Reader Question: Work Permit in a Passport Which is Almost Full

“So, we have passports that do not expire until 2025. Our book has only one page left, but we also have work permits for Uganda in our passports. We go frequently to Kenya and can’t be without our passport for any length of time. Not sure how to proceed. The American Embassy here in Uganda clearly does not exist to help American citizens, not sure what to do any help is greatly appreciated.”

Reader Question: Work Permit in a Passport Which is Almost Full

What you just read was this question which was posted in the Comments section by Connie Jackson — who is a reader of The Gate — in this article pertaining to the discontinuation of the service of adding additional visa pages to existing United States passports by the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the Department of State of the United States, which became effective as of Friday, January 1, 2016.

If you are a holder of a passport in need of additional space in your passport, you will need to renew your passports by mail using form DS-82. If you renew your passport from outside of the United States, you will automatically be issued a larger 52-page book. If you renew your passport within the United States, you are to indicate your preference for a 28-page or 52-page book by checking the appropriate box at the top of the form.

The good news is that there is no fee difference for book sizes, as they both cost $110.00. The former option of adding pages to an existing passport would have saved you $28.00.


I do not have experience with work permits, which is the wild card for me. I do not know if the Ugandan government would consider a work permit in a canceled passport still valid if it was presented along with the new passport — or would the holder of the passport be required to go through the motions of applying for another work permit, which would cost time, money and effort.

As different countries have different policies, my suggestion to Connie Jackson is to contact the government of Uganda as soon as possible and ask the aforementioned questions…

…but if you are experienced with the issue of having a passport whose pages are almost full and contains a work permit issued from a foreign country — even though the passport is not due to expire for several years — you are encouraged to please impart your knowledge and advice in the Comments section below.

Thank you in advance.

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

3 thoughts on “Reader Question: Work Permit in a Passport Which is Almost Full”

  1. Christopher says:

    I believe it’s possible to get a duplicate passport that is valid for two years. If I understand correctly you don’t have to send away your current passport to receive a duplicate.

  2. Ben O says:

    Ok this happened to me while I was in Qatar. I made an appointment went to the us embassy and then they let me keep my old passport while the new one came directly to the embassy. When it arrived (about a week later) I went back picked up the new one and they cancelled the old one. I don’t understand why they would have given troubles. I just explained I was still traveling and needed it. Mailing it in is much slower and a bad idea.

    Regarding the visa I understand it depends on the issuing country and their policy.

  3. Loren Sweet says:

    similar problem….I have both a ten year India and China visa in my old passport which still have 5 years left on them. I carry two passports, one is expired and I carry it only for the Visas. The old passport has no more room for stamps.

    Wondering if China/India would verify my Visa in the old passport but stamp in the new passport?

    Anyone know?


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