Is Bliss


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Dec 2012

Total posts 65

TRB - Your letter above is a classic... Im still laughing and its been more than 5mins!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jan 2013

Total posts 3

I have been doing freelance work in the UAE and every 30 days have to go to Oman for a visa run. I have heard that Omani passport stamps are an issue going into the USA, can anyone tell me if that is true? If so is that grounds for a concurant passport?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 May 2012

Total posts 582

IATA's Timatic doesn't appear to list any issues upon entering USA when your passport has an Omani stamp in it.

Additionally, I flew from Muscat to Mexico City last April and then onto Dallas last May on a British passport with no issues.

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