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Applying for a British Passport

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 20 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Applying For A British Passport

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) is the Home Office department which issues passports to British citizens in the UK. British citizens abroad who wish to apply for a passport should contact their local embassy or consulate or the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Applying for an Adult UK Passport

Anyone applying for their first adult British passport is likely to have to attend an interview before their passport is issued and the whole process may take considerably longer than for a passport renewal. Applicants are advised not to make any firm travel arrangements before they receive their passport and to allow six weeks between the date of the application and the date on which they wish to travel.

Applicants who are renewing a passport or replacing an existing child’s passport with an adult one may make their application before the existing passport expires. Up to 9 months’ unexpired validity from the old passport may be credited to the new one.

UK Children’s Passports

The rules on children and passports have recently changed. Previously children could be included on a parent’s passport. However, now any child up to the age of 16 not already on a parent’s passport must have their own. 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 Application Form for UK Passports

The application form for UK passports can be collected from selected Post Offices or ordered online from the IPS website or via their telephone advice line. UK residents may also apply online through the website. However, forms cannot be downloaded because home printing equipment does not produce documents of a high enough resolution to be read by the IPS scanning equipment. In addition there would be a greater risk of fraudulent applications if the whole process could be carried out online.

The application form comes with detailed instructions which should be followed carefully. The form should be completed in black ballpoint pen. Any sections which are not relevant to the applicant should simply be left blank.

The application form will also have to be countersigned by a British or Irish passport holder over the age of 18 who has a recognised profession or is otherwise of good standing. This person must have known the applicant for at least two years but must not be related to them or live at the same address. This person will also have to sign the applicant’s photograph and confirm that it is a true likeness. The IPS website has a complete list of those who may countersign passport applications.

Passport Interviews

Almost all applicants aged 16 and over for a first British adult passport will now have to attend a passport interview. Interviews have been introduced to verify the identity of the applicant and to reduce the level of passport related fraud.

All applicants who have to attend a UK passport interview will be sent a letter, after their application form has been processed, asking them to contact the IPS to arrange an interview. Interviews take about 30 minutes and are held at one of 68 interview offices located around the UK. Applicants will be asked to verify personal information which would only be known by the individual applying for the UK passport.

Fees and Waiting Times

Some Post Offices offer a “Check & Send” service. For an additional fee they will go through passport applications, ensure all the necessary documents are included and send the application to the Identity and Passport Service. Applications for renewal passports sent in via this service should be processed within about two weeks. However, the waiting time for first passports is still about six weeks.

The fee for a first British adult passport is currently £72. The same fee applies to standard applications for renewals, amendments or replacements of existing passports. A fast track one-week service is also available for £97. A premium same-day service for renewals or amendments only is available for £114. The fast track and premium services are only available by appointment at a passport office counter and are not available to UK citizens applying for a first adult passport.

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[Add a Comment]
@Trapper technically you are allowed to travel to the UK as a Canadian. However if the border authorities discover that you are entitled to British citizenship you could run into trouble as it is not permitted for a British citizen to apply for leave to remain in the UK. It is advisable that you obtain a British passport if you intend to travel to the UK.
TJ. - 20-Jun-17 @ 7:20 AM
Do you need a British passport when travelling from Canada if you have dual nationality or will my Canadian passport be enough?
Trapper - 19-Jun-17 @ 3:47 PM
is it possible for my parents too obtain a passport for my 4 yr old son saying that they have lost his passport which i have and is in date and validthiers been a family dispute which is going through the courts at this present time ive found out today that my mother and father have obtained a passport by lying and not even consulting me first me and my ex partner both have parental rights i went too go see my son yesterday and was informed that they have taking my son abroad so faulsifying passport documents and not even have the decensey too tell me is this illegal thankyou demi
demi courts - 16-Jun-17 @ 1:36 PM
is it possible for my parents too obtain a passport for my 4 yr old son saying that they have lost his passport which i have and is in date and validthiers been a family dispute which is going through the courts at this present time ive found out today that my mother and father have obtained a passport by lying and not even consulting me first me and my ex partner both have parental rights i went too go see my son yesterday and was informed that they have taking my son abroad so faulsifying passport documents and not even have the decensey too tell me is this illegal thankyou demi
demi courts - 16-Jun-17 @ 7:03 AM
@urszula if any of the names that you used on your Polish passport are any different from the names on your naturalization certificate or any other identification then your Polish passport must be renewed to reflect the name you are currently using.
TJ. - 13-Jun-17 @ 7:01 AM
Hi, Can you help please... Im Polish. I just got my naturalization certificate and wanted to apply for British passport. I sent my old Polish passport (expired anyway). They told me that I need to renew my Polish passport otherwise no British passport. Even when I told them i do not want o renew it because i dont have to because i use my Polish ID card and I can provide it if they want. They still said no new Polish passport no British passport. I do not understand why that is because I still can proof my present surname with my Polish ID card , English driving licence and many more. Why they dont accept other proofs of id??? Thank you for help.
urszula - 12-Jun-17 @ 2:44 PM
@Saaraox - if you or the dad are British citizens or have a pr permit then you can apply.
JFTJase - 12-Jun-17 @ 12:36 PM
Hi, I have a baby boy (6 months old) he was born in England however I come from Czech Republic but me and my family are in the UK since 2002, I would really like to know if it is possible for my child to have a english passport? Thanks
Saaraox - 10-Jun-17 @ 10:13 AM
Hey I am currently studying for my British citizenship exam and I wonder wether it really is necessary for me to do this?! I have been in enflandsince I was 12, I've been to high school and college here. I am 24 now I've basically lived more of my life here than in Cuba where I was born. Is there an alternative way for me to obtain my British passport?!!! If so please let me know it would help me a lot Thank you
Dominique - 2-Jun-17 @ 11:08 PM
Hi..i got my british passport in 2014 which is going to expire in 2014..i am in Pakistan at the moment and separated 2 years back from my husband.. now I am worried that he won't give me his passport details and how wold I apply for renewing my passport though I want to change my name in the passport as well. I have two kids who are british born. What should I do
Farah - 2-Jun-17 @ 4:19 AM
Hi, Is it a Post-Graduation from a UK University an academic qualification? Or do I need to have a speaking and listening qualification in English at B1 CEFR. Thanks. Regards
Miguel - 27-May-17 @ 9:16 PM
Karina - Your Question:
Hello ThereMy friend is 24 years old and she is half Thai half English. Her father never registered her to the British Embassy therefore she does not have a British Passport. She has lived in Thailand her whole life. Her plans have changed and she needs to go to UK. She was wondering if she is still able to apply for a British passport? Also does it matter that she is now married to an American? Thank you ! :)

Our Response:
Your friend may automatically qualify as a British citizen, depending on where she was born, when she was born and her parents’ circumstances, please see link here. Being married to an American will not make any difference to her application.
AboutImmigration - 24-May-17 @ 12:48 PM
Hello There My friend is 24 years old and she is half Thai half English. Her father never registered her to the British Embassy therefore she does not have a British Passport. She has lived in Thailand her whole life. Her plans have changed and she needs to go to UK. She was wondering if she is still able to apply for a British passport? Also does it matter that she is now married to an American? Thank you ! :)
Karina - 24-May-17 @ 3:30 AM
My Wife and my two Sons are Australian and we are Spanish residents. I am British. My Wifes mother is English, born at the end of the 1940's. We would like British Passports for our boys and one for my wife. I know she can get one through her Mother, and i know my boys can get one through me. I have seen on the Government Website, and have also been told, that they will have to return to Australia to apply for the passports. I just wanted to know if it can be done from Spain (as we are residents), or, does it mean returning to Australia to make the applications?....Going back to Australia is not really an option at this point in time. Thank you for your help.
Nobby - 19-May-17 @ 5:47 PM
neelu - Your Question:
Ser my friend said that he can send me british passport and visa is it possible

Our Response:
No, you have to apply through the correct channels independently if you wish to apply for a visa. No one except the Home Office can issue a passport (unless it is copied fraudulently). Visas have to be issued directly via the Home Office also, and have to match the records at passport control.
AboutImmigration - 16-May-17 @ 2:07 PM
Ser my friend said that he can send me british passport and visa is it possible
neelu - 16-May-17 @ 11:04 AM
Mexican - Your Question:
Hi I leave I uk for 12 years. I would like to aply for british citizen I have allready pr do I will need to get life in uk to get british citizen or I dont. Thank you for your time and information

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which should answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 9-May-17 @ 2:23 PM
Sorry i forget to say that I am from EU Czech Republic
Mexican - 5-May-17 @ 1:13 PM
Hi I leave iuk for 12 years. I would like to aply for british citizen i have allready pr do i will need to get life in uk to get british citizen or I dont. Thank you for your time and information
Mexican - 5-May-17 @ 1:12 PM
Hi my name is jamil I need to no that I was born in Pakistan I been in U.K. For 25 years My parents have British passport and the rest off my brother and sister are British born, I want to apply for British passport what do I need, well I'm not sure time off my birth that my dad had a British nationality , can you please let me know. Thank you
Ali - 3-May-17 @ 11:44 PM
Hi! I need British passport.
IRFAN - 2-May-17 @ 6:12 PM
hi ..i am married to a british since 17 years i have a son an a daughter who carry a british passport.i need to apply for citizenship of possible..plz advice ifi could proceed and how thanks
donna - 29-Apr-17 @ 12:12 AM
My have a 60 years old British passport and now I want apply U.K. Visa behalf of my father passport so plz tell me what can I do?
Raja - 23-Apr-17 @ 10:02 AM
Hiam in need of some information am hoping i would get some answers to some of my questions. I am married to a British citizen we have two sons together .my oldest sonis now 13 years old who has automatically become a Britishcitizen through my husband. we also have a second son whos now 3 years old .but we are now separated and my husband choose not to contact me are the boys for the pass two years..so the question i need answers to is how do i go about applying for my second son British passport . Has i am not a British citizen i recently made a application to the home office to apply for my indefinet leave to remain .i am currently on a discretionary leave to remain I would greatly appreciate ur response Thanks in advance
Tee - 21-Apr-17 @ 10:37 PM
His I need information what dose my daughter who is 32 have to send for a passport is it my passport number birth certificate and my marriage certificate
Linda - 21-Apr-17 @ 8:27 PM
Hi I am a Kenyan citizen who lives in Egypt and planning to bring my wife and son who are of British citizen to Egypt, the son has citizenship for he is born in uk while our first born was born in Kenya and she does not have British passport neither do I. Is there a way of getting British passport for me and my daughter without necessarily going to uk. As we are all joining Egypt now as a family. Your advice is highly appreciated. Thank you
Abdi - 19-Apr-17 @ 4:29 AM
Julie - Your Question:
Please can you advise - My mother was born in the UK and holds a British passport, I was born in Africa and received my British passport +- 6 years ago. Can I apply for a British passport for my 23 year old daughter, born in South Africa? Your advice is appreciated

Our Response:
If your child was born abroad, British citizenship by descent is only transferable to one generation down from the parent who is a British citizen otherwise than by descent (i.e your mother to you).
AboutImmigration - 18-Apr-17 @ 12:15 PM
Please can you advise - My mother was born in the UK and holds a British passport, I was born in Africa and received my British passport +- 6 years ago.Can I apply for a Britishpassport for my 23 year old daughter, born in South Africa?Your advice is appreciated
Julie - 17-Apr-17 @ 6:39 PM
Hi My mother is Welsh and through her I have a British passport (although I was born in South Africa). Can I apply for British passports for my two children who were born in South Africa?
Nicola - 14-Apr-17 @ 4:52 PM
i have a polish passport and i am a british citizen can i apply for a british passport
nikki - 6-Apr-17 @ 6:24 PM
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