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.
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