Travelling the world is considered to be one of life’s greatest luxury’s, so it should come as no surprise that we hold our passport in the highest regard. It’s our golden ticket to the world, offering us the opportunity to explore, experience new cultures, and most importantly make memories that last a lifetime.
But, when you hand over your passport at the check-in desk or passport control, have you ever stopped to consider what holding a passport really entails? Or some of the facts you probably should know next time you book your travel commitments and pack your bags?
You Can Enter the US with a Valid Visa and No E-Passport
Biometric passports which have been issued since 2007 are now required to enter the US. E-Passports, as they are often known, include an electronic chip that holds the owner’s personal details along with ETA Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) information is also stored on the data chip.
Luckily, Esta’s are issued both electronically and in paper format at your request. So if you’re worried you may be left stranded before your trip has even begun, then check the application page and print a copy of your Visa Waiver Program just to be on the safe side.
Passports Need to Be Valid for Duration of Stay Only
There has been a whole spate of incidents whereby travellers have been turned away as their passport hasn’t been valid for the specific validation period set by each country. Some countries even insist you have one clear passport page during your travel period.
In the EU your passport only needs to be valid for the duration of the trip you are making. However, for stays further afield then a period of between 3 to 6 months is often required.
Turkey, Thailand, Egypt and Brazil all insist on six months, so don’t travel without reading up beforehand.
You Can Have More Than One Passport
Dual citizenship is on the rise, but in this respect, we’re talking about how you can hold a passport whilst your other is submitted for visa applications or other extenuating circumstances. Supporting evidence is required in order for you to submit a request to hold more than one passport.
Whilst this isn’t for everyone it can be particularly useful for those who are frequent travellers. It can also be used when previous travel history could affect acceptance into another country. An Israeli passport stamp can prevent entry to countries such as Iran and Lebanon.
Will Brexit Affect Passports?
The answer to this one is no one really knows. The result back in June on the European Union Referendum saw an influx in applications for dual-nationality, and in particular Irish passports.
Many were initially calmed by the news that no changes would be made imminently, meaning that current UK passports and travel regulations in the EU still remain the same. What the future holds no one knows at present, however it does seem unlikely that visa-free travel rights will change between Britain and the EU according to this article.
More Pages Are Available
As some countries require you to have a minimum of one blank passport page, then investing in a passport with more pages may be necessary if you’re a frequent traveller, be it for business of leisure.
Passports are often issued with 28 pages, but it is possible to request a passport which holds 52 pages at no additional cost. If you need extra pages to be added into your current passport, then they can be added in packs of 24 up to 76 pages’ maximum.
Next time you take a look at your passport, you may begin to view it a little differently.