If you are currently residing in a country different from your home country,

permit me to take a few minutes from your times as you read on. More often than not you are pumped and excited about the fact that you are living in your dream country that you sometimes forget to do the needful in regards to your travel documents.

We are Swiss and we came in to the country on our Swiss passport. For us, living in Australia requires that we have a valid visa. Our visas are linked to each passport. However, something happened to us and I am pretty sure you wouldn’t want the same thing to happen to you.

I will advise that you keep an eye on the expiry date of your passport.

I understand that the rules vary from one country to another, but I am almost certain that the rules in each country are basically similar. You don’t want to find yourself in a sticky situation where you are living in a country with a valid visa, but on an expired passport. That can really be an unpleasant situation.

This actually happened to us about a year and a half ago

as we found out that our kids’ passport were expired. We had gone ahead to book a cruise, only to check on the passports in preparation for the trip and realize that the kids were expired. It was definitely an error on our part which later cost us a lot of money and time, not to mention stress and potential trouble with the immigration department.

You wouldn’t want to find yourself in such a situation

Your passport number is linked to your visa and the department of immigration isn’t a fan of expired passports with valid visas, NOT AT ALL! I got to know at the time that with an expired passport, we do not have a valid and legal means of identification for our children, which as responsible parent you really don’t want to happen. It was such an annoying situation. A lot of paper work was involved to remedy the anomaly and get the passports renewed.

It will be advisable to begin the process of passport renewal four months before the passport is to expire.

For us, we had to go to the Swiss embassy in Sydney to get everything done there. The passports were made in Switzerland and sent to Australia. You definitely have to keep tab with the procedures and ensure you send your new passport details to the department of immigration so your new passport details can be updated and linked with your visa. If you don’t do all of these and you leave the country, at the point of re-entry, you are going to get into a lot of trouble. Better to be on the safe side of the law!

So guys don’t take it for granted, keep an eye on your travel documents, so as to avoid the kind of situation we found ourselves. Cheers!

Don’t only dream your life, live your dream.

Yours in inspiration

Nat

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