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ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawNationality LawIs It Possible to Get a Second United States Passport?

Is It Possible to Get a Second United States Passport?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing US passports and specifically the idea or the prospect of getting a second US passport.

What do we mean by a second US passport? Well, literally two different passports for the same person. So you have got passport A which every American generally as a matter of course, can go ahead and apply for and obtain a US Passport. A second passport is a different situation. Why would one need one?  Well there are various reasons: for example travel restrictions. Countries that are either hostile or do not diplomatically recognize one another. There can be some problems in traveling or transiting between a third country and getting between two such jurisdictions and in those cases sometimes a second passport is a benefit. One reason I have seen that deals mostly with expats who work in the offshore oil and gas industry out here where they have to deal with a lot of visas. So especially like consultants, we have to move around various jurisdictions fairly fast. I have seen circumstances where they need two passports because they are essentially using one to be in one country while they are applying for a visa on the second one. That is another valid reason why I could see a second passport would need to be issued. So there are valid reasons for issuing a second passport.  

That being said, the United States is really not in the routine habit of issuing second passports to individuals willy-nilly. It's not something they just sort of do as a matter of course and the reason in my opinion I think is, they are trying to defer some fraud and I can see circumstances where fraud could be an issue with respect to two different passports. Also I think it's a resource thing. I don't know exactly what the “margins” for lack of a better word are, on each passport issued it to an American. How much money the government retains from issuing those, but I suspect it's not a lot and frankly I could even see circumstances where issuing a passport might actually cost money to the government; I doubt much but it's possible.  It is also a resource strain. If every person was going in trying to get a second passport on top of their first one, it would cause a substantial expense of resources in terms of manpower to get all those second passports issues.  

So the thing to take away from this video is it's not issued routinely, a second passport. And they want to know why you want it. It has been my experience that they want to know why the individual requesting a second passport is seeking it, and again if there's not a good reason for they're probably not going to issue it.  Anecdotally, I was recently at the US Embassy American Citizen Services and I overheard a gentleman who was trying to apply for a second passport who was subsequently denied, because he didn't really have any reason for it. The only reason I overheard him is he was being quite loud in in his assertions that he needed one but he couldn't really site a reason as to why it was going to be necessary and I think that it's going to be circumstantial and those officers are not just going to issue a second passport just "because"; they need a reason why it's going to be issued.  As I stated there are valid reasons for issuance but failure to show one I think will result in being denied on an application for a second US passport.