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Two Valid Passports - What To Do?

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.

Advice.

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13 answers

Hello house,

Please i want to apply for a UK business visa, i have gone before but this time i did a change of name, my passport still reflects my old name but expires in April next year, all other documents also reflect my old name except my Salary account bank statement which reflects my new name. The question is do i get a new passport with the new name or do i just submit my personal statement along with my payslips which show the same name on my passport.

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MAN THE MISTAKE YOU MADE WAS AT THE PASSPORT OFFICE YOU SHOULD VE ASK THE IMMIGRATION OFFICER TO STAMP ON YOUR NEW PASSPORT THAT YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY TRAVELLED ON YOUR OLD PASSPORT BECOS MOST IMMGRATION OFFICERS ARE NOT AFTER GOOD JOB ALL THEY ARE AFTER IS MONEY TO TAKE NOTE OF THIS

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@Poster

Please do not be decieved by the talk about we do not have records in Nigeria- you will be surprised. I talk from experience. Make use of Ajanlekoko's advice even if you dont want to take mine above, as soneone called it senseless.

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I really do not understand you. Are you saying that the norwagian embassy would flag it when he applies for their visa? wrong! why would they? Once the old one expires he can combine the two. as for the schengen visa as long as his old passport has now expired he can combine the two to get the visa. the fact that the old one was not cancelled at the time of getting the new passport is immaterial. you do necessarily have to cancel. the old one ought to be cancelled automatically by the passport office before they issue a new one. the fact that we lack record in Nigeria cannot be used to assume the expired passport was never cancelled. as long as it is now expired that is all that matters

for US visa you do not need to transfer to a new passport. if the visa is in an expired passport and you are also travelling with a new passport you are ok. It is only the British that insist on transfering visa to a valid passport. this they do at a fee

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Thanks for all the useful contributions.

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@OP,

From experience I can tell you that you can't even apply for a visa to the UK or US with two valid Nigerian passports.

The Nigeria Immigration Service actually has guidelines on their website, immigration.gov.ng. You should check and verify this. You're not supposed to hold two valid passports. If you want to apply for a new visa from a Schengen territory, they will probably flag that issue.

The ideal thing to do, since you live in the UK, is to visit the appropriate Home Office section and transfer the visa to your new passport. Ditto for the US embassy. Then you go to the Nigerian embassy and cancel the old one.

Hope this helps.

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Another i mbecile.

The only sence you made is to agree with what another person said? You dont have a mind of your own, im becile.

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There is no source. This is what I know to be the practice. Maybe there is a confirmation somewhere. But why don't you call BA. They will confirm what I just said. They will know

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I concur.U made sense

U makes sense if u remain silent.

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x-2-x - be careful - u carry naija passport, not british or american - different rules apply.

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Thanks a lot for this. The two requirements you mentioned, what is the source of that info pls? I just want to double check. I have tried googling, no luck. thnx.

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@ poster

You really do not have to do anything. You can very easily own two valid passport without cancelling the old one provided you satisfy these two important requirements:

a) Your old passport is expiring within 6 months at the time of applying for the new one

b) You are not to travel with both while the old one is still valid and not cancelled

The fact then is, you can renew your passport without cancelling the old one if you satisfy the points above. If you were a British or an American citizen, once you apply for the new one, the old one is automatically cancelled before the new one is issued even if you did not forward the expiring copy

My brother is british and when he did a change of name he applied for a new passport while the old one was still valid. They issued him a new one. A few months later he tried to travel to Germany with the old one but was turned back at Heathrow because he was carrying a cancelled passport

You will not have problem with the Norwagian embassy on account of the old passport. How are they to know our system is not automated to cancel old passport when a new one is being issued?

As for the British visa on your expired passport you need to tranfer it to your new one. However the Americans accept a visa on an expired passports provided you are also carrying a new and valid passport

Good luck

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Man mi, it is not always that they have to tell you some things - why will you carry two valid passports? You are lucky they told you before you arrived in the UK, if they had seen the two with you on arrival in the UK, you would have been singing a different tune by now.

All you have to do is to phone up the immigration here - home office, and see if they can update your new passport with your visas- and do the same for the US visa as well.

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