Final Word from Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Czechs whose passport expires must turn in their old one when they get their new travel document. This presents a problem for anyone with a valid visa in the old passport. For those with a U.S. visa, this means applying for a new visa and paying another fee. The U.S. and other countries will accept a valid visa in an expired passport if it's presented together with a valid passport, but the Czech interior ministry refuses to allow its citizens to do this. It's worried about the security of having old passports floating about. At the same time, Czechs are legally allowed to have up to four duplicate passports (plus the original). If a Czech should lose one of the expired passports (such as the one with the visa) and fail to turn it back in to Mr. Gross, U.S. officials will be happy to accept it along with a valid travel document if it happens to resurface at passport control. Stanislav minister


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