Why We’re on the Road with Four Passports
The Passport is the most important requirement to travel to countries outside Europe. And although Germans have the priviledge of owning the world’s most powerful passport according to the Visa Restriction Index 2016, anyway there may be problems with the entry or the applying for visas for some countries.
For some cases, a little book can help you to avoid that: the second pass. Unfortunately, many travelers still don’t know that every German (we don’t know about the situation in other countries) can apply for a second passport. This can significantly simplify your (travel-)life.
Who needs a Second Passport?
Certainly, not every traveler needs one. Depending on how you travel, a second passport could be worthwhile, especially for frequent and world travelers. We summarized the usefulness of a second pass in three points:
a) Apply for a Visa abroad
Applying for a visa can sometimes take a terrible long time. Especially if you can’t apply for a visa on arrival or on the electronic way. Then you have to send the Passport all the way to the Embassy of your home country. By doing that, you will probably have tons of time until your Passport will be send back.
And what could be the best thing to do while you are waiting for your passport? Right, traveling! And that’s very easy with a second pass. Carpe diem!
b) Avoid Stamp Conflicts
Let’s put it like this: some countries do not like it very much, if you have spent your time in certain other states before. And that can cause some entry problems, which may lead to an interrogation or even the denial of entry. For example, some Arab countries and the United States or Israel, could cause you problems, if they see a stamp of the others in your pass. With the second passport, you can avoid that.
However, you should make sure that the course of your journey that makes sense: if you travel from country A to country B and the stamp from country A is missing in the pass, which you show on arrival in country B, this seems quite strange…
c) Additional Space
If you are traveling the world, your passport can fill very quickly, because many visas like to occupy a whole page. And if you already traveled a bit in the years before, the space can easily be filled. The second pass not only doubles the number of pages, you can even request a thicker version that contains 48 pages. Great for those, who have many countries on their list.
How do you get it?
At the place, where you applied for the first pass: at the municipal or city administration. Just bring your identity card or old passport, as well as a biometric passport photo. Previously, you should consider whether and why you really need a second pass. You can only apply, if you can justify it well. A short informal letter is sufficient here.
As the reason for the second pass, we named the stamp conflicts mentioned above.
Also good to know:
- the second pass is valid for only 6 years (versus 10 years for your first pass)
- it costs 60 euros, the 48-page version costs additional 22 euros
- after approx. 3 weeks you can collect the new passport (bring your old pass)