Why have one passport when you can have two? Having a pair of passports could come in very handy indeed.
For example, if you get one nicked while you’re on holiday – the other one will be safe in the hotel’s safe. If you apply for other ID like a driving license, you can still gallivant across the globe while the DVLA drunkenly processes your form. And applying for visas will be stress-free, knowing you’ve still got a passport you can travel on while the other’s stuck in the post.
But how do you got about getting one? It might be easier than you expected…
Two UK passports
You can have a two UK passports at the same time. Not a lot of people know that because the Passport Office doesn’t publicise it very well. Or at all.
It’s called a “concurrent passport” and it’s fairly common for frequent business travellers to have one, for two reasons:
- You do travelling for work that requires you to apply for multiple visas
- You travel to “incompatible countries”
The first reason’s easy enough to explain. When you travel for work, you may need to apply for a permit to work in that country. It can take weeks. Weeks where your passport could be stuck in a pile of passports in another country’s Embassy. If you need to travel around the Earth for work that’s going to be a bit inconvenient.
The second reason “visiting incompatible countries” is almost laugh out loud ludicrous. Let’s say your itinerary has two countries who have fallen out with each other on it; Russia and Ukraine, for example. When you arrive at Moscow airport and the customs officers spy a recent Ukrainian stamp on your passport, you should rightly expect a sphincter tightening moment where burly, furry men appear and take you away for further questioning.
But, if you have two passports you can present them the one without the Ukrainian stamp. It will be smiles all round, pats on the back and an invitation to chug vodka, eat raw potatoes and watch the USA get thrashed in the football round their house later.
So, you can have two British passports, but how do you get them?
In Australia, there’s a special form to get a second passport, widely publicised and well documented. The UK, being the UK, doesn’t have any official guidelines on the process at all. Officialdom prefers that you guess what it is…
We’ve been able to “crowdsource” the information from people who have successfully applied for and got a second passport. In other words, we nicked it from the Internet.
You will need:
- To fill in a standard passport application form
- To add your existing passport number in the section marked “other passports”
- A letter explaining why you are applying for second passport – this should be from your employer if you’re applying for business purposes
- A full itinerary of the countries you are planning to travel to, listing when you’ll be travelling to them and in what order
We’ve uncovered several punters who’ve successfully used this method to apply for and get a second UK passport. If you’re at all worried you’ll be unsuccessful, you can call the UK Passport Office and ask them to walk through it with you. Alternatively, use the Post Office’s “Check and Send” service. With this, you’ll pay at the Post Office to have your documentation looked over before it’s sent off.
If your parents are Brits but you were born somewhere else (or the other way around), you may be entitled to a passport from both countries. The rules are complex, with some countries not allowing dual or multiple citizenship though. Pakistan only allows you to have dual-citizenship with a short-list of 13 other countries (including the UK, so, hurrah!). Germany, Austria and Spain all rescind your citizenship if you naturalise to another country though. They’re not alone in this.
The UK? We’re free and easy over here. You can be a Brit and have shared nationality with anywhere that allows it.
Ah – but what if you were born in Blighty and your parents are from here too? Won’t that put a stop to your dreams of dual national identity and multiple passports? Not necessarily… Here are three other ways you can get citizenship in another country:
Have Irish ancestry
You can be Irish, even if your parents aren’t. If you have an Irish grandparent, you can apply for citizenship and the passport that goes with it. The Guardian reports that around 6 million people in the UK are eligible and many of us have taken the Irish government up on the offer. You can also apply to be an Irish citizen if you’ve lived and worked there for five years (out of nine), or if you’ve lived in the country for three years and had a child there.
Pay $100,000 to Dominica
You can apply to and become an “economic citizen” of Dominica by investing $100,000 in the country’s infrastructure. The government of Dominica swear they’ll use the money to fund hospitals and schools, rather than gold toilet seats and Xboxes. As an economic citizen, you’re entitled to apply for naturalisation and a passport.
Brazil wants pretty much everyone
Brazil is already a pretty amazing nation. Hot as hell, truly enormous and comfortably among the top 20 most crime ridden countries in the world – Brazil really wants you as a citizen.
It has one of the shortest naturalisation processes going. If you work in Brazil, own property there and can demonstrate that you can write and speak enough Portuguese to get by, you can apply to be a citizen in four years. That period of time can drop to two years if you marry a Brazilian citizen, have a child in Brazil or can demonstrate “Professional, scientific or artistic” ability.
So why wait? Become a citizen of Brazil and, for the first time in your life, there’ll be a chance that your national team might win the World Cup… and you’ll get a second passport. Hurrah!