I applied for my first passport in March 2009 in Lucknow passport office. But it got stuck in the police verification. After 1 year, when I didn't get my passport I decided to cancel my application. And I did, a cancellation receipt was also provided to me.

Now, I applied for a new passport in 2010 in Ghaziabad passport office. And after 3-4 months, I got my passport without any issues.

After 1 year, in 2012, I got a mail saying that your passport has been dispatched from Lucknow passport office. I was shocked to see this, as I cancelled the application already.

Now, I have two passports. Is it illegal, what should one do in such scenario? I need to travel to the United States in June 2013, please suggest.

  • 6
    Welcome to travel.SE. If you still have the receipt of the cancellation of request from Lucknow why not just go to the passport office and turn that one in or just have the Passport authority verify which passport is a valid one for you.
    – Karlson
    Commented May 8, 2013 at 17:13
  • 1
    Thanks @Karlson I'm going to do the same now, but it might take some days and I have my visa interview in next couple of days. Just wondering if they can find out that I have two passports and reject my visa application? Can I directly tell them myself that I have two passports or is it risky?
    – Kevindra
    Commented May 9, 2013 at 3:12
  • 3
    Lots of countries are happy for your to have two passports, so it isn't automatically a problem. Only a few object, you just need to work out if India or the USA are ones of those
    – Gagravarr
    Commented May 9, 2013 at 17:34
  • @Kevindra What did you do (2017 now)?
    – Lord Loh.
    Commented Feb 20, 2017 at 23:59

3 Answers 3


In India, it is illegal to have 2 Indian passports in your name.

I see some references to Section 12 of the Indian Passports Act, 1967 mentioning this - but I did not find any such text in that Act.

I can see some news items however where the police have arrested persons with two passports



My suggestion is to go to the Passport Seva Kendra and explain your situation to the Passport Officer. Get the older one cancelled.

As @uncovery said, it's not your mistake.

  • 3
    Thanks for your advice. I went to the RPO and submitted my 2nd passport. Now my visa has been approved and I should be in the U.S. by next week. :)
    – Kevindra
    Commented May 25, 2013 at 16:40

I think it is not illegal to hold two simultaneously valid passports issued by Indian authorities.

Both the stories liked to by @JoseK relate to fraud, potential fraud or other aberration and do not indicate much about the legality of holding two Indian passports if both obtained legitimately.

Yes, for example immihelp states "Holding more than one valid passport at a time" is a violation "of the provision of Indian Passports Act 1967" but as mentioned by @JoseK, there seems no mention of this in the Act in the version linked to by @JoseK (unless immihelp are referring to passports issued by two different countries - not the issue here).

On the other hand, from long after 1993 which seems the latest update incorporated into the linked version of the '67 Act, there is this:

I maintain two valid Indian passports, both in my name, and with the complete knowledge and consent of the issuing authorities. Sometimes, it is simply better that some countries not see entry stamps from certain other countries to prevent awkward situations.

by B747-437B Feb 6, 03, 9:22 am which, if not authoritative, is certainly emphatic.

Also, from Passport Rules, 1980:


The only thing related to travelling in your question is one statement if I modify it into this:

Is it illegal to travel to the USA as an Indian citizen who holds two passports?

And the answer is: It is not, it is absolutely fine. To be on the least-complicated side, you should show the same passport to the immigration officers when arriving and when departing so the stamps can match. Ideally, use the one that contains your visa if you need/have one. If one of your passports is a US one, always use that. Other than that, the US immigration does not care how many passports the entry-seeking person can produce, as long as the one shown is valid.

The remainder of the question concerns India-internal issues not relevant to travelling.


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