Hi, and sorry for the long post.
I obtained the old international passport in Aug 2005. I applied for and was granted a UK student visa in 2006. The old passport is due to expire in Aug 2010, however I have UK FLR Visa (Work Permit) which is valid until 2012 + a US B1 visa valid until 2011.
When I visited home this march, I thought that since my old passport would soon expire, it was going to be a good idea to renew my passport (@ home). I did not want to go through the stress of renewing in the High commision in London. The immigration folks told me that my old passport will be replaced with the new e-passport. I collected the new e-passport 2 days after application (march 2010). I was not aware that my (still valid) old passport should have been cancelled on collection of the new e-passport, I simply collected the new e-passport and was told I could go.
However, when I was about to leave through MMIA a few weeks later, our immigration folks saw me with both passports and said it was criminal, that the old one should have been cancelled. I was like "I have 3 valid visas on my old passport, how the hell are you going to cancel it?". The immigration people said they were going to arrest me for holding two valid passports. I said "look the old one will expire in less that 5 months time, and since I wont visit home in that period I decided to renew during this visit, there is no criminal intent". After prolonged discussion and since they were insisting that I could not have two passports, I said "ok, if I destroy the new one here in your presence will you let me go with my old one (that is still valid)? I have visas on the old one and nothing on the new one". They then suddenly said "na you sabi, do whatever you like" and left me. I then proceeded with the old one and kept the new one in my bag. Because of the fuss they made (I was delayed for more than 30 minutes) I felt I would have problems at Heathrow if I flashed both there so I kept the new one in my handbag and showed only the old one at Heathrow.
Subsequently, I have done a bit of research on the internet which tells me that indeed the old passport should have been cancelled when the new one was issued. But how was I suppose to know this? The immigration people at the passport office (where I proceesed the new one) were more interested in their egunje than anything else.
I need to travel to Norway in October (after my old passport would have actually expired - it expires in August), and will need apply to Norway's embassy in London for a schengen visa. I am just worried whether the fact that my old passport was not cancelled when my new one was issued will be an issue. Remember that it is this old passport that contains my UK residence permit, one of the requirements for applying for a Norway visa in London. At the time I apply for the schengen visa, I would need to use the new passport (old one expired) so I guess the embassy folks would be checking to see if indeed it is a replacement for my old one, and the fact that the old one was not cancelled may introduce doubts, I think.
My research shows that when a passport is cancelled, the corners are simply clipped or holes punched in it. But it appears that in some cases that "CANCELLED" is stamped on it. Even worse (mostly in India) the new passport contains a note that it is a replacements for "XXXX" (where XXXX is the old passport number). Do I just punch holes and clip the edge of my old passport (i.e. cancel it myself)? Is there anybody here whose old passport was cancelled when being replaced by the new e-passport, how was it done - stamped, puched, clipped
If I have to go back home b4 the old one expires just to get it cancelled, then that would be a heavy price to pay.