Virginia, US
Have you ever found yourself in the stressful position of needing to travel urgently or unexpectedly for business but your passport is sitting with a foreign consulate due to lengthy visa processing times? A solution exists to this frustrating and potentially embarrassing problem; a Concurrent Passport.
 
The Australian Passports Act 2005 allows the Minister for Foreign Affairs to issue a concurrent passport in circumstances of exceptional, demonstrated need. Approval of concurrent passports is generally limited to cases where significant delays could be caused while waiting for visas to be issued, or when a destination country will not accept a passport showing evidence of travel to another country in the first passport. For example, some nations will not allow entry if a foreign national’s passport shows a visa label or stamp from a country which does not maintain diplomatic relations; a problem often faced by travellers who have visited Israel or conversely, the Middle East.
 
Concurrent Passports are limited to a validity of 3 years from the date of issue, however, they are typically issued to reflect the period of need of the traveller as indicated in the supporting letter, which sets out the conditions for the issue of a concurrent passport. 
 
Concurrent passport applications are assessed as initial passport applications and face the same stringent proof of identification requirements along with an in person interview at the Australian Passports Office of your choosing as well as a detailed support letter from the sponsoring company outlining the need for travel. Regular processing of an application takes three weeks from the passport interview date, however for an additional fee and if collected in person the passport can be expedited to be issued within 2 days of the Passport Office receiving a complete application.
 
For those who envisage problems arising with the need for frequent travel in the Asia Pacific region, there is also the option of an APEC Business Travel Card, which allows qualifying Australian passport holders visa free entry to 21 participating economies, including; China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia.
 
Fragomen’s Sydney Consular Practice can assist with a concurrent passport application or an APEC Business Travel Card.  Please contact our document procurement specialist Jennifer Astey at jastey@fragomen.com to get your application started.