United States: State Department offering second passports with longer validity

Key points:

  • The change will benefit U.S. citizens who hold two passports, as they will not have to renew their second passports as frequently.
  • Second passports are valuable to some international travelers, as they enable individuals to travel while a visa application is under review (during which time their primary passport is typically in the possession of a consulate). Furthermore, a second passport can be useful for individuals with travel plans to a country that will deny a visa or entry if the traveler’s passport contains entry stamps or visas issued by certain other countries.

Background: U.S. citizens can apply for second passports at passport agencies or U.S. embassies or consulates abroad. Issuance of a second passport is not automatic and applicants must provide a justification for the second passport, including because stamps in their passport would bar entry into another country or because their passport has been submitted to a consulate for visa processing.