A friend is applying for a UK visa, and has sent off his New Zealand passport while he applies (he lives in Australia). He's not told his work he's considering leaving.

Then he finds out that in a couple of weeks, he's supposed to travel overseas on a business trip.

Awkward, as without said passport, he can't travel, and he can't explain easily without giving away his intention to depart.

My understanding is that it's possible for some countries' citizens to get a second passport or ETD (Emergency Travel Document) - indeed a mutual ex-colleague of ours had to get an ETD in South Africa when his NZ passport was stolen.

Is it possible to get a second passport, and if not, what other options are there?

  • 4
    On a side note, I hate that you actually have to send your passport to get something done with UK authorities. Can he request to get his passport back? I thought that they would check it, make a copy and send it back if the procedure takes that long.
    – Grzenio
    Mar 13, 2012 at 14:34

3 Answers 3


The easiest thing to do in this case would be apply for renewal of a passport. The UK Border Agency allows you to keep your UK visa on an old passport and use the new passport for stamping during entry/exit. At a later date, your friend can contact UKBA and have the visa transferred to his new passport so that he doesn't have to carry around two at the same time.

  • Problem solved. BOOM BABY! Mar 13, 2012 at 17:15
  • Does NZ allow renewal of a non-expired passport? Besides, why would it be faster than waiting for the UK to finish up the visa business?
    – littleadv
    Mar 13, 2012 at 17:25
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    @littleadv - from experience, almost anything is faster than waiting for the UK to finish up the visa business. Heck, I'm still waiting for them to return my email and messages from over a year ago ;)
    – Mark Mayo
    Mar 13, 2012 at 20:13
  • Well a lot of countries require passports to have 6 months to 1 year validity in addition to the time of visa required, and if you're applying for a Schengen visa it MUST be a fresh passport issued within the past ten years so given that situation, I don't see why / how any country should refuse to renew a passport even if it's not to replace a stolen / lost one. Obviously there's a cost associated with issuing a renewed passport so it's a money making thing...without having to deal with the paperwork of police forms that comes with a stolen passport. Passport agencies would love that. Mar 13, 2012 at 23:29

Most countries allow second passports if you have a good reason: typically acceptable reasons are conflicts with existing visas (eg. previously traveled to Israel but now need to go to Saudi), or simply frequent business travel. The case you state -- passport already in visa processing, and you now suddenly need to go for a second trip -- is actually pretty much a textbook example, although you may be required to produce a letter from your company attesting to it.

Emergency travel documents/express temporary passports are not the way to go. You'll need to produce eg. a police report about what happened to your old passport, which will promptly be invalidated, and you'll pay through the nose to boot.

All that said, I can't actually find any info online about the specific case of New Zealand. Why not just give them a call, and report back here?


I don't know specifically re New Zealand, but my country will only issue ETD to get you back home (its not something you can travel with, and you'll probably need a visa for every country on the way anyway), and only if the passport was lost/stolen.

Your friend didn't lose the passport, it was not stolen, and I see no reason why would a government issue him an emergency document just to save embarrassment (really?) at work.

He sent his passport out to get a visa for a trip he plans in half a year, what's so difficult to tell the boss about?

  • because it'd involve letting the boss know he's potentially quitting IF his visa gets approved...
    – Mark Mayo
    Mar 13, 2012 at 8:55
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    @Mark - well, you know your government better, if I'd come to my consulate with such a lame excuse they would throw me out of the door with a kick from behind, and rightly so.
    – littleadv
    Mar 13, 2012 at 9:03
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    @Mark regardless, keep in mind that the business travel with ETD is only one-way: back home. If his trip is planned to be to NZ - he'll get stuck there because he won't be able to get back to Oz. If the trip is elsewhere - ETD will most probably not be accepted. If it is accepted - it will undoubtedly require a visa for any kind of visit, regardless of the visa rules for NZ nationals with regular passports there. So it won't solve much for your friend - he'll still have to have some explaining to do.
    – littleadv
    Mar 13, 2012 at 9:05
  • Again, not sure about the exact case of New Zealand, but most emergency travel documents these days are actual passports issued on the spot, albeit ones with a reduced validity and missing the biometric chip. They can be used as and are accepted as normal passports by virtually all countries. Mar 13, 2012 at 21:01
  • @jpatokal not in my country they're not. I, as well, don't know about NZ, but I wouldn't take anything for granted. Regardless, requesting a replacement passport will invalidate the current passport, and since it will be probably reported as lost or stolen (otherwise how can you request a replacement?), it will undoubtedly raise flags with the UK visa department.
    – littleadv
    Mar 13, 2012 at 22:29

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