The U.S. State Department has begun issuing second passports that are valid for four years instead of two.

Key points:

  • The change will benefit U.S. citizens who hold two passports, as they will not have to renew their second passports as frequently.
  • Second passports are valuable to some international travelers, as they enable individuals to travel while a visa application is under review (during which time their primary passport is typically in the possession of a consulate). Furthermore, a second passport can be useful for individuals with travel plans to a country that will deny a visa or entry if the traveler’s passport contains entry stamps or visas issued by certain other countries.

Background: U.S. citizens can apply for second passports at passport agencies or U.S. embassies or consulates abroad. Issuance of a second passport is not automatic and applicants must provide a justification for the second passport, including because stamps in their passport would bar entry into another country or because their passport has been submitted to a consulate for visa processing.

BAL Analysis: The four-year validity period on second passports is welcome news for travelers who require two passports. Travelers with urgent passport needs may contact their BAL attorney for expedited processing options.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact