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Apply for a British passport

A British passport is an important document that can prove your status as a British citizen. Once you are granted a passport you are allowed to freely enter and leave the country without being subject to additional UK immigration restrictions.

To apply for a passport you are required to submit various documentation and proof of your identity. It is vital your application is completed correctly otherwise it could lead to deals or even refusal.

The application process for a British passport must only begin after you have acquired British citizenship – without it you will not qualify for a passport.

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    How do I make an application for a British passport?

    There are several ways to apply for a passport if you are living in the UK at the time of making your application:

    Online – you can apply online for a British passport via the internet. If you are confident completing online forms then this is method has the lowest cost.

    The Post Office – the Check and Send Service offered by your local Post Office charges an additional fee to check the documents accompanying your application form and will highlight potential issues with your evidence. They will then send them to the HM Passport Office on your behalf.

    By mail – it is possible to apply by post and send your application paper form plus supporting documents directly to the HM Passport Office for processing. Make sure you send your application by a trackable method – especially if you are including original documents.

    Face-to-face – you can make an appointment at a Passport Office for a 1-day Premium or a 1-week Fast Track service. There is a charge for applying this way and you will need to attend an appointment at a local British Passport Office.

    If you making a British Passport application while located in another country the process is different and does depend on which part of the world you are applying from. In some cases, you can apply online or you may need to visit a UK embassy or consulate.

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    What documents do I need to apply for a British passport?

    Many applications for a new British passport are rejected by the HM Passport Service because incorrect documents are submitted by applicants so it is important to make sure you double-check you submit all the evidence needed. It may be advisable to consult an immigration lawyer to check your application to avoid any potential delays from not including vital information.

    It is important to note that the HM Passport Office wants to see original documents and will not accept photocopies. You also need to ensure all documents are written in Welsh or English – or a certified translation copy provided.

    Documents that must be included when applying for a British passport include:

    • If you were born in the UK before the start of 1983 then you need to provide your birth or adoption certificate
    • Evidence of one of your parents’ immigration status (if you were born in the UK after January 1983)
    • Your certificate or naturalisation or registration, if you were born overseas
    • A signature and statement from someone who can confirm your identity (if you are applying with a paper form)

    Do I need a counter-signatory to apply for a British passport?

    When applying for your new passport you do not need a counter-signatory if you are applying for a passport online or from overseas.

    If you are applying using a paper British passport application then you need to have a signature from someone who has known you for at least two years and is willing to confirm your identity.

    The British Passport Office requires that the person who you chose to confirm your identity must meet the following criteria:

    • Be a UK or Irish citizen who currently lives in the UK
    • Be a professional person or be recognised as ‘a person of good standing in their community’ – there is a list of qualifying professions available on the Gov.uk website
    • Have no relation to you by birth or marriage or be in a personal relationship with you
    • Not live at the same address as you
    • Must not be currently employed by the Home Office

    How much does a UK passport cost?

    The fee for applying for a British passport will depend on what service you are using, whether you apply online and if you live in the UK or overseas.

    For those applying for adult British passports in the UK then the charges are:

    • Online applications: £75.50
    • Paper applications: £85

    Applying for a child’s passport starts at £49 if applying online and the child is currently living in the UK.

    How long does the British Passport application process take?

    the Home Office estimates that it is currently taking around 10 weeks for passport applications to be processed but this can vary depending on and where you are applying from.

    You are advised not to make or book travel arrangements before receiving your passport.

    There are a number of priority services are available for an additional fee but this are not available if you are applying for a first time adult passport.

    How do I apply for a child's British passport? 

    Any child up to the age of 16 not already on a parent’s passport must hold their own passport. A child passport usually lasts for five years and the holder may continue to use it after they have reached the age of 16 and until the passport expires.

    The person with parental responsibility for the child must apply for the passport and you must be able to prove your child is entitled to British nationality with supporting documentation. You will be asked to provide details of both of the child’s parents when applying or a letter explaining why this is not possible.

    Applying for a British Passport renewal

    If you have already had a British passport and it has expired then you will need to apply for a new one before travelling. This can be done online, at a post office or via the post. The cost for completing an application online is currently £75.50. You will not need to send supporting documents for a renewal, but you will need to send your existing passport and provide an-up-to-date photo.

    Standard renewal applications are currently taking around 6 to 8 weeks to be processed by the Home Office.

    However, there are a number of priority processing services available for passport renewals, so if you need a new British passport quickly then this could be a good option. There are extra charges for these services and they may require you to attend a face-to-face appointment at a Passport Office.

    How much does a UK passport cost?

    The fee for applying for a British passport will depend on what service you are using, whether you apply online and if you live in the UK or overseas.

    For those applying for adult British passports in the UK then the charges are:

    • Online applications: £75.50
    • Paper applications: £85

    Applying for a child’s passport starts at £49 if applying online and the child is currently living in the UK.

    How long does the British Passport application process take?

    the Home Office estimates that it is currently taking around 10 weeks for passport applications to be processed but this can vary depending on and where you are applying from.

    You are advised not to make or book travel arrangements before receiving your passport.

    There are a number of priority services are available for an additional fee but this are not available if you are applying for a first time adult passport.

    How do I apply for a child's British passport? 

    Any child up to the age of 16 not already on a parent’s passport must hold their own passport. A child passport usually lasts for five years and the holder may continue to use it after they have reached the age of 16 and until the passport expires.

    The person with parental responsibility for the child must apply for the passport and you must be able to prove your child is entitled to British nationality with supporting documentation. You will be asked to provide details of both of the child’s parents when applying or a letter explaining why this is not possible.

    Applying for a British Passport renewal

    If you have already had a British passport and it has expired then you will need to apply for a new one before travelling. This can be done online, at a post office or via the post. The cost for completing an application online is currently £75.50. You will not need to send supporting documents for a renewal, but you will need to send your existing passport and provide an-up-to-date photo.

    Standard renewal applications are currently taking around 6 to 8 weeks to be processed by the Home Office.

    However, there are a number of priority processing services available for passport renewals, so if you need a new British passport quickly then this could be a good option. There are extra charges for these services and they may require you to attend a face-to-face appointment at a Passport Office.

    What happens at a passport interview?

    If you are applying for your first adult passport you will receive a letter or an email asking you to attend an interview at a set date and time. Some interviews may be done via video call at a overseas Visa Application Centre or if you live in a remote area of the country.

    You must attend the interview alone, unless you are aged 16-17, bring your interview booking letter/email as well as photographic proof of your identity – such as a driving licence.

    The interview will last around 30 minutes if you apply from the UK and an hour if you apply from overseas. The customer service officer (CSO) will ask questions about your identify and background, as well as confirming your likeness to the photo included with the passport application.

    You will also be asked to sign your signature so it can be compared to your signature on the passport issuing system.

    Applying for your first British Passport after naturalisation

    It is relatively straightforward to apply for your British passport after naturalisation. Once you have been granted your certificate of naturalisation you may wish to apply for a passport so you can use it as a prove of ID as well as being able to travel freely.

    Remember after receiving your British citizenship certificate, you’ll need to return your Biometric Residence Permit to the Home Office otherwise you could face a fine.

    Most people are eligible for a British passport, however, you may need to seek further legal advice if any of the following apply to you:

    • A court has restricted your movement and/or banned you from holding a UK passport
    • A warrant has been issued for your arrest
    • You’ve been issued with an EU or UN order restricting your right to travel
    • You’re on bail and your bail conditions mean you cannot leave the country
    • The British government have brought you back to the country before and you haven’t repaid what you owe

     

     

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              Frequently Asked Questions

              London Immigration Lawyers can help you through each stage of your application for a UK passport.

              This can include checking your documents, helping you to complete the British passport application form to the required standard and liaising with the Home Office.

              An application for a first adult British passport can take around 10 weeks to be processed

              It is important not to book any travel until after you have received your British passport.

              A British passport application can be made online, at a Post Office, via the post or in-person by appointment.

              You make be required to attend a interview as part of your passport application. The interview will take around 30 minutes and will take place at your local HM Office.

              A British passport is valid for 10 years if it was issued when you were 16 years or older. A child’s passport is valid for 5 years.

              To apply for British passport you must have British citizenship – you can not apply for a passport if you do not already have this.

              You will need to submit evidence of your nationality, as well as other supporting documents. There is also a fee to pay when applying for a passport.

              If you are applying for your first British passport, you may be required to attend an face-to-face interview and answers questions about your background.

              There are a number of documents that must be included when applying for a British passport depending on your current immigration status.

              You will need to provide the following depending on your circumstances:

              • If you were born in the UK before the start of 1983 then you need to provide your birth or adoption certificate
              • Evidence of one of your parents’ immigration status (if you were born in the UK after January 1983)
              • Your certificate or naturalisation or registration, if you were born abroad
              • Your supporting documents
              • Someone who can confirm your identity (if you are applying with a paper form)

              The person with parental responsibility for the child must apply for the British passport and you must be able to prove your child is entitled to British nationality. You will need to provide documents to prove this.

              Any child up to the age of 16 not already on a parent’s passport must hold their own passport.