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How to get a second UK passport in 2020

Page last updated: 1st February 2020.

Frustratingly, Her Majesty's Passport Office does not have information online about how to get a second UK passport! If you travel extensively then you may encounter the need to get a second passport. Well hopefully this guide can help.


First thing to note is that the second UK passport will not be a duplicate of your existing one, but a brand new one. It will have a different passport number, expiry date and photo, and will be treated as a standalone. Your new passport will be valid for 10 years which you renew by the usual processes afterwards. You can read about my own experience using the Premium service here.

Broadly speaking you will need to encounter one of the following two situations to convince the Her Majesty's Passport Office to issue you another UK passport:

  1. You are a business traveller who needs to visit countries that are in conflict or incompatibility with each other, e.g. Israel and Iran/Lebanon/Syria/Iraq etc.
  2. You are a very frequent business traveller and need to get a new visa issued in an embassy which might hold your passport for a long time, which would impede your travel otherwise.

Unfortunately they take a dim view on leisure travellers getting a 2nd passport, so if you have the opportunity through your work, I'd say grab it while you can.

You can apply by post inside the UKoutside the UK , or at one of the passport interview centres.

If applying through one of the interview centres, you need to call the Passport Advice Line on +44 (0) 300 222 0000 and book an appointment at a centre convenient for you. Currently they are conducted at these locations:

  • London
  • Liverpool
  • Belfast
  • Durham
  • Glasgow
  • Newport
  • Peterborough

In all cases, be sure that you are choosing the option to “Apply for a 1st adult passport”, and specifically request not to cancel your existing passport. If calling by telephone the operator should be aware of the process for business travellers obtaining a second document.

As this is a ‘1st passport application', they check your proof of UK citizenship with extra rigour. Depending on the nature of how you became a UK citizen (e.g. by birth or by naturalisation), the Passport Advice Line can advise you on what supporting evidence of your citizenship you need to bring to your appointment or submit by post. Normally this will include any one or more of the following documents:

  • Your current UK passport – This is the easiest option if your name has changed since birth or issuance of other accepted certificates. See below.
  • Birth Certificate – if issued in the UK and you were born to UK parents
  • Birth Certificate & copy of your UK parent's/parents' passport(s) – if you were born outside the UK and have at least one UK parent
  • Certificate of Naturalisation – if you became a UK citizen through naturalisation
  • Certificate of Registration – if you are a  family member of a person who became a citizen through naturalisation.

(N.B. it's not possible to have both a Certificate of Naturalisation and Certificate of Registration, it is one or the other. If you became a citizen through asylum or as a refugee then you may have a different certificate…I have no idea what it is though!)

In addition to the normal passport application form, passport photos signed by a person of good standing who has known you for at least 2 years, and the correct fee, you need to justify why you are requesting a second passport. This will mean showing detailed travel plans which causes you to request second passport. E.g. flight confirmations/tickets.

You will also need a letter on headed paper explaining your circumstance that is dated no earlier than 4 weeks prior to your application. I have adapted a template that I found on a forum post in Business Traveller which you will need to edit to suit your individual needs:

To Whom it May Concern,

Second Passport Application

This is to confirm that [name] is employed by this company as [job title]. He/she has been employed by us since [date].

[Name] is a frequent traveller and is therefore in need of a second passport as we anticipate several company trips over the next few months. Several countries that [he/she] will be travelling to will require visas / do not allow  and therefore we would request a second passport to expedite these while [he/she] is traveling.

Over the coming months and into next year, [he/she] might be required to travel to [adapt as appropriate] :

  • Israel – April 2020
  • Kenya – June 2020
  • Lebanon – August 2020
  • Qatar – September 2020
  • United Arab Emirates – October 2020
  • Iran – October 2020
  • Russian Federation – November 2020
  • Saudi Arabia – January 2021
  • Pakistan – January 2021
  • India – January 2021

We confirm that [he/she] will return his/her normal domicile at [home address] to resume employment with this company after this trip. Please assist [him/her] in obtaining a second passport allowing her to travel.

If you require any further information with regards to [his/her] employment with this company, please do not hesitate to contact me on the above number.

Yours sincerely,

[name] [title]

And that's it! Hopefully this guide will help you obtain your new passport. Don't forget to remind them not to cancel your existing one!

Second UK passport
Sibling passports!

Did you do things differently? Or have you followed the above? Leave a comment below to tell me of your experience. Thanks!


  1. FYI, Israel no longer stamps Passports. The process is similar for a 2nd US Passport, by the way. But, it is much easier to process in the United States than outside The States. Was actually able to do it “same day,” in Boston.

    1. That is correct for tourists, but if you work there as I did, they put a massive two-page sticker and stamp, saying you have, which means you will have issues as I did. Hence, why I am getting a second passport.

      In relation to other countries, you get the questioned like mad if you been to many countries, which has issues with each other even in Israel I expect a 40 minute chat about why and what I do, even though I have a VISA as a foreign expert, but its the same for others. I only declare, what is in the stamped passport I am using.

  2. While I don’t have personal experience with it. You would not have any issue entering Israel with stamps from Syria, or Dubai, or Saudi or anywhere else. It’s those countries that often (well, not Dubai AFAIK) impose restrictions. Now, of course, you will be subject to extra security screening when you leave Israel; but that happens even when you have an Egyptian visa in your passport.

  3. Helpful tip about the passport fee dropping! I wasn’t aware, but this will help me when I get around to this.

  4. I have held a second passport for several years. Thought I would share an experience of renewing a 2nd passport – save for the supporting letter from your company, it is treated like a simple passport renewal and does not require any other supporting documents! You must bring both passports to your appointment though.

  5. Do you have any recent information as to how long this “second passport” application will take currently? I’m based outside the UK so will have to apply by post, but have several regional trips already scheduled in the coming months, so need to choose my application time carefully.

    1. The current waiting time should be displayed if you select your countries here. There is no clear answer I can give as it depends on where you live and where you were born (i.e. do they need to do further background checks if you were not born in the UK).

      As it happens I am doing the premium passport application today! Another hour to wait until I pick it up. I was going to do a post this week about my experience.

      Are you limited to doing postal application only? If you want specific help on your situation it would be better to email me: info@pointstobemade.com

      1. Thanks for your reply. Yes, I saw yesterday that my country’s waiting time is “at least 8 weeks” – which could mean 20 weeks, 40 weeks… but I suppose it does at least mean it won’t be LESS THAN 8 weeks.

        I am limited to online/postal application only as I live in the Far East with no plans to come back to UK for this purpose/length of time. I would be interested in your thoughts on my situation so will mail separately as suggested – thanks! In any event, I look forward to hearing how your current application went.

  6. “Don’t forget to remind them not to cancel your existing one!”

    Hi Tim, I am just wondering, under which section of the application form which I need to emphasize that they are not to cancel the existing passport?

  7. Thank you for this useful note. It is frustrating that no official guidance is available in writing on the form of the letter. I was sent away the Victoria Passport Office with a flea in my ear on 19 February because:

    1) The letter my employer sent me (in Iraq) was a scan, not an original;

    2) It didn’t have a “live” ink signature;

    3) It did not list the countries to be travelled to (we now as standard say Worldwide)

    4) It did not explain why (in spite of having been used by a number of colleagues successfully in recent months) the second passport was required.

    So those attending the Victoria Passport Office are advised to beward.

  8. Thank you for this useful note. It is frustrating that no official guidance is available in writing on the form of the letter. I was sent away the Victoria Passport Office with a flea in my ear on 19 February because:

    1) The letter my employer sent me (in Iraq) was a scan, not an original;

    2) It didn’t have a “live” ink signature;

    3) It did not list the countries to be travelled to (we now as standard say Worldwide)

    4) It did not explain why (in spite of having been used by a number of colleagues successfully in recent months) the second passport was required.

    So those attending the Victoria Passport Office are advised to beware.

  9. I wonder if you can advise? I am self employed and have need to travel across the EMEA,I also have need to travel to Israel, how can I satisfy the employers letter requirement? I am a sole trader, I do my own books through self assessment, any help much appreciated.

    1. I can’t say for certain but I imagine Sole trader is fine so long as you print onto letter headed paper and explain within the content your situation

  10. I finally found time to sort everything out and have sent off my second passport application today. I called the Passport Office helpline at the end of last week to check a few last details, and the guy who answered seemed surprisingly upbeat about it, saying they are very rarely refused, but HMPO doesn’t like to “advertise” the fact that they’re available. He gave the impression that it should be a breeze, but I’ll wait and see and post an update here.

    1. I’m staggered! Having sent off my application for a second passport on 7 April 2015, my new second passport arrived here (Taiwan) by courier this morning – 23 April 2015. No questions asked! I was expecting it to take months. Many thanks Tim for your support and information on this forum.

  11. “if you have the opportunity through your work grab it while you can” but does anyone know if this would this be classed as a Benefit in Kind if my company paid for it?

    1. Doubt it would be a problem. The whole idea is that the 2nd passport is only to be issued where there is a business reason behind it, thus no Benefit-in-kind issues from HMRC. While you could in theory use your 2nd passport for leisure/private, you could probably argue that you had to send your 1st one off somewhere else!

  12. I would like to apply for a second passport and to incorporate the tips you kindly provided (i.e. emphasise NOT to cancel my existing passport whist waiting for the new one to arrice). However, how can I be certain that my existing passport is still good/ valid for the interim travelling. The last thinh I want is to be told by the travelling country immigration that my passport is no longer valid. Any advice on this? Many thanks!

    1. If you apply in person you will get the passport back immediately, and if you apply by post you must submit your existing passport. Therefore there is no ‘interim validity’ because you will either have your passport or you won’t! If you tell them not to cancel your first one then they will honour that request.

  13. when submitting the application for the 2nd passport do they require you to send in your original passport with the application?

    1. If applying by post, you can use your existing passport or birth certificates or certificate of naturalisation/registration. If you use the premium or fast track services in the UK, then you will need to show up with your passport to the appointment for them to inspect for a couple of minutes, but they will allow you to take it away upon submission of the rest of the application pack.

  14. thanks for this advice. Unfortunately I only found it after having applied for and paid for a second passport via the Gov.uk website and having been informed by a representative of HM passport office about the need for the supporting letter. So I agree about the “dim view” you mention. However this is where it gets complicated: I am a self employed Consultant (no employer to sign the letter and no desire from my customers to do so either). I also live abroad just to make it more complicated. Frustratingly I followed the Gov.uk instructions to the letter, and stand to lose not only my second passport application but also the expensive fee they charge). Any advice?

    1. Regarding the supporting letter, your situation as self-employed is tricky, but you should be able to call the passport helpline and describe your situation? My guess is that you might be able to sign it yourself so long as you can print it on headed paper with your associated Chamber of Commerce or Sole Trader (or Companies House equivalent) registration number and can reasonably justify your business situation.

      Regarding the application procedure, I do not have any further advice on whether you can appeal or restart a rejected application, sorry! The passport helpline is in the best position to advise.

  15. Hi Guys,
    Do we really need to send 1st passport with the application? I am a frequent business traveler and I do need passport every week. Its not possible to send my 1st passport for 2nd passport application .
    I am overseas so can not use premium service.
    Current application processing time is 8 weeks for 1st passport.
    Can anyone help clarify?

    1. Do you have any other proof of citizenship like uk birth certificates plus parents’ certificates? Or certificate of naturalisation? They would all be acceptable as evidence in lieu of a passport

      1. Yes I will be sending my certificate of naturalization. I hope that is enough and they don’t require my 1st passport with the application

        1. Certificate of naturalisation will be enough as long as you reference in your existing passport number. Let me know how it goes!

          1. Thanks Tim.
            Today I received by 2nd passport. It came in within two weeks time. I only submitted my certificate of naturalization as an overseas applicant. During this time I did travel with my 1st passport.

  16. I went to Newport today (3 Aug 2015) to get a 2nd passport as a frequent business user.

    The whole experience went well. Staff very polite and courteous, helped me sort out the form (I’d made a mistake, so just got me to complete a new form at the desk). I am now the happy owner of two passports, which I expect to fill VERY FAST.

    I found this website to be of enormous help – thanks Tim for putting it together.

  17. Hi Tim – very useful site, but I have a different case – although maybe not unique and so I post these details here to start a thread, as it may help someone else in my situation in the future.

    Although a British citizen, I have Russian residency, (living and working in Russia) which expires at the same time as my current UK passport – July 2016. To get a new residency I need to apply to the Russian authorities at least 6 months before expiry. But I can’t use my existing passport as it expires. The Russian authorities, therefore, have recommended that I apply for a 2nd UK passport, which they can then use to process the new residency application.

    Bear in mind, I also need this residency to run my English language centre in Russia, So, whilst technically not for business travel, my business relies on me having Russian residency. So, my first point to note is that the example of the business support letter given above in this blog does not really apply in my case. Can I write a free-flow letter to the Passport Office explaining the details of my particular case?

    I rang the passport office on +44 (0) 300 222 0000 yesterday during working hours and spoke to a nice helpful chap, Steve. He suggested, as you do above, that I apply for a First time passport, attach all supporting docs (birth certificate (possibly) support letter, application form and payment) and send it by DHL to the UK (to which office, he did not specify).

    So today, on attempting to fill in the application for the First time passport, I duly noted on the first screen that I am not a current UK resident. Immediately, the website came back with “You must reside in the United Kingdom in order to use this application form.” And I note above the comment in the instructions on the IPS website that, “This service is only available to British nationals currently in the UK, for the return of a passport to an address in the UK. If you are outside the UK (this includes the Channel Islands & the Isle of Man), your passport application will be processed by a regional passport processing centre.”

    So does that mean that I have to find the regional passport processing centre that deals with UK nationals based in Moscow? Or can I use a relative’s address in the UK and suggest that I am resident in the UK at the moment? If not, how do I find the regional process centre in Moscow? I’ve tried calling the British Embassy in Moscow, but with cutbacks and on so, all you get is automated voicemail and instructions to send an email. Being old fashioned, I’d like to speak to someone.

    Something also Steve at the Passport Office said was that if I did as he suggested, then I would not need to attend an interview. However, whilst not knowing the details of Nigel’s case above in this blog, posted in August 2015, I note that he needed to attend an interview. So now I question the accuracy of Steve’s suggestion, noting the government very rarely changes its procedures. Will I need to attend an interview?

    Thanks for any helps or tips you can give. I’d like to post updates on this blog as to how my process goes in the hope that in future it might help others, who may have a similar situation as mine.



    1. I reckon your best bet would be to either use the 1-day premium service in one of the passport centres around the UK, or to submit a postal application. When you used the online link, did you use the ones here https://www.gov.uk/overseas-passports/y/russia/applying/adult or here? https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/applying-for-a-passport-from-outside-the-uk-application-form

      For the letter you should explain your situation like you have above. I do wonder whether the UK passport office might ask you to renew your UK passport first, then submit the new one to the Russian officials. Your letter might therefore have more weight if you write something like you need your passport for day-to-day running of your business if you have foreign trips occasionally and are not in a position to be without your passport for long.

      1. Thanks Tim. I have printed off the application form that you suggested – although I note nowhere does it allow me to ask the HMPO not to cancel the current passport. (as recommended in previous threads in your blog) I have now found the place in Moscow that deals with issuing passports for British nationals – and I have sent them an email asking for an interview. Just waiting now for their response.

  18. Hi. Do you need to be in the uk to apply for a secondary British passport? What if you need one and your already outside. And getting issues because of various stamps.

  19. Hello there!
    A very useful blog indeed…

    I was just wondering. Do you think it is necessary to provide flight reservations or booking proof?

    While I do not travel (an awful lot) for business reasons, I do travel to North Korea, Iran and Cuba pretty regularly which is one of the reasons I’d rather like a second passport!
    The fact that my company has started dealing with an Israeli firm probably won’t help matters with security screening…

    My employer is more than happy to sign and seal all of the necessary documents, but getting booking confirmations at this point would be tricky!

    Thanks for the useful tips, most helpful!

    1. Hi Tom,

      While I did not provide the flight reservations as evidence, it can only help to strengthen your application.

      You could book a couple of fully flexible tickets if cashflow permits, and then cancel them after receiving your passport

  20. Hi. I tried getting one for personal reasons. They didn’t even consider it. Does the company/business have to be uk based? And what if you work for a relative and or family business?

    1. No, the business can be based or incorporated anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter who owns the business (even if it is yourself), but the reason for getting the passport must be for business.

  21. Very helpful advice. I live in South Africa but came back to the UK to apply for my visa. I can say that it also depends on the person booking the appointment and dealing with your application.
    I first had to renew my current passport. I called the passport office and they told me it would take one week because I was changing my name. I also enquires about a second passport and they said once I get my new one then I can apply and it will take 7 days.
    I made the appointment anyway and went to Peterborough. When I got there I asked if I could get same day and they said yes.
    I got my new passport with name change in 4 hours.
    I booked another appointment for two days later for a second passport.
    This time the guy was really helpful and gave very good advice on what to include in the letter – it supported your post, but he also recommended including all countries you will travel to including those in the EU and highlighting those that need visas. My letter showed the countries and the month of expected travel. I also referred to my SA visa application where they hold the passport for 30 days!
    the letter was from a Company based in South Africa and it confirmed I would return to South Africa in between the trips.
    He also told me that I could get same day service for the second passport!
    I also received conflicting information about the countersignatory. When I collected my new passport I asked if the photos for the second passport needed to be countersigned and they said no if you apply within a month, the guy on the phone said yes. So I did it anyway. I completed all parts of the form as if for a new passport.
    When I arrived for the appointment they told me that I should declare I have another passport but cross out the passport number otherwise they might cancel it.
    The good thing about applying in person at the office is that they give you your passport back immediately – this also avoids them cancelling it.
    I showed my current passport and they handed it back to me immediately, and submitted the form with my photos and the letter only. No need for birth certificate or nothing however the guy in the phone did recommend that you take everything with (including first marriage and divorce, birth certificate etc) just encase.
    I got my second passport in 4 hours!
    One thing to point out, when I applied for my name change I followed the guidance notes which say I must sign a statement to say I use my other name for all purposes. When the guy checked my application he said he can’t acceot it because it must be a signed declaration and this is just a signed statement. I argued with him in the nicest politest way to say but your guidance notes say signed statement not affidavit, and he accepted it after much deliberation and clicking on his computer. Whilst this is not relevant to getting a second passport it is again another example of how it depends on who you get on the day etc.
    Otherwise very good advice which helped my application so thank you very much!
    I have only one question …. Can I carry both passports at the same time ? Obviously I will need to carry them both to return to SA permanently but I saw that it is not allowed …. I have to get them there somehow. Do I just lie and say “no one is at home” and hope they don’t check my bag or say yes they are both with me because I have to hand one in in SA to apply for a visa ? What’s the risk? Does anyone really know ?

    1. Thanks for your posting your experience Sally! I have never had trouble carrying two passports at the same time, but then again no-one ever asked! In fact I had no idea that there would be any issues with it. Do you have the link to wherever you saw it is not allowed?

        1. Well, that’s just the word of any other person on the internet. Unless a government page says it then go ahead and carry two passports. There are so many legitimate reasons to get have one, and if you live in SA then like you say you need to get it home somehow!

  22. Hi Tim,
    Just wanted to say thank you for your excellent and informative advise.
    Just picked up my second passport from Durham office today and it was much easier and quicker than I anticipated.
    Made my premium service appointment on-line; showed up at the Durham passport office with my application form, 2 photos and a letter from my company. The lady at the counter had to get her manager to authorise my company letter (took 30 seconds), she took a photocopy of my existing passport and gave it straight back to me, and then handed me my collection slip. 3 hours later I had my shiny new 2nd passport in my hand. (Complete with yellow peel off tab on the back page. Apparently for RFID tracking during the manufacturing process in-house, and the new style E-Passport chip embedded in the front cover)

    Many thanks again.
    Kind regards,

  23. Hi Tony,

    I am about to book my premium service appointment with a view to obtaining a second passport. I was wondering if you could confirm the options that you selected and the application form that you completed?

    When booking the appointment online, the options are to renew, replace, change details, or apply for 1st child passport. Logic suggests the renewal option would be correct, but this is out of keeping with Tim’s initial instruction that to obtain the 2nd passport one should complete the ‘1st adult passport’ form.

    Which type of appointment did you book online and which type of application did you ultimately make?

    Many thanks in advance for your help, and thanks to all contributors to the site!
    Best Regards

  24. Say comment as last one – It appears now that you cannot apply for a 1st passport via the 1 day or 1 week service. There is a new link if you want a second passport for business reasons. But again it takes you down the route of x weeks for the new passport to come and I can’t find if I need to send my current passport away with the application – If you want to apply for the premium service there is no number to ring the passport offices direct, you are continually given numbers that say go on line to “renew, replace, change details, or apply for 1st child passport”.

  25. I needed a second UK passport for the purpose of professional travel. Following advice on this blog I telephoned the Passport Office four times to enquire about how to obtain one — and was given four different sets of advice / information. Where Passport Office staff did seem to agree was in that in order to obtain a second passport one needs: 1) to fill in an application form as if one were applying for a first passport (this will need to be countersigned); 2) two photos (one endorsed and countersigned on the back); 3) i.d. — one employee of the Passport Office to whom I spoke on the ‘phone told me that I would have to submit a birth certificate, although the other three said that my existing passport would be accepted as i.d., and this was indeed the case; 4) payment; 5) a letter from one’s employer. This latter is crucial. Of the four staff at the Passport Office to whom I spoke on the ‘phone, one didn’t even mention the need for a letter, but three did; of these three, only two said it had to come from a ‘Senior Manager’ and only one said it had to be addressed to Her Majesty’s Passport Office (i.e. NOT To Whom it May Concern). Opting for the belt and braces approach, I asked my employer to address it to HMPO and for it to be signed by the top brass. My employer sent it to me via email and I submitted a print of the scan; unlike the writers of some posts here, I didn’t encounter any problems because I submitted a print-out of a scan (although I had it printed by a professional printer, so the fact that it was a print-out was hardly detectable). My employer simply stated that I need a second passport in order to leave one with embassies to obtain visas while I continue to travel on the other one. The letter did not list any countries that I will be visiting, nor dates of travel. My letter was accepted by the member of staff at the counter when I submitted my application in person.

    I opted for the one-day service (currently a cool 137 quid for a ‘jumbo’ passport). I booked an appointment at the Liverpool passport office, saw a member of staff at 4 p.m. one day, and my 2nd passport was ready by 9 a.m. the following day.

    Perhaps I just got lucky, but the entire process was pain-free (apart from the financial pain…). It is probably also the case that attending the Liverpool office is the best plan if applying for any sort of passport, since Scousers are friendly, personable and generally extremely willing to help and resolve matters for a customer (not that I’m biased! — and I fully realise that not everybody can trot up to Liverpool to partake of the delights of the city’s wonderful inhabitants). What the staff member to whom I spoke did make clear, however, is that although a British Citizen has the right to a 2nd passport, any application for one must ALWAYS be accompanied by a letter from one’s employer — no chance of obtaining one for the purposes of tourism, apparently.

    Good luck to anybody else who needs to apply for a 2nd UK passport; it should be a straightforward business. Do remember, if you submit a postal application for the 2nd passport, you have to send in your current passport (so you’d be without it for a while) or a birth certificate or other relevant document (these are listed in the booklet that accompanies the application form). I also followed advice on this blog and used the space for extra comments on the application form to request that my current passport not be cancelled.

  26. Hello
    Do you need to complete Section 4 – Parent’s details as you are effectively applying for the first adult British Passport?
    This is such a useful page.
    Thank you

  27. Hi,
    I am about to book my premium service appointment with a view to obtaining a second passport. I was wondering if you could confirm the options that you selected and the application form that you completed?
    When booking the appointment online, the options are to renew, replace, change details.

    please advise what option to choose ?

    1. Hi, I booked the appointment telephonically. I think they booked it as a first passport, sorry it is over a year ago now so I can’t remember exactly.

      Make sure when you apply that you request that they DO NOT cancel your existing passport as Tim recommends above.

      Good luck !

  28. Having asked a question about second passports on here originally, I thought I’d reply with my experience of getting one last month. It was all rather simpler than I thought, to be honest.

    I got my boss to sign a letter saying that I’d be going to XYZ countries and that they are ‘incompatible’. It also stated that I would need a passport to travel with, whilst my other passport was with embassies for visa stamping.

    I called HMPO to confirm a few details;

    The letter must have the company stamp, signature and printed name of your superior (doesn’t matter if it isn’t the boss himself) and say that your other passport is with an embassy for processing – I don’t know if this speeds up the processing or not, but I got everything in under two weeks from posting to receiving.

    The ‘person of good standing’ is a slightly trickier one, as they are quite strict on this. I thought I would get an old friend who was a postmaster (now retired) – But this is not suitable.

    I therefore got a friend that was a teacher to sign – But finding someone in a recognised profession (and that is not retired or has now moved on to another job) can be tricky.

    HMPO did not call my boss or my countersignature, so it all seems like a somewhat pointless exercise. They text you when they get the form, so all very handy to keep tabs on.

    Hope this is of some use to people,

  29. hi,

    i called the HMPO today and made appointment ,but I was asked to bring in my passport with to the one day premium Appointment, the Issue is my passport is at The embassy at the moment .

    will they Accept any other document ?

    1. Just bring anything else you can to prove your British nationality. The more you have of the documents mentioned in the post above the better.

  30. Attended the HMPO yesterday Premium service and they required the following only:

    1x Employer Letter
    1x Original Passport Copy accepted
    1x application Form
    2x Passport photos

    4 hours later i picked up my 2nd new Passport, good days

    thanks for advises guys .

    much appreciated

    1. Hi Samir,

      Did you have your photos endorsed?
      Did you need to have a birth certificate or certificate of naturalisation or was just a photocopy of the first passport okay?


  31. Hi Tim
    I’m currently in Qatar where I’m employed and want to apply for a second UK passport as I’m visiting Israel next year via Jordan land border crossing, so will most likely get Israeli stamps. Retunring to Qatar (or other GCC countries) isn’t likely to be problem with an Israeli stamp in my passport but I will also be visiting Pakistan next year so will undoubtedly get refused entry to Pakistan. Now these visits will NOT be business related, ie will be for tourist/recreational/family visit purposes. When I called up the UK passport office to enquire about what kind of support letter i would need, the guy basically said my employer would need to provide a supporting letter stating I would be going to these countries ON BUSINESS despite me telling him very clearly i wasn’t!! Now my employer will refuse point blank to provide me with such a letter since they would be lying, I would have thought my travel itinerary to Jordan & Israel with confirmed air tickets, hotel confirmation letters, would be sufficient proof but it doesn’t appear so. Is not possible to get a second UK passport when the visits are for non-business purposes?

  32. I live in London but work three days a week at a university in France so need my passport constantly. I also need a J-1 visa for the US in the Spring so, on advice from the Passport Office helpline, applied for a second passport (by filling in the paper form as if for a first application and booking a one day premium service by phone, explaining that the appointment was for a second passport). All went well until I was called to the desk which deals with second passport applications. There I was told that, because the letter from the head of my French university did not specify that I would continue to need a second passport for the full ten years of its validity, I was not eligible. I tried to explain that I might well have a future need but that it was impossible to know (and therefore to expect the letterwriter to predict the future) but absolutely nothing would make the agent – or her manager – budge. So, if you can, get the letter to specify that the need for visas will be ongoing for the full ten years of the passport’s validity. As for my situation, unless anyone has any suggestions, I will have to wait until the very last minute when I have a week off in January to get the US visa which is not a comfortable situation.

    1. Oh dear, sorry to hear of your situation. Asking specifically for full 10 years is a new one to me, and rather ludicrous and bureaucratic at that. Unless they have changed their internal policies I would think you were rather unlucky. I did not know they had a 2nd passport desk, as they did not have one when I did this a couple of years ago.

  33. Hi,

    thanks for this page Tim!

    So, can anyone give recent examples of the contents of the letter from the employer detailing where they think you will be going?

    With my job I can’t know where I’ll be going since it’s always last minute but it will be mostly Europe, quite possibly China, The USA several times with a possibility of Israel. I know the letter is going to be the make or break part of my application and I don’t really want to be putting words into my boss’ mouth.

    In the last 12 months I have visited for work:
    loads of places in Europe

    I know a second passport will be useful but there’s not too much “waiting for visa to be put in passport” going on.

    Any advice appreciated,
    Dr M.

    1. Just write a letter with a plan of where you will visit with planned dates and make sure they are close together in countries you need a visa for and they will accept it. Nobody checks that you actually stick to the travel plan ….

  34. I have an appointment at the London passport office on Monday to get a 2nd passport.
    I am going to Lebanon in a couple of weeks for business. I have the letter from my employer. I would like to get this passport in my maiden name. I am divorced but my current passport is in my married name. Is it possible to have the 2nd passport with a different surname?
    Many thanks.

    1. I doubt it. Your passport is your ID so I can’t see how you can have a valid passport with two different names on it. You can get a new passport in your maiden name and a second passport in the same week. I changed my name and got the new passport in 2 hours and then went back 2 days later for a second passport which i got 2 hours later ….

  35. Thanks for this useful blog.
    May I have you kind help on my case (oversea online application)?
    My boss applied 2 UK passports at the same time, therefore, I can’t identify original and secondary passports. And now, one of them has been run out of pages and I am preparing passport renewal online form.
    On section 1, Type of passport, which one should I tick? “Renewal” or “First British Passport”?
    On section 8, is it the must to put in the words “PLEASE DO NOT CANCEL MY EXISTING PASSPORT”
    On section 10, is it the must to fill empolyer part? & for UK current passport number, which passport number should I fill in?
    Many Thanks

    1. You said your boss is applying for 2 at the same time. Did he have 2 before? If he has never held 2 then at least one of them will be a “First British Passport”, but if he had 2 in the past then both will be renewals.

      Section 8, yes absolutely you must write “Please do not cancel my existing passport”
      Section 10, You will need to identify which is the primary passport and which is the secondary, and fill in the passport number of the primary. I cannot help you on this one without knowing. You and your boss are the only ones who can deal with this I am afraid.

  36. Thanks for lots of practical help.
    Some of the posts seem to imply that regional offices may be easier to deal with than London. Is that true?
    Prepared to go to Newport rather than London if it would make for a smoother and possibly more certain result.

  37. We are trying to apply for a second passport. We are filling in an overseas form. Do we need to say we have never had a British passport in order to get a second passport? Because this is not true. We have the first passport.

    Does it essentially mean that you have never had a first “second passport”. I dont know why we cant fill in a box that is essentially applying for a second passport.

    Also if we had photos countersigned for the first existing passport, why do we need second passport photos to be endorsed?

  38. Need a second passport for frequent travel and have had an ESTA previously declined. Anyone encountered biometric (fingerprint scan) problems when holding two passports? As the problematic document would be linked with the same fingerprint? Thanks

  39. Hello Tim

    Great post !

    Just wondering about renewing a passport when you have two already ? Do I have to take both with me ? Will they automatically renew a second one or do I have to go through the same procedure as if I was applying for a second passport for the first time? I certainly wouldn’t feel comfortable posting both passports plus I don’t have weeks to spare unfortunately.

    Will I need a letter explaining why from my current employer ? My employer is now overseas and I’m based in Dubai ( when I applied almost 10 years ago I was living in Singapore and my company had an office in the UK and Singapore .

    I’m a bit confused as can’t find any guidance on renewal of a second passport anywhere .

    Many thanks

  40. In case it helps, just back from applying for my second passport today at the Victoria office (London).
    I booked the Premium 7 days service online. Got there 10 mins early, was kept waiting outside xrays for 10 mins, then seated waiting for another 15 mins. Appointment itself took about 5 mins.
    Completed the form – woman in the office confirmed to cross the “first passport” box.
    I had completed the section with all my parents details also, as required for a first passport, but I am still not certain if that is needed (assuming one already has a first passport, and this is the second first passport).
    Counter signatory required.
    Letter from office explaining reason (in some detail, including upcoming business trips) noted, but not read carefully (at this stage, maybe later they will).
    Photos were rejected, but there are machines there (£6, and you can pay by credit card). She kept the new ones (6), plus the countersigned (rejected) one. Apparently any ones not used will be returned with the new passport.
    Slightly to my surprise they did not want to take a look at my existing first passport – she just asked me to confirm that I had entered its number in the “existing passports box”. I had been a bit worried that they might want my birth certificate also (as it is listed as a requirement for a first passport), but no, not needed.
    Given a slip of paper and told it will arrive in max 7 days by post.

  41. Just like to thank you for the advice. Just received my second passport. Still not 100% smooth. But turns out you can apply by post and still works if you send the covering letter in the format stated. My colleague booked his appointment for same say service as a renewal and also worked fine.

  42. Glad that the passport issue for UK citizens is somehow easier than before.
    Somehow this article cruises the internet and I have found it at least 3 times.

    Outside those borders, in the former colonies there are hundred of thousand almost UK citizens waiting or saving up to leave their countries where life is pretty cheap. Gifts of the past?

  43. Hi thank you for this extremely useful page. I am applying for a 2nd passport on behalf of my boss (who in the past already held a 2nd passport). A couple of questions not to get it wrong:
    – he is a director of the company, I suppose he cannot sign on behalf of himself therefore I had another director to sign the Company letter, is that correct?
    – can another director (of a different company he is a manager as well) do the countersigning?
    – the section about the parents, his father is deceased, they divorced over 40 years ago and his mum (still alive) lives in Monaco, do I need to clarify these information?
    Thank you

    1. – He cannot sign his own letter, but another director should sign it.
      – Another director should be able to countersign
      – No idea about parental information residence. I don’t ever recall giving parents’ addresses though! It only really matters about their nationalities on your boss’ own birth certificate.

  44. I have 2nd passport under the business visa scheme. It was easy.
    However. Only one is accepted through airport fast track machines.
    Anyone know how to get both registered?

  45. Hi, I am applying from abroad and using the online application. When do i state that they should not cancel my current one?


  46. Hi there, very useful page. I got my second passport relatively easily, although they did reject the letter from my company as it was pp´d and not an original signature. Very frustrating!

    My question is around renewal of either of the passports. It is still treated as a first passport application or is it now a renewal?


  47. Hi,
    Have had two UK passports for about 5 years and my older one is now about to expire.

    Can I just renew them independently or will I need to go through the second passport application process again? If I renew will it cancel both?

    Might be tricky as no longer employed but am self employed instead. May be able to get a letter through my agency.

    Very hard to find out info on this!


    1. You should be able to renew independently, but part of the application form does ask you to state if you hold any other concurrent passports.

      1. Hi Tim,

        Thanks for the reply, I will give the passport office a call to confirm before I send off the form but sounds like it should be OK.


  48. Hi All, a quick call to the passport helpline (0300 2220000) yesterday advised that the employer letter needs to be addressed to Her Majesty’s Passport Office, not to whom it may concern as this is likely to be rejected. Anyway letter printed and one appointment later additional passport now being printed.
    Thanks for the advice and thanks to the staff at Liverpool HMPO.

    1. Interesting, thanks. That sounds unnecessarily nit picky by HMPO band I suspect it’s not a real requirement but always better to err on the side of caution

  49. Thank you so so much for the sample letter. It was really very helpful.

    A quick note – I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to apply for a second passport without my first one in hand (an embassy has it). But the passport office were really helpful. I was told to use the 7 day fast track service. I took a copy of my first passport along with my birth certificate, but they didn’t even need the birth certificate, because my passport was ‘in the system’. Even though I used the 7 day service, my passport was at my door in less than 48 hours. I would highly recommend the Peterborough office.

    Many thanks again.

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